A Reader’s Perspective

This via email from a reader, who prefers to keep their name out of it, so here shared anonymously:

“I like reading your blog. Thanks for the perspectives.

The perspective that the Vanc prices are a “bubble” and “will crash”, implies that “it is all froth, no substance”, and there are no fundamentals behind what is happening.

I like reading your articles. However, l remain unconvinced about lack of fundamentals. Such as:
Globalization (ie sort of free movement of capital, people, products, information).
Low interest rates (ie:prices are about selling mortgage payments).
Low Canadian dollar make Cdn “cheap” (tanked to support oil exports).
Vancouver is a safe haven for rich people (ie: income tax evasion, no extradition, free education & health care as no income taxes).
BCLiberals and Fed’s are wealth managers for corporations/real estate & construction industry/etc. (ie: bought and rewarded by).
Property ownership is a right (ie owners and buyers can sell/buy how they like; just like for your car/used computer/etc).
Vancouver and area is a nice place to live. (for many reasons, not perfect, but nice). Some net 50,000 people moving here per year creates demand for housing.
Declining inventory of detached homes relative to all inventory (gobbled up for condos/etc).
Prices will not crash and stay low; rather they will fluctuate, but generally will follow inflation as minimum.
Vanc is not some industry dependent town that booms and busts; it has it’s own appeal/demand.

Not to say there are not issues. There are:
Stalled incomes.
Tax unfairness.
Public policies not in Cdn public interest.
Hijacked democracy.
Unaffordable housing.
Other sectors crushed by unaffordable housing.
And many others too in education, infrastructure, congestion, cultural.

Our governments can/should be doing more:
Buying up land in advance of transportation development (that is then allocated to public housing at cost, like how Whistler does; keeps cost lower).
Advancing mortgage money at Provincial rates.
Builds are done at cost, and exclude developers who add 20% profit to cost.
Rules to keep this housing in “affordable housing pool” (not allowed to be sold for “market”; see Whistler model, or Coop model?).

As a taxpayer – l am not in favour of subsidies. One taxpayer paying another kind of taxpayer. Not fair. And then tax payers are subsidizing the profits to banks, land developers, developers, speculators, etc. Not fair.

We need to shake off the concept that the free market solves social policies. The evidence is they don’t. The free market (made up of banks, developers, real estate industry, construction industry) can never ever sell housing that is affordable – not when their goal is “what the market will bear” or “sell to the highest bidder”, and maximize profits. Only a controlled gov’t intervention, at zero cost to the tax payer is fair to both taxpayer and those in need of affordable housing.

That there will be a crash? I don’t think so. Not permanent. Too many rich people/corporations depend on prices where they are. So does the gov’t who is both the silent partner (makes money) and wealth managers for these industries.

I think looking at what is “fair” for the most people, and “good” for all constituents, would be a more compelling perspective to effect helpful change on affordability. My two cents.

Regards.”

Thanks for these thoughts, Anonymous Reader.
I have many thoughts, but I’ll share just one:
Market participants (whoever they are) “depending on prices where they are” have never prevented market crashes.
– vreaa

89 responses to “A Reader’s Perspective

  1. VREAA nails it as usual.

    Vancouver being a safe haven for the flight of capital and criminals is no more permanent than a single change in banking law, tax law, or anti-terrorism surveillance law.

    Say, for instance, a law is passed that scrutinizes large transactions with the stated goal of catching terrorists. What a wide net that would cast. The party would be over at that exact millisecond, wouldn’t it?

    Yes globalization has changed a lot but globalization comes with the aggressive banning of cash and any other value transaction that cannot be scrutinized by government and law enforcement.

    If the commenter’s thesis is that the conditions described will not change here for another decade (or three, or five,) the commenter has not studied history.

    The commenter has not listened to the rhetoric from all levels of government and all parties vying for election.

    The commenter has not noticed not only the change in the rate of change in global conditions, but the change in the change in the rate of change!

    It is happening right now all around us, and pretending that it isn’t because a neighbour’s house is listed at a high price is like the people who pretend that the climate isn’t warming every time we get a cold winter.

    The ONLY certainty is that nothing will stay the same. The conditions that permitted the “Vancouver of the 2010’s” cluster (unprecedented in the history of the world) are transient.

    This too shall pass.

    Burnabonian

  2. Anonymous reader’s letter reflects a deep misunderstanding of how markets / competition work.

    “Vanc is not some industry dependent town that booms and busts.”

    This person has not studied history. Vancouver has been characterized by a “gold-rush” mentality since its early days — from its forestry and mining booms and busts, to the wild ups and downs of its now-defunct penny-stock exchange, to the latest and greatest of them all: a RE boom soon to become a bust of epic proportions.

    • eastvanlabrat

      Out of any city I’ve lived in in Canada, Vancouver has been the one where it seems nearly everyone I’ve met has some sort of get rich quick scheme. It’s like living in LA and just about everyone has some movie script or something similar they’re working on.

  3. Do people here have an opinion about cities where police and fire games are held? What more perfect way to control a hedge city, by the global overlords, from uprisings, than to have this militarized group familiarize themselves with the terrain.

  4. PS the hunting of criminals doesn’t need to take place in Canada at all.

    Every transaction has two sides. And in the case of capital flight, at least one of them by definitition is in the country of origin. Recorded for all time in the databases of the state-owned banks.

    The “country of origin” in this case being the tyrannical death-ridden shthole that is so oppressive and amoral that those fleeing are willing to relinquish their family, friends, culture, history, and future in favour of living out their days as strangers in a strange land on the soggy and cold and boring west coast of a remote British colony.

    You think Christie and Justin have to catch every international criminal or else they go free? You think that unless the Fibberal Government goes hunting someone else’s money laundering problem, it will not be solved?

    Har. Har. Har.

    • Burnabonian is right.

      Once a great land of innovation, China today is a repressive dictatorship that invents next to nothing. Bureaucrats grow fat from corruption, while an elite business class profits from cheap credit, cheap labor, stolen IP, state subsidies, a devalued currency, and lack of competition. Meanwhile, the majority of the people remain devastatingly poor.

      The country has exceptions to the above, like Jack Ma, and some admirable traits, like strong values around education. But, overall, it’s a political, human-rights, and economic disgrace.

  5. 503 19th Ave E: lots of detail in the ad for this dreadfully laid out horrible pretense of a modern house. Doesn’t mention that it sits on a bog – the infamous Tea Swamp. Agent is keeping mum on that – sexier to talk about the frou frou. Listed up 3/4 mil after fewer than 4 years of ownership. Great views of cars bucking along the buckling road.

  6. I think the reader and the above bears both miss the point. I love how once a few guys launder money then we think EVERYONE is a criminal. What do you think would happen of 50% of US millionaires all wanted to get their money out of the US? Are they all criminals? If they all scattered around the world I would imagine there would be a few places where the price to local incomes would look like what vancouver looks like.

    There are legitimate reasons why they are here. We welcomed them with their money for two decades. We still welcome them with their money using super visas and the QIIP. No where does it say that avoiding china capital controls is an issue in Canada. We frankly don’t care about it cause we think China is a human rights abusing country so there are legitimate reasons why a successful business person would want to leave. China can control capital outflows but anyone with an idea of chinese history understands that such controls eventually are ineffective anyways.

    • Nobody implied that all buyers are criminals.

      The implication is that those responsible for the marginal transactions are more likely to be.

      i.e. the $5,000,000 cash buyer who reports no income and doesn’t live here and doesn’t care whether it depreciates.

      That’s the buyer valuing the entire market with his ludicrous transaction.

      That’s the buyer whose absence will be very conspicuous.

      After all, take that transaction out of the equation and you are left with nothing but middle class Canadians who are capable of flipping houses to each other on speculation only as long as money is free and they firmly believe that HAM trumps fundamentals forever.

      Free money, the HAM zeitgeist, capital flight, low enforcement in Canada and abroad. The four pillars our our housing clusterfck.

      Bulls believe that all four will exist forever. Bears believe that at least one of them is temporary.

      • I think your view of the market is far too simplistic. Again, there is a wide spectrum of buyers from middle income canadians to the extreme case that you are talking about. For one thing, middle class canadians (those who earn the median income) have zero shot at financing the amount needed to buy an average property in Vancouver. This isn’t rocket science, talk to any financing professional. The budget of most middle class buyers is only around 500K, and they do not buy in smaller vancouver period. So there is a ton of buyers that fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum that you are simplifying.

      • Whenever someone says that you are “simplifying” something that isn’t actually complex, it’s usually because they don’t like what you have to say. Obfuscation / bullsh*t is their best defense.

      • Err.. dude, you were the one who said my arguments were too simple before… you want me to dig up your comments for ya? So in your own words,

        “Obfuscation / bullsh*t is their best defense.”

        Hmm…. who is bullshitting now man?

      • Burnabonian

        @Brian you haven’t met a lot of middle class Vancouverites.

        Almost everyone in my social circle, workplace, who I’ve met at parties, and who I’ve heard of (who believes in the HAM zeitgeist) has an angle that lets them carry >$1MM in financing on very ordinary incomes. Everyone.

        Money from Mom and Dad, equity from other properties, using cash as equity to get financing then mining it back out via HELOC. Inheritances, student loans, partner’s condo HELOC, etc. Motivated people will find a way and motivated lenders / mortgage brokers / realtors will help.

        This is all only likely to continue as long as the HAM zeitgeist continues.

        The day that the perception of HAM dries up is the day that the lights go on at the nightclub and everyone realizes who they’ve been dancing with.

        Middle class Canadians will not generally buy a garbage property in a boring neighbourhood that they can’t live in for $1.5MM (that was obviously someone else’s flip) unless they believe that they will be reselling it for $2.5MM to HAM at some point in the future.

        Take away the idea of HAM and you kill the market the same day.

      • “Money from Mom and Dad, equity from other properties, using cash as equity to get financing then mining it back out via HELOC. Inheritances, student loans, partner’s condo HELOC, etc. Motivated people will find a way and motivated lenders / mortgage brokers / realtors will help.”

        Let’s take a look at these. First of all, most of the mortgages that middle class can afford are insured by CMHC which has strict rules on debt to income ratios and they use prime rate not the discounted rate to enforce those laws. Put it this way, even if you put your parents names on the mortgage or if they take out a heloc, that still needs to be income tested to be insured. Inheritances is not a debt. FYI, I am trying to see how much mortgage I can get and I have existing properties and the debt ratio including helocs is somewhere around 5:1 income. Now, I don’t want to go that far because 5:1 income would mean a huge mortgage that I don’t think I will ever repay. But for most middle class canadians without parental help you can’t buy a 1.5 M house. Now if parents decide to help there are two ways, 1, they sell their own places (a lot of them are doing that ) and give some to their kids. That isn’t debt, that’s just cash given. If they take out debt to give to their kids then that must also be income tested. Basically right now, if you want to leverage debt, so not cash that someone else gives you, then it’s hard for you to go above 5:1. If that cash that someone else gives you is also heloc or debt, then the said person would also have to be income tested. Of course, there are exceptions such as alpine credits and other “alternative” lenders but they don’t represent a large portion of the market.

  7. 775 39th Ave: Van Spec Dreck Lipstick Flip. Bought March last year for $1.636M. Listed at $1.989M. Paint is expensive.

  8. 457 45th Ave E: more Van Spec Dreck. Impossible to like. One of the worst laid out kitchens ever. Shiny blue door on this beige dump. That’s exciting. Yes, there is an illegal suite.

    • …”Vancouver, even more than London, has relied on aggressive subsidies to build its VFX boomtown. Beginning in 2003, British Columbia created a labor-based tax incentive that at its peak, when combined with a federal film program, added up to a staggering 58 percent tax refund for all visual-effects labor costs incurred by movies using local workers. The credit has since been reduced to 53 percent, but it’s still one of the world’s most generous: If a studio pays $1 million in labor costs to a Vancouver-based effects house, it will get $530,000 back as a tax refund, even beyond its tax liability. Most of the time, none of this money flows back to the VFX company. But when movie producers are comparing bids from one house in Los Angeles and another in Vancouver, they know which deal will literally give them more than half their labor costs back.”…

  9. Some of you have short memories. This has been going on for more than two decades. There was build up and buying in the 80’s before a downslide in early 1990’s . Expo 86 opened the floodgates and Vancouver changed forever. Asian money from Hong Kong flowed in the 1990’s (Remember the stucco boxes?!) It doesn’t matter what stripe govt be it municipal, provincial or federal, this has gone on during most of our lives. Globalization has magnified things even more, followed by the HGTV(media) factor that housing is cool. Then you have the entitled generation that feel they have a right to own a home by the time they are 25-30. Fuelled by low interest rates and fear of losing out, locals have been caught up in this cycle as much as foreign money. Just my 2 cents but I feel that Canada is going to experience some pain as the feds are taxing anything that moves and putting our kids at risk for massive debt in the future with all the deficits building up. Vancouver has been a second home. It is not the same city that I loved growing up in and has changed so much I question if and when we should bother moving back(mostly unaffordable now except burbs)

    • calguy is right. Anyone who lived in Vancouver in the 70s and 80s (a rare few on this blog) knows that it has changed for the worst. And, yes, the housing mania is due largely to locals. And, yes, Trudeau is destroying our kids’ future.

      • Oh, I’m sorry that Vancouver isn’t White and Angelo enough for you, and that those dirty stupid Asian are now rich and taking nice jobs that are rightfully yours, not to mention all the nice houses in good areas. Damn, they should have never removed those laws and deed conditions that prevent those undesirable Asians from buying houses in nice areas, or work in gentleman and professional jobs.

      • Who said anything about race? You’re projecting.

      • I think you touched one of Space’s nerves there Ninja. What you said certainly projects that way but I doubt people are really like that so I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. However… I do want to know how trudeau is selling out our kids.

      • white_angelo

        i really like this handle … can i have it?

      • Go ahead White_Angelo…no one is stopping you.

  10. How does a human rights abusing shithole produces so many super rich multi-millionaires? Usually, those of kind places produces some, but never a lot, and usually it’s all the dictators and their relatives. But with China, it’s seem like every other Wang, Zhang, Chang, Li are like multi-millionaires?! How is that possible?

    • Are you kidding?

      1) print trillions of dollars on a printing press that you own

      2) force one billion people to live a desperate, hand-to-mouth existence working for you, deprived of human rights and necessarily willing to do anything necessary to survive and protect their families

      Have you ever met anyone from the Mainland?

      • Space is from the mainland actually.. are you?

      • Yes, but I came here. However, I guess I came before the great crackdown and mass enslavement. I’ve been back to China a few times in the recent past, and experience is absolutely disgusting. Seriously!

        1 – food voucher / rationing coupons are no longer required to buy any of the basic necessities like before
        2 – there are freaking cars everywhere! My wife’s hometown – literally the smallest sized city above a rural village that even a lot of people in her own province / county don’t know exists or where it is have traffic jams! WTF?
        3 – No beggars on street!
        4 – They have pineapples, strawberries during the winter?! What the hell? I’ve never even seen real pineapples & strawberries while I was living in China
        5 – Even more crazy, that town is getting a 280km/hr high speed train next year!
        6 – Even absolutely mind boggling is that her relatives – sisters & nephews doesn’t even get excited about visiting Canada!? Seriously? Are those people that brainwashed??! Don’t they know they are living slaves in an absolute hellhole that smells of shit everyday, and breathing toxic air that give 6 months infants lung cancer? What is wrong with these people?

        It’s like going to a mental asylum where the treatment is to feed the insane more of their delusions rather than correcting / treating it.

      • They have fruit in China now. All is good.

  11. The fact that this reader think the government in the West can solve a fundamental issue shows he has no grasp of reality. Government interference will only make things worse, especially since they are bought and paid for by the developers & construction industry. You think any of the major civic parties is going to build & produce at cost family friend housing units for the public? When their campaign funds depends on developers & RE industry? If you get independent candidates who would do that, you think they will get elected by home owners who will face certain drastic decline in their home equity?? Good luck.

    We don’t have a true market. A true free market wouldn’t have tons of legal red tape that requires 6 months to 1 year or more for approvals, tons of useless “green” requirements that almost no actual homeowner cares for, restricted development / density, all the various zoning and bylaws that infringe on your property rights – which incidentally actually isn’t protected in Canada, etc. Get the government out of the business of housing, cut red tapes, stop piling on useless green / safety features, and NIMBYism and things will get a lot better. Asking for more government control is begging for trouble.

    Frankly I’m really troubled by this poster’s suggested solutions. A lot of them sound exactly what that shithole human rights abusing communist devil worshiping Chinese government would do. Do we really want to emulate that here?

  12. Good rant there Space – Anglos kowtow before the Rapacious “Royals” who robbed the peoples of the world and continue to suck them dry – forcing the conquered to pay forever. The IMF and World Bank are loan shark organizations backed up by the toughest enforcers in the world – the CIA (Cocaine Importing Agency), and the various secret services with license to kill. They were and are pirates. Patriotic mercenaries in the pay of the pimped out princes and queens. All that shiny gold braid and bullshit medals gives them chubs.

    When I went to school we had to stand at our desks and sing ‘god save the queen’. Repellent brainwashing.

    The problems of poverty, homelessness, starvation, mean nothing to these parasites. They put on their bullshit fancy clothes and get driven around in pimped-out carriages, waving their dirty hands. Blackhearted. Vile. Vicious controlling psychopaths.

    • Why don’t you move to Venezuela? Or how ’bout North Korea. Then you can free of those “vicious Anglos” once and for all, and they of you. A win-win.

      • There are worse places in the world. How insightful. Thanks for sharing.

      • Well, those 2 places haven’t actively try to export their ideology to other countries for the past 50 years now?

      • Yes, space. Because if N. Korea and Venezuela had adopted an open, democratic system its people would be so much worse off than they are today.

      • You mean like Russia after the fall of Berlin Wall? Yeah, it worked out really well for the average Russian in the 90s and 2000s.

        How about those newly liberated ME countries like Libya, Iraq, and work in progress ones like Syria and Yemen?

      • space889: Please join Arnie in emigrating to one of the statist paradises you so admire.

        Whether they would take you is another question, though.

      • Ah…I see you run out of actual logical arguments and reasons…

      • What’s that — you won’t move there? But why, pray tell?

  13. House Porn Department:
    A Vancouver reader received this link from a friend in the US.
    A home with soul, at U$91/sqft.. (check out the photos)
    (yes, yes, of course, it’s not the best place on earth…)
    https://www.trulia.com/property/3238426269-1205-W-Moss-Ave-Peoria-IL-61606

    • bears should move there in drove? should they not?

      • Except they don’t like to follow their own advice. You see, they think the world should bend and serve their needs, regardless of how ridiculous or unrealistic it is. In fact, reality has no place in a bear’s mind. Only what they think they deserve and they shouldn’t need to lift a finger to get it.

      • No wonder you are loathed on VCI.

      • You mean telling the truth and calling out BS. Yeah, people don’t like to hear bad but truthful things about themselves – like they are a bunch of racists, or that they are now wrong for so long and so badly that even a 50% crash isn’t going to help them out.

  14. 3587 25th Ave E: a highly desirable big lot, but at $1.866.666M – what’s with all the sixes – that’s a big nut. Not the first time it’s been listed – probably didn’t achieve ask. Refreshing to see a property that is the antithesis of staged. And two electric stoves in the kitchen? That’s a first.
    Owned for 7 years. Bought for $938K.

  15. Off Topic (at least from this post), but very interesting graph:

    http://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/home-capital-bleeds-another-291-million-in-withdrawals-in-just-one-day

    (Could just be coincidental… but nonetheless, interesting.)

  16. It’s election day, go and vote everyone.

    • Not everyone should vote. It is a serious responsibility and should not be undertaken by those who haven’t informed themselves and weighed the issues. You needn’t have formal education, but you must have devoted some effort toward making a judicious choice. That is not the case with many.

      • Are you seriously telling people that they shouldn’t be exercising their right to vote? And yet you criticize china for being a dictatorship? So what.. should we give people an information test before they can vote?

      • you seriously have a problem with people and their democratic rights. if you are a father, I feel sorry for your kids. your point of view is so short you could not see pass your zipper. if you are so over-educated, why are you not rich?

      • Get a brain.

        Everyone should be free to vote. But no one should vote purely for the sake of it; that would amount to handing over power to someone who you had chosen at random. How does that serve democracy?

        With citizenship comes responsibility. It is precisely because one’s vote is so valuable that it should be measured.

        And no, there should certainly not be a test. It is up to individuals to judge if they have fulfilled their civic duty to inform themselves before exercising this most precious of rights.

        Get a brain.

      • Wife says to Ninja, “honey, you should eat your veggies”…
        Ninja: “Actually honey, no… studies have shown that types a, b, and c, veggies are good for you, and types d cooked a certain way are bad… and types e.. could cause cancer… So you are incorrect in making such a generic statement for me to eat veggies cause it is too generic.. You need to be very specific after reading all this research to tell me to eat what type of veggies… and btw, get a brain lady for telling me such a dumb truism..”

        Dude, your family life must be amazing with such an analytical person like yourself who demands that everything be specific with all the fine prints clearly laid out. Cause you know… a message like “get out and vote, but only after you have spent the time which you have determined to be sufficient to make an informed decision as to which party is better suited to lead this province in such issues like a, b, and c” is exactly what everyone needs on election day.

      • And also again, are you seriously going to continue arguing with me over encouraging people exercising their right to vote?

      • That was just… bizarre.

        I didn’t say for people to not exercise their right to vote. I said for them to exercise it judiciously.

    • Snowflake Brian, who many years ago was granted citizenship by our generous country, is still struggling to grasp basic democratic concepts and civic duties. Let us be patient.

      Fred is bitter because he knows that, regardless of this election’s outcome, he’ll still be stuck in a trailer. Let us be forgiving.

      • “Snowflake Brian, who many years ago was granted citizenship by our generous country”

        Wow.. allow me to kneel and bow before the local canadian masters like yourself who so “generously” granted me the right to be here.. cause you know… the locals are just so much more superior right? Say.. if that is the case, why are you not here? Is it because america “generously” granted you the priviledge of being there? You really should bow to trump for allowing you to stay there you know..

        Ninja, tell us how you really feel.. is the fact that Canada is being taken over by immigrants affecting your ego? Come on, you can be honest…

      • I am happy in my trailer; all i need is gas, insurance, and trout lake cc facility.
        one advise, you don’t have to keep being sorry for your life, you know, i know your life is sucked comparing to your peers. but, if you think too much, you would end up in a psychiatric ward in a couple of decades.

      • and don’t have to be jealous at the success of immigrants either; they work very hard. you sit on your fat arse and whine all day.

    • [MotherJones] – Is Your City Being Sold Off to Global Elites? – Visas for sale, skyrocketing housing prices, miles of condos.

      …”See the little pair of shoes?” Kerry Starchuk brings her minivan to a halt before a sprawling manse with antebellum columns and a cast-iron fence and points to the front door. Sure enough, next to the welcome mat sits a solitary pair of clogs. Realtors do that, Starchuk tells me, “to make it look like someone is living there.” But a quick survey of the property spoils the ruse. The blinds are drawn. The lawn is overgrown and the capacious circular driveway is empty. Still, Starchuk credits the effort. “Some of the houses, you drive by and they haven’t even picked up their mail.”

      It’s midmorning on a Saturday in Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, and this is maybe the 20th example we’ve seen of what locals call the “empty-house syndrome”—homes purchased by foreign nationals, many of them wealthy Chinese, and left to sit vacant. Some will eventually have occupants; Vancouver is a top destination for well-heeled emigrants. But often, the new owners treat the houses as little more than vehicles for spiriting capital out of China. By one recent estimate, 67,000 homes, condos, and apartments in the Vancouver metro area, or about 6.5 percent of the total, are either empty or “underused”—an appalling statistic, given a housing market so tight that rental vacancy rates are below 1 percent. Hence the shoes: To shield absentee owners from public opprobrium, niche firms specializing in “vacant-property maintenance” will arrange elaborate camouflages—everything from timed light switches and “garden staging” to artful props, like pumpkins at Halloween and wreaths at Christmas.

      Yet such tactics can’t mask the emptiness of the houses or the ghost town vibe of entire neighborhoods. Here, for example, despite the sunny weekend weather, we’ve seen few pedestrians and no children—just contractors and realtor-looking types in late-model BMWs. Steering us around a contractor’s panel van lettered in Chinese, Starchuk tells me, not for the first time today, “I feel like a foreigner in my own country.”…

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/05/hedge-city-vancouver-chinese-foreign-capital

  17. Appreciate Auteur’s posting of the Mother Jones article – was going to read it at the library.

    3095 23rd Ave E: a uniquely aesthetic interior; huge lot; prime area; massively underpriced – a teaser price. Unless there’s something we don’t know. It is on the bank of the stream running down Lillooet. There are even paintings of the stream and fish along the asphalt.

  18. So basically El Ninja is saying, sure you have the right to vote, but you shouldn’t exercise that right unless you are qualified by some standards that only he knows. Seriously? This is his view of an open democracy?

    Didn’t they use that argument before? Like only landowners should vote cuz they have more stake in the outcome? Like women, people of color, etc shouldn’t vote cuz they are too dumb or naive to understand all the complex issues?

    So we shouldn’t have any tests to determine eligibility for voting. But people shouldn’t exercise their right to vote if they don’t measure up to some unknown arbitrary standard. WTF?? Should we have open democracy or not?

  19. Bears have some weird logic…Must be this kind of special ability that allows them to total miss the decade long Van housing boom, while making millions in the stock market via their rental savings over owning, beating 90%+ of all professional money mangers with access to million $ infrastructure, support staff, research reports, professional trading systems + terminal, etc.

  20. Brian and space: I’ll try to make it simpler to facilitate your understanding.

    Everyone should be free to vote. Everyone should be their own judge as to whether their vote is an informed one or not. If it is not informed, they should still be able to cast it; however, it is preferable that they abstain. That way, arbitrary voting is reduced and the overall vote reflects a more thoughtful weighing of the issues. None of this should be enforced. Rather, it should simply be part of our democratic culture and sense of civic responsibility.

    I know you come from communist dictatorship, and it is natural that such concepts be foreign to you. But you can still try to learn.

    On another note, your constant playing of the race card is lame. Reveals the weakness of your arguments.

    • Right, cause telling people that Canada “generously” allowed them to immigrate there has no implications of superiority at all. Did you forget to bow to the picture of trump this morning for “generously” letting you stay in the US? We all know immigrants aren’t assets to their new countries right? So it’s really a charity case that Canada allows these immigrants to show up here cause otherwise our economy isn’t going to ruins thanks to an aging demographic.

      • Most immigrants are assets; others aren’t. And yes, it is generous of Canadians to confer citizenship on immigrants. It is a privilege, not a right, to permanently relocate to another country.

      • Ok, that is YOUR opinion. Sorry, I don’t agree at all. If the citizenship
        option wasn’t part of the deal there are other countries to go to that offer these. Cause you know, smart people who would end up in the highest income tiers are not in demand right now.

    • So basically only vote if you are smart and inform. Ok buddy. Care to tell us all the intricacies, pros & cons of HST vs GST/PST? Or how about trade-off of Site C hydro dam? Or what each party’s position is on improving healthcare? etc? I doubt you are up to date or informed about even half of the major issues facing BC today. Even if you are, how do you know your opinions are right given that you haven’t done any quality research on each party’s proposals? Cuz your personal opinions can be totally wrong or at least biased, unless you have verified with some basic research.

      And really? You need to drag out communist dictatorship thing to justify your argument? When you are the ONE telling people they should NOT vote if they aren’t smart & informed enough? No sir, that doesn’t sound elitist at all buddy.

      • You’re right, space. My bad. People should make no effort whatsoever to study the issues and where each candidate stands on them. It’s so very hard. Better to just guess.

        Moron.

      • “moron”

        Pure class Ninja. Btw, so far you have called me “dipshit”, space “moron”, don’t believe we have used such language on you. But don’t worry, we come from third world dictatorships, it is useful to have a thick skin. Some of us don’t resort to calling others names after a broken nail.

      • Poor Brian and space. Go and have a cry-cry.

      • Real maturity there. Tell me, is this how you made your millions to “semi-retire”? Cause I am sure all millionaires spend their first waking moments on random blogs calling people names. Or is the “semi” the most important part of “semi-retirement”.

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