Showing posts from February, 2011

The Bygone Days of By-Law Enforcement Are Back

Victoria and the CRD is heavily legislated. You would think you were living in a totalitarian regime given the number of laws on the books. You can't use a tanning bed if you can't vote. You can't idle your car. You have to shovel your sidewalk. You can't smoke in a doorway (though you can shoot up in a doorway-- the lesson there: shoot up crack, don't smoke it.). We don't feel the boot of The Man, because they bylaws are complaint driven. If you don't name who you are and drive the complaint nothing happens. This explains why the lunch time drive-thru at Wendy's is a hazy mass of motorists who don't get cited for the Clean Air by-law.

This from the City of Victoria:
Complaints can go to their email address:

To avoid delays in processing your complaint, and to ensure a Bylaw Officer can contact you, please ensure that you have provided your name, address, and phone number. Please note that the City of Victoria does not …

ICBC - They aren't insuring my part of BC

Victoria BC reacts very poorly in the face of a little snow. People from the mayor on down neglects to shovel their sidewalk. The municipalities clear the roads late, do it only once or not at all-- with over a dozen fiefdoms, it's a sampler plate of incompetence. The snow removal efforts are underfunded and somnambulistic. When people pay a steep premium to live in this pretty little town, they love the infrequency of snow. They forget that when it hits, we fall apart. A tiny amount of snow becomes a crisis. Levels of public service come across as confused and ill-prepared. Yesterday, the police told people to stay off of the roads, but large employers like UVic and the Provincial government kept it business as usual. BC Transit said the buses were running (with the exception of many routes). Schools stayed open and I think that's largely because of the school's unofficial primary role: state run day care. We have kids trudging to school on icy sidewalks-- dodging meathea…

Bill C-32 plea from Access Copyright

The Writers' Union of Canada, under the leadership of its Chair Alan Cumyn, has put together a video (link not provided) featuring five writers about the perils of Bill C-32, Canada's controversial new copyright bill.Access Copyright encourages all of our creators, publishers and member organizations to spread the word about this video.I figure that Access Copyright gets most of the issues surrounding intellectual property wrong, so there's no need to spread their pap.
The video features two-time Governor General's Award winner Nino Ricci, and builds awareness on how Bill C-32 and the education exceptions will hurt Canadian writers' ability to make a living. "Without strong copyright protections, professional writing in this country will be irreparably harmed," says novelist Alan Cumyn and author of the video. "Thousands of authors and artists across the country have been writing their MPs, protesting parts of this bill. This video puts face…

Exit Through the Gift Shop

I've just finished watching, Exit Through the Gift Shop
I will have to write more on it, after I have a chance to digest this documentary.

Do Victorians Live In a Pressure Cooker?

Do we live in a pressure cooker? As we look at houses for sale, we see the squished little properties where every last square foot has been built out-- where they build toilets into coat closets and calling it a bathroom. We're literally getting squeezed. Victoria's population of 78,000+ is small by comparison to a lot of places. But look at it from a viewpoint of population density and check out where Victoria ranks among BC cities. This explains why such a "tiny" place can have such road congestion and cramped housing.
.CityPopulationArea (sq. km)Cooker Factor (population / area).Vancouver 578,041114.715,039.15.Victoria (City not region)78,05719.683,966.31.North Vancouver 45,16511.853,811.39.New Westminster 58,54915.413,799.42.White Rock 18,7555.163,634.69.Duncan 4,9862.052,432.20.Langley 23,60610.222,309.78.Burnaby 202,79989.122,275.57.Port Coquitlam 52,68728.851,826.24.Richmond 174,461128.761,354.93.Surrey 394,976317.191,245.23.Port Moody 27,51225.621,073.85.Coqui…

It's Time To Put Your Money Where Your Meter Is

Victoria is in the throes of pretending to attempt to include rail to the Johnson St. Bridge replacement. They let the bridge fall into disrepair. They pushed through a referendum that excluded the rail and deployed a lot of dubious tricks to get the votes they needed.
When local provincial representatives were urged to come out in support of rail, they failed. Maurine Karagianis, the NDP MLA for Esquimalt-Royal Roads said:
"We know that a rail crossing on the Johnson Street Bridge is important... I believe that government needs to be seen as not only understanding our growing transportation challenges, but ensuring funding is in place to satisfy our current and future transportation needs. The corridor is deteriorating; the time is at hand to make a commitment to this region and without senior levels of government at the table, the opportunity may be lost... I encourage you to continue lobbying the Minister of Transportation ( on this important …