“Ryan and Laura Cain wanted three children. Despite having great jobs, the surgeon and physiotherapist say they couldn’t afford to stay in Vancouver.”

Announcer1: “The high cost of real estate in this province isn’t just an annoyance anymore, it’s life altering, quite literally” …
Announcer2: “Ryan and Laura Cain always knew that they wanted three children, but the decision to raise a family came with a compromise. Despite having great jobs, the surgeon and physiotherapist say they couldn’t afford to stay in Vancouver.”

Laura Cain: “We’re lucky enough that my husband’s work allowed us to actually move out of Vancouver because the housing was so expensive here and now in Cranbrook and there housing prices (are) much more affordable.”

Dr Ryan Cain: “You know, as a young surgeon starting out here the cost of living is something to consider. In the Kootenays its a little bit different and I’d certainly say you get a lot more for your dollar.”

Dr Paul Kershaw, UBC Early Learning Partnership : “You may be making six figures and still be having a mortgage of $600K for 700sqft and then you’re thinking about how do I have a couple of kids on my balcony?”

Announcer: “According to StatsCan, BC has the lowest fertility rate in the country, with more women giving birth over forty than any other province. In Canada they are also having fewer children than in other major Canadian cities.”

Kershaw: “Incomes have stalled for young families… they’ve actually dipped in BC.. and people have to pay for housing prices in BC that has gone up 149%

– from Global TV News, 21 Mar 2012

[hat-tip Liggsie, Greenhorn, others]

The speculative mania in housing is applying pressure on sensible people to leave Vancouver; this is bad for our city.
– vreaa


63 responses to ““Ryan and Laura Cain wanted three children. Despite having great jobs, the surgeon and physiotherapist say they couldn’t afford to stay in Vancouver.”

  1. Renters Revenge

    A surgeon and a physiotherapist can’t afford Vancouver, that should set off some serious alarm bells. Unfortunately, the vast majority will continue to ignore the alarm – content to just feel smug adoration for their $1.5M moss covered crackshack.

    Notice how the couple isn’t planning to head out to Surrey or Langley but clear across the province all the way to Cranbrook. That’s telling too.

    • These doctors are clearly spoiled and entitled brats. They should go live in Abbotsford, like everyone else has to, and leave Vancouver to those who can afford it.

      • He’s from Cranbrook and not at all spoiled or entitled. Makes a lot more sense for him to move back to his hometown than Abbotsford. Probably a good idea to know all the details before calling people out.

    • reality check

      Of course they can afford the Lower Mainland easily, they just can’t afford Vancouver. too bad so sad.

  2. Royce McCutcheon

    Certainly lines up with I’m seeing (health care professionals leaving). The implications of these sorts of departures still feel like they’re barely entering the public consciousness though. What’s weird to consider is a possible second wave of departures after a correction does arrive, as opportunities here dry up in the face of economic contraction (you have to think government support, public largesse, etc. that are needed to make things like health care and health research run dries up when money gets tight overall).

    * * *

    Anyways, here’s a preview of what probably comes next in this thread: F1 is going to 1) question the veracity of this story, 2) question the veracity of any similar stories posted here by people from the same background, 3) having asserted that these anecdotes are BS, will then post his own anecdote talking about how the reverse is true, 4) talk about the extensive number of foreign doctors who will rescue the situation as entitled local MDs leave (mis-citing province-wide statistics to make his point). He will then not respond to any post where he is re-butted, he might resurrect one of the many aliases he has used on this site, and he will accuse VREAA of bias. Good times.

    • F1 is going to point out that the subjects in the thread that are leaving are caucasian. Caucasian out, asian in.

      • Asian doctors? Do you know how hard it is to get foreign credentials recognized in Canada?

      • Asian doctors – who can actually practise here – will do the same math, and head elsewhere. Maybe not Cranbrook, but there’s always Calgary or Toronto with well established Asian communities.

        Oh and btw, [expletive deleted -ed.] racist.

      • Oh no you didn’t

      • any articles about asian couples leaving Vancouver due to affordability? There must be one – just one. Help needing finding one

      • [expletive deleted -ed.] racist!

      • Not sure why everyone is getting so uppity today. The whole lower mainland used to be populated by First Nations and we kicked them out and put the rest on reserves. So what’s the difference. Easy, come, easy go.

        Maybe we should apply for reservation status too…..oh wait, that was Point Grey……shit…..

      • Oh really? You kicked them out? Shame on you!

      • racist? To state the obvious? This is my observation. Am I wrong?

      • How is race relevant. If you don’t see this you won’t understand why it’s so offensive.

      • Come on, Bubbly. I think the analogy was apt. Look at how we (those of European descent) displaced the native inhabitants who lived in these very same neighborhoods for thousands of years. Obviously there are big differences but the point is only to take note of the fact that one culture can come to dominate a region from time to time and if those who think they are the indigenous owners cannot be organized enough to not cede their territory then they will lose it. In this case however our families have chosen to sell to the highest bidder. It is not racist to take note of the shape of the facts. Being brought up on the West Side does not give you any special powers over the outcome of the future demographic makeup. Sorry

      • Did the prople in the feature story mentione race? No. Did anyone before F1 mention race? No. So WTF are you talking about? Your “argument” is a straw man and F1 is racist. Those are the facts.

      • Who knows if you’re racist? What you are is ambiguous. And this is a clash of cultures. Russian, Zimbabwe, Iranian, doesn’t matter, the Salish had the same discussion two hundred years ago.

        I have friends of Asian ancestry, who have the same gripes about recent waves of rich foreigners. They just call it like they see it. Culture.

  3. I never heard anyone but the reporter claim the family couldn’t ” afford” to live in Vancouver.

    This is going to be a long comment section.

    Read my comments on RET for my thoughts.

  4. Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs

    I am really happy to see Dr. Kershaw point out this connection between high housing costs and low birth rates. It’s something I’ve been talking about for years now.

    Someone from this blog posted a link to an article also about Kershaw’s research, in which Canada’s high housing costs are depicted as our “unofficial one child only policy”. I couldn’t agree more.


    I think it’s also compelling that Vancouver’s birth rate is lower than Toronto’s. There seems to be a correlation with Vancouver’s high prices–higher than Toronto. The explanation for our low birth rate cannot be that we have a large gay population, as Toronto is also a major gay mecca. That refutes Livius’ bigoted statement: “Vancouver being gay friendly as it is ( as somebody mentioned) won’t help Canada’s birth rate to increase.Also “family” and “gay” are two incompatible concepts.As are “family” and “drugs”.Just saying. Common sense” (https://vreaa.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/some-are-saying-that-there-is-no-legitimacy-to-claims-that-working-class-or-low-income-people-should-be-able-to-live-in-the-city-of-vancouver/#comment-31996)

    The issue of low birth rates and high housing costs is something I commented about yesterday. Please excuse the ‘copy and paste’ from an old comment, but it is relevant to this latest anecdote:

    I said this yesterday: “A lot of my female friends in their late 20s and early 30s are dealing with that right now. They want to have kids. They’ve tried to be responsible and put off having kids until they are in a stable job and have a nice home–but that hasn’t materialized for them. They are struggling to make ends meet even without a kid. The choice they have to make is, do I have a kid knowing that I am condemning myself and the kid to a life of poverty or do I never have kids? It’s a really hard spot to be in. The logistics of raising a child on low wages, without childcare, in a precarious rental situation is very difficult.

    Yet we are always hearing about how Canada’s birth rate is too low and we need to rely on immigrants in order to reproduce our population and labour supply.

    But why can’t we just make it easier for families to exist in Canada and then maybe more people would have kids? In Japan, they’re paying women to have kids. Why can’t we do that? If our population is shrinking because people can’t afford to have kids, there is an economic capitalist imperative to make it financially easier for people to have kids. We need socialized child care, public housing for families (as opposed to supportive housing for drug addicts…which is all the new social housing the BC Govt is interested in), high-paying jobs that support families. That should be the answer to low birth rate. Not huge numbers of immigrants.”

    I would add these remarks today:

    The commenters on this blog will probably say, a real estate market correction will make housing affordable again. I hope you’re right and I’m praying for it. But I’m not just looking for the market to correct itself. I am a socialist and I think we need government-supplied public rental housing for families. Of course, this isn’t even on the political agenda in this country.

    When you think about it–all this bubble stuff, low birth rates, families not being able to reproduce, people being pushed out of their communities that their ancestors built, a perception (whether justified or not) that high housing prices are due to foreign buyers–this is a recipe for socialism of an especially nationalist flavour–nationalist socialism. Working class people are frustrated with NDP because NDP espouses more of an identity politics stance. We need a left wing socialism in this country that places the needs of the Canadian-born public at the centre of the agenda.

    • For what its worth, here is Mulcair’s platform:

      Although many people perceive him as a centrist, I think he will be a strong opponent to the Harper Conservatives.

      Interesting statement:

      “The number of Canadians seeking rental housing is far outpacing its availability. Right now the federal government can borrow at some of the lowest rates in history, so lets leverage that borrowing power, through the CMHC, to help build more rental housing across the board.”

      Mulcair also stressed the need for more mixed-income housing developments, such as co-op housing.

      “In the mid-1980′s, the federal government shutdown its program to help local communities develop more co-op housing projects, but the provinces didn’t pick up where the federal government left off. We need to provide the provinces with the assistance they need to make sure local communities have effective access to the low-interest financing that is already available to build co-op and mixed-income housing.”

    • probably catch some heat for this – so won’t bother replying. blast away. fwiw, i see the same pb but come to a very different conclusion. i don’t see good solutions coming from any supposedly benevolent all-knowing body. to start, even if it wanted to do the right thing, the decision process is impossible. i mostly see ways to co-opt me into a schemes i don’t like. just give me back my money, i’ll figure it out myself and am content to deal with any mess i may get into. i’m very confident myself and a bunch of like-minded buds can do a lot better. if it works, anyone who’d want to join up can chip in. or, they can find their own brand. we don’t know what would work for everyone else and won’t play social engineer. one of the reasons i left canada is because i got tired of being dependent on the govt for solutions. i’ve since come to realize they need me than more than i need them.

    • Remember when the Europeans kicked the natives off their lands?

      • Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs

        Farmer: Yes, we have a brutal history of colonization and genocide. I wouldn’t want to make too much of a comparison between what’s happening now with displacement of the poor and that history of colonization. What happened to the natives was far worse. That said, there are similarities. Europeans viewed North America as terra nullus–empty land–the people living there didn’t count–empty land ripe for the taking. It’s much the same way developers look at the DTES or the Little Mountain Housing Project or the building in New West where I was renovicted from. It’s terra nullus–the current residents might as well not be there.

        Two wrongs don’t make a right. Is my displacement just me paying off a karmic debt because my ancestors stole this continent from the natives? I don’t buy that.

        Bear in mind that First Nations people are also being caught up in the gentrification-induced displacement that is plaguing this city. It’s not just white people whose ancestors still the land who are being displaced. It’s First Nations, it’s Chinese, it’s brown people, it’s black people, and yes it’s a lot of white people–all make up the working class who are being forced out of Vancouver by high housing costs. When I speak of nationalist socialism that puts the interests of the Canadian-born first I am including all of the members of those groups, nationalities that are born in Canada. A multicultural nationalism, if you will.

      • Farmer – yeah, all this brisk business leaves urbanites myopic. A lot of people should take a drive to Seton lake or Dog Creek, get in touch with their roots.

        Aside, Some oral traditions foretold it. US was brutal. Canada more conniving, deceitful. That debt still hasn’t been paid.

  5. I avoid RET but looked at the thread. The real estate agents are attacking the couple when its the story that’s the problem. Its a mismatch.

    1) Wealthy couple decides its worth it to move to a small town for a variety of reasons, including getting a better bang for the buck in housing. They are not whining, despite what the hyper-sensitive real estate agents are saying.

    This is unfortunate for Vancouver because this shows some high-value people (eg. surgeon) are leaving/avoiding this city now, and this will have some impact on medical care etc. for all of us.

    2) A call for $10/day daycare, and interview with YMCA. Both are irrelevant to the couple in point 1.

    It would’ve been better to match this daycare story to the concerns of the wealthy couple: http://www.news1130.com/news/local/article/344514–parents-outraged-over-rising-price-at-vancouver-day-care

    Almost $2000/month of daycare. Yikes, at any income level.

    Good luck in Cranbrook, Ryan and Laura. You’ll want to leave before your children become incredibly bored teenagers.

    • For those who have difficulty finding it, here’s the RET thread.

      Here’s a comment from RET that I disagree with:

      “Too bad. The message isn’t “Couple can’t afford living in Vancouver ” but The hidden message was “The couple can’t afford to live in a newer West Side house with 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms””

      And here’s a comment from jesse over there that I strongly agree with:

      “I think people are asking for a “fairly” distributed housing situation, where those contributing to the city, whatever that means, are given a fair piece of the pie. Right now there are distortions wrought by speculation and debt accumulation that gives a false facade to this distribution. The result, as this story is attempting to highlight, is that the underlying economics simply don’t work for those who would otherwise contribute to the city’s economic output, and as such are moving.”

      In a fairly distributed housing situation, a specialist surgeon should be living in the 5-bedroom Shaughnessy houses. And in almost any other North American city, they would be living in such a house. But in Vancouver, that is not the current situation. Many of the people buying those houses are those who paid ~$150k to buy Canadian citizenship (probably less than the cost of their car) and, presumably, whose income comes from abroad and hence pay no Canadian income tax. This is the point that I find particularly deplorable.

  6. Sorry for the bad formatting but here are Statscan data on fertility rate based on province. BC had a poorer fertility rate 10 years ago, just like every other province. If high house prices are crimping family planning it’s not showing up; rather it could well be enhancing action in the bedroom.

    The news story is crap.

    Total fertility rate per 1,000 females
    Geography, place of residence of mother 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
    Newfoundland and Labrador, place of residence of mother 1,252.2 1,240.0 1,305.7 1,318.6 1,299.1 1,342.1 1,384.2 1,455.1 1,577.7 1,586.6
    Prince Edward Island, place of residence of mother 1,516.3 1,468.1 1,473.3 1,582.8 1,530.6 1,476.6 1,563.7 1,633.2 1,728.0 1,686.4
    Nova Scotia, place of residence of mother 1,373.6 1,358.5 1,371.8 1,379.0 1,403.7 1,399.1 1,400.2 1,481.7 1,541.3 1,502.0
    New Brunswick, place of residence of mother 1,387.2 1,376.1 1,390.1 1,413.8 1,398.7 1,406.9 1,457.5 1,523.8 1,587.9 1,587.6
    Quebec, place of residence of mother 1,431.2 1,470.2 1,460.5 1,484.4 1,477.1 1,515.9 1,616.5 1,686.1 1,738.1 1,737.1
    Ontario, place of residence of mother 1,476.2 1,508.7 1,474.1 1,491.8 1,502.6 1,511.5 1,521.8 1,573.9 1,584.8 1,564.1
    Manitoba, place of residence of mother 1,797.3 1,795.4 1,801.0 1,802.5 1,773.6 1,822.4 1,870.4 1,962.9 1,959.5 1,981.3
    Saskatchewan, place of residence of mother 1,760.1 1,801.6 1,824.1 1,863.2 1,856.1 1,871.7 1,921.9 2,028.4 2,048.5 2,060.5
    Alberta, place of residence of mother 1,638.4 1,649.1 1,689.4 1,737.5 1,739.0 1,749.2 1,815.0 1,903.4 1,917.3 1,891.8
    British Columbia, place of residence of mother 1,383.6 1,378.9 1,376.9 1,395.2 1,387.1 1,391.9 1,408.0 1,515.2 1,505.4 1,495.6
    Yukon, place of residence of mother 1,596.5 1,558.0 1,558.9 1,518.4 1,666.8 1,476.6 1,686.1 1,580.2 1,637.9 1,656.2
    Northwest Territories including Nunavut, place of residence of mother18
    Northwest Territories, place of residence of mother10 2,000.4 1,822.9 1,885.3 2,049.0 2,025.3 2,112.7 2,068.6 2,112.3 2,081.8 2,061.0
    Nunavut, place of residence of mother 3,158.3 3,029.3 3,039.9 3,104.4 2,959.4 2,735.5 2,842.9 2,972.8 2,980.9 3,242.9

    • You also have to adjust for demographic, I think. I was born in the dip between boomers and the echo boom, so there were fewer of us having kids 10 years ago.
      Ontario has a higher fertility rate 10 years ago, too.

      • Very good point Absinthe where aggregate numbers are concerned. Here we are looking at ratios though so the numbers can be compared to groups over time. There is more to the story than meets the eye. We are (in general), better off and better educated than our parents and those two factors alone can lead to lower rates of fertility. It is all about choices.

        You might like this though. I have gotten to know a family of newcomers in the last while. They are here on landed immigrant status and so do not yet have Canadian citizenship. There is always the worry of being sent home again.

        What they are doing therefore is having more children. They can’t afford them but that does not matter. The baby, you see, is Canadian before the parents based on birth records and that is a kind of insurance policy. I discovered that two other ladies who are friends of this gal are doing the same thing.

        So fertility rates amongst new immigrants might be higher in some cases based on very strategic decision making processes. You have got to have children born in this country. They get passports even if Mom and Dad do not.

      • I don’t need to adjust the demographic to show that BC had a lower birth rate than Ontario 10 years ago. Higher prices lead to a lower birth rate… I guess that makes sense but from what I see it’s hardly an acute condition.

  7. Wow. If a surgeon and his wife, physio (high paying, respectable, legit professions) decide not to live here due to high housing prices, how do most people decide they can manage a mortgage and qualify for one!!!!!

    • And what’s stopping them from renting, which is cheaper? Pride or stupidity?

      • Unless they can secure a longer term lease it likely doesn’t fit with many people’s lifestyles. The Kootenays offers a better deal for them. Don’t take it personally, it’s just business.

  8. Vancouver in the Rearview

    So, this anecdote really struck a chord for me, because I work in healthcare. Unfortunately, to say too much about where I work and what I do would give my identity away. However, it’s enough to say that I work for/with a large health organization in the lower mainland.

    Here is the bottom line:

    Recruitment to Vancouver for skilled health professionals is nearly impossible. For very skilled, technical, health professions, out-of-city recruitment just doesn’t happen. If they don’t already live here, they aren’t coming. They can make more money ($5-$7/hour more, depending on the profession) in Alberta, with housing costs way lower to live in Edmonton or Calgary. For people with families and/or student loans, Vancouver is a non-starter. Our pay here is relatively low compared to other jurisdictions, and our cost of living is enormous. Plus, our employment scene really isn’t that great here for spouses – yes, there are jobs, but the professional ranks here are pretty thin. We don’t build stuff in Vancouver – in fact, I don’t know *what* it is we actually do here!

    Yes, Vancouver is a pretty city with water and trees and mountains, but guess what – you can’t eat the scenery and more young families (the ones you want to recruit for the long haul) do the math and say ‘better value elsewhere’.

    I’m leaving too – just got back from a weekend in Seattle and my wife and I said “and why do we stay in Vancouver?” We have five university degrees (three Bachelors, two Masters, one PhD in progress – in health sciences and engineering, in case you were wondering) and we can’t wait to pull the pin to move to a place where we can have a house of our own and be around people that do more than just talk about real estate.

    As an aside, the bigger problem with real estate in this city is that it has turned the culture into one where everyone wants to be rich, without actually doing anything. Go to a city where people care about actually doing real work, creating value, building things….wow – what a difference in energy! More than anything, that is what Vancouver lacks, and unless that attitude changes, Vancouver will be condemned to also-ran economic status and will continue its status as an economic and cultural backwater.

    • Good for you. You are doing the right thing.

      As an aside, the bigger problem with real estate in this city is that it has turned the culture into one where everyone wants to be rich, without actually doing anything.


    • Nobody is anonymous here, Rearview. Get over it. You might just as well post under your own name because your identity is very easily accessible. Not complicated stuff anymore. Actually, I suspect we will all be posting under real identities in the future and this age of anonymity will fade away. Frankly, I look forward to seeing who the big mouths really are once the thin veneer of internet privacy is gone. I am sure it will lead to a more civil society…….and a lot of lawsuits too for all the bad crap people said in the past!

      • Dead hypocrite, why don’t *you* post under your own name?

      • By the way…great post Rearview. You made a terrific point when you mentioned the energy. Sadly, one of the outcomes of the bubble in Vancouver is that too much talent has been funneled into in a single “get rich easy” endeavor and you are right…it is killing innovation. Nobody can concentrate because this circus mania built around house wealth has become such an exaggerated cartoon. I think it must be pretty bad for the mental health of the people living it every day. Besides just packing up and leaving town, the only real outlet seems to be posting notes of anguish on internet sites like this and hoping to hear from like minded people.

      • Show me yours and I will show you mine. Are you cute?

      • I value my privacy.
        You are the one looking forward to the day “once the thin veneer of internet privacy is gone”. So, why wait? Lead by example. Don’t forget to use a nametag when you are walking on the street, too.

      • Your privacy is gone. The ‘lawful access” legislation and other regulatory changes under the Omnibus Crime Bill are intended to make on-line privacy a thing of the past and open all records at the discretion of those with accountability. In the meantime, keep shooting your mouth off. The records are perpetual and will all be open in good time.

        Seriously, i love this government.

      • I am aware of all that stuff. But you guys seem to be under the impression that the people in charge are omnipotent. And Farmer seems to be happy about that. Or was he being sarcastic all the time?

      • Dead serious Bubbly. This is about making society safer for everyone. I am a supporter. With new cross border information sharing protocols coming we should be able to end a lot of problems before they even begin. Why would anyone object? If you are living within the law you will have no problems whatsoever.

      • @bubbly. Dangerous but not omnipotent and they’re not making things better so they shouldn’t be in charge, IMO. Google rise of the praetorian state. Big business + big govt = fascism.

    • Good post. I love Seattle too. Please keep us informed of your departure plans so that we can enjoy them vicariously.

  9. Odd… Vancouver is so “world class”and so “internationally desirable” that everyone is leaving because of expenses, artists are leaving, young people are leaving and even surgeons. It’s so “world class” that everyone is taking off !, how odd the logic is of the local propaganda up there. Anyways as per fertility…10 years ago I noticed this, and would like to say that there are other social factors for the low fertility rates not mentioned. And one more thing.. a socialist system does’t create more wealth., but that’s another topic.

    • Pretty soon it is just going to be a city of old farts and rich Chinese immigrants who will be renting rooms to the working poor people they seem to despise so much and nobody will brag about real estate riches anymore because we won’t give a sh*t anymore. But who cares. Why own it if you can rent it. The view is still the same. Let the big shots drown in a pool of their self-made debt.

    • Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs

      “a socialist system does’t create more wealth”

      Free market capitalism won’t be creating a lot of wealth after the real estate bubble pops.

      I’m not necessarily interested in creating more wealth. At least with socialism, there is a more equal distribution of wealth. This allows for more stable, healthy communities in contrast to the extreme wealth disparities we get under capitalism and resulting real estate bubbles that just rip communities apart.

  10. Accept Vancouver for what it is: an overpriced and slowly gentrifying city. Wealth in this city is not generated by productive economic activities, but by surfing the supply/demand wave. If you want to have a good life but don’t want to or can’t play the game, pack and up and leave. LIfe is actually pretty good outside of the BPOE. If and when the big Vancouver housing crash occurs, it will be pretty messy anyways.

    • @ex 604, I packed up and left years ago and owned multiple properties. I lived there for 30 years. I am curious to see what happens and allot of this I saw coming years ago. Even the doctor that delivered me many, many years ago left, he got his license in US( applied) and moved to the palm springs. Im not surprised, even for a Dr.! There no money there.

  11. “As an aside, the bigger problem with real estate in this city is that it has turned the culture into one where everyone wants to be rich, without actually doing anything.”

    Good point, I’ll add my own two cents by making a few modifications to this paragraph:

    As an aside, the bigger problem with real estate in this country is that it has turned the culture into one where our parents generation wants to be rich, without actually doing anything.

    This paragraph represents the entire nation, especially our parents (baby boomer culture) and the subsequent toxic politics that follows. Most of our government policies completely revolve around it – from taxation to immigration. Vancouver is definately ground zero (it’s so bad that it’s become something you normally see in a hysterical cartoon), but make no mistake, the whole nation is hurting when we look relatively at the income to housing costs ratios across all our major cities.

  12. Vancouver in the Rearview

    Thanks for the positive comments, people. Farmer, for you to carry on about anonymity from behind a pseudonym is pretty funny – pot, meet kettle? I don’t need anonymity, but I would rather my identity be a little obscured. My views, while reasoned, aren’t necessarily the most popular among the baby-boomer house-owning set.

    Am I frustrated by this circumstance? You bet! My generation (late X, early Y) was told that if you worked hard and got an education, you’d get a good job and be able to have a good life and a family of your own. The social contract we were told existed appears to have been torn up by the boom generation, who have seen fit to drive up housing prices to finance their retirement, and to do so on the backs of their own kids. Student loans, high cost of living, fewer jobs, what jobs there are don’t pay well relative to the cost of living and still have huge barriers to entry. Pensions, those don’t exist in any meaningful way for my generation.

    Does it suck? Sure. Is it fair? No, but the universe is indifferent to me, just as it is to you. However, if we are to survive as a culture and a species, we have to start doing more to recognize that the cult of the individual builds nothing. Boomers need to recognize the impact their choices are having on the next generation and start to take steps, using enlightened self interest, to address these issues. If they don’t (because they’re in power right now), our overall standard of living will decline precipitously (no matter where one lives). If people think there are problems with seniors living in poverty now (and there are), give it twenty years. Unless things change, and we choose to get ahead of these problems by collectively recalibrating our expectations, we will have incredibly challenging times ahead.

    Ultimately, the math doesn’t work. We can make the math work if we change our expectations. That, I fear, is unlikely given the absence of thoughtful consideration of the needs of our next generation.

    • Actually I post with my regular name almost everywhere but here. Bet you don’t.

    • “If people think there are problems with seniors living in poverty now (and there are), give it twenty years. Unless things change, and we choose to get ahead of these problems by collectively recalibrating our expectations, we will have incredibly challenging times ahead”.

      Vancouver in the rearview,

      You are one I’m sad to see leave Vancouver. I’m part of a group working to change the lives of some of the city’s poorest and most neglected. It sounds like you know your way around the subject.
      I know lots of young families with kids and big mortgages. Believe me, the last thing on their mind is getting rich from owning real estate. Some of us are just doing what we can to provide some security for our family. All the best to you and yours

  13. “The speculative mania in housing is applying pressure on sensible people to leave Vancouver; this is bad for our city.”
    Shame. And how else did we approach this topic other than cluck cluck clucking for increased densification and importing foreign workers.

  14. “Recruitment to Vancouver for skilled health professionals is nearly impossible. For very skilled, technical, health professions, out-of-city recruitment just doesn’t happen. If they don’t already live here, they aren’t coming.”

    I’ve got multiple family and friends in the healthcare industry, and this is 100% accurate. Older surgeons, doctors, senior/specialist nurses and techs are retiring and not being replaced because nobody with skills in that bracket is interested in coming here and being house poor AND underpaid. And for everyone who is wondering why these people don’t rent, the rental stock in this city is poorly maintained and stupidly overpriced, landlord-tenant disputes are a nightmare, and it can be extremely difficult to secure a lease, meaning that there is no security, which is important for families with children in school. And that’s assuming you can find a high quality rental that will accept children.

    For most of these workers, it’s not worth the hassle when they can have a much higher quality of life elsewhere. Vancouver is slowly bleeding out, but hey, you can still get your Starbucks and Lululemon, so it must be OK!

  15. This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader
    amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost.

    ..HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that,
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