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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2014 Vol. 105 No. 3 • Established 1908

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THE VOICE OF VANCOUVER NEIGHBOURHOODS

NEWS: Council pay raises 5/ OPINION: Pursuit of happiness 11

Problem-plagued parkfocusof GrandviewAGM NEIGHBOURS, POLICE MEET TO SOLVE PROBLEMS AT VICTORIA PARK SANDRA THOMAS Staff writer

G

photo Dan Toulgoet

RainCity Housing communications manager Bill Briscall stands outside the Biltmore Hotel, which is undergoing renovations before it re-opens this month as temporary housing for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.

Biltmore to house homeless 95 ROOMS TO BE READY LATER THIS MONTH NAOIBH O’CONNOR

Staff writer

T

he former Biltmore Hotel at 395 Kingsway opens as temporary housing for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness, including long-time shelter users, later this month — almost a year after plans were first announced. The Biltmore building is privately owned, but B.C. Housing signed a six-year lease for 95 rooms. The ground-floor commercial spaces are not part of the lease. The province is covering operating costs, while the city is paying for building upgrades. Renovations are almost completed.

The 95 units will provide temporary housing to residents while more permanent housing is being constructed. RainCity Housing and Support Society will operate the hotel. Bill Briscall, RainCity’s communications manager, said housing the homeless or those at risk of homelessness who live in Mount Pleasant is the first priority. Staff from B.C. Housing and RainCity are selecting tenants. “The focus is folks in the community so [we’re] getting referrals from the recovery club on 12th, the Raven Song clinic through Vancouver Coastal Health at Ontario and Eighth and we’re filling up with folks who are sleeping at Robson Park and other parks nearby that I’ve seen,” he said. See NEARBY on page 7

randview Woodland residents are hoping for positive solutions to an East Side park that has been the source of hundreds of calls to police. A meeting at the Britannia Community Centre Monday night focusing on troublesome Victoria Park resulted in much helpful feedback, says a resident of the area. Steve Anderson said almost 60 people attended the annual general meeting of the Grandview Woodland Area Council Monday night to voice their concerns or offer feedback about the park. “There was a lot of talk about conflicting values,” said Anderson, a member of the council. “But the key message was the need for respect and consideration on all sides.” In November, as the result of a Freedom of Information report released by the Vancouver Police Department, the Courier reported police responded to about 900 calls to the park between October 2008 and October 2013. The description of the calls included: drugs, check well-being [of person], weapons, fights, assault in

progress, liquor act violations, indecent acts, robbery in progress, intelligence information, suspicious circumstances, theft, man down, breach of the peace, domestic in progress, suspicious vehicles and threats. In June, a man was attacked and stabbed with two knives while playing bocce at the park’s popular pit. Dozens of residents attended the meeting, as did Bill Harding, director of parks for the park board, Damian Murphy, the homeless outreach worker with the Kettle Friendship Society, several park rangers, Adrian Archambault, program coordinator of the Grandview Woodland Community Policing Centre and Sgt. Mike Lemon, also from the policing centre. Many residents said they were upset by public urination, defecation, intoxicated people passed out in the park and the number of dogs running loose. The park was redeveloped in 2008 to include new lighting, picnic tables and playground. “But what was also made clear is that there’s a sense of community among those same people who frequent the park to drink,” said Anderson. See PROXIMITY on page 7


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4

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W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

news

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Colin Hansen, a former B.C. Liberal MLA and cabinet minister, has confirmed he will not run for mayor under the NPA or any other party banner.

Hansen not interested in running for mayor 12TH & CAMBIE with Mike Howell

Y

ep, I’m back. And I’m proud to say I didn’t check my email, voice mail or jump on the Twitter during my short break. I know, I know — what kind of newsman does that? Don’t worry, I expect to more than make up for my reckless behaviour this year as the countdown begins to the November civic election. And, what the heck, let’s begin the countdown with this rumour floating around in the political ether that former Liberal cabinet minister Colin Hansen will run for mayor this year. The longtime Vancouver-Quilchena MLA, who retired last term but stayed on with the party to co-chair the Liberals’ incredible victory, would be a good catch for any party, don’t you think? He’s got a wealth of knowledge, is articulate and has a strong public profile — except, it turns out, he’s not interested in taking on Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Visionistas. How do I know? He replied to my email Monday. “After 17 years as an MLA, I think I have served enough time in elected office for one lifetime,” Hansen wrote. “Over the past year, I have been approached by individuals active in the NPA and my answer has always been the same — thank you, I’m flattered, but no thanks.” So there’s that rumour put to bed. Which leaves the NPA still searching for that game changer of a candidate to topple Robertson, who told me again in December that he will seek a third term.

Historically, the NPA likes to have a mayoral candidate in place by June. The party did this with Jennifer Clarke in 2002, Peter Ladner in 2008 and Suzanne Anton in 2011; Sam Sullivan didn’t get the nod until the fall in the 2005 election year after he shocked many by beating some challenger named Christy Clark. As I’ve written previously, NPA Coun. George Affleck still hasn’t decided whether he’ll take a shot at the big chair. And I haven’t heard anything from Affleck’s only other NPA colleague on council, Coun. Elizabeth Ball. Carole Taylor’s name is out there again, but when isn’t it? COPE has been silent on naming a candidate. So has the Green Party, TEAM and the smattering of fringe parties. Regardless, it’s no secret they all want to topple Robertson and Vision. And, if you’re old enough to remember, there was a time when Vision’s own Raymond Louie wanted to topple Robertson. I remember the summer of 2008 like it was, well, the summer of 2008. That’s when Vision held a mayoral nomination meeting on a sunny Father’s Day at the Croatian Cultural Centre. In a highly anticipated tilt, Robertson won 3,495 votes to Louie’s 2,244. Prior to Robertson joining Vision, Louie was touted by former COPE/Vision mayor Larry Campbell and one-time Vision mayoral candidate, Jim Green, as a future mayor. But Louie told me Monday that he will not challenge Robertson in a nomination battle. But, he said, he will seek another term as a councillor. “We have a good working relationship and I support the mayor,” Louie said. “I have no designs on the position at this point in time.” Only 11 months to go to the big vote. Yeeee-haaaa! mhowell@vancourier.com twitter.com/Howellings

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4

news SouthVan to get long-awaited seniors centre CENTRAL PARK

with Sandra Thomas

Aging with dignity is not a gift but a right,” said seniors advocate Lorna Gibbs at an event Tuesday morning at the Killarney Community Centre. “We have the largest, most diverse demographic in the city and we’ve been without a seniors centre. Soon that wrong will be put right.” Her comments came just moments after Conservative MP for Vancouver South Wai Young announced federal funding of $2.5 million towards a long-awaited seniors centre for Southeast Vancouver. Gibbs, who was met with a standing ovation after she took the podium following the announcement, has lobbied tirelessly for more than a decade to have such a centre built. While the West Side of the city has seven seniors centres, Southeast Vancouver, home to an estimated 27,000 seniors, or a third of the city’s seniors population, has none. “For 15 years, community members have tirelessly advocated for a seniors centre in South Vancouver,” Young told a large crowd gathered at the Killarney Community Cen-

photo Dan Toulgoet

MP Wai Young (left) announced funding of $2.5 million for a seniors centre yesterday morning much to the delight of seniors advocate Lorna Gibbs (centre), who has been lobbying for years to have such a facility built in Southeast Vancouver. tre Tuesday morning. “Seniors who have given so much to our country deserve a topnotch facility. Located in the heart of our diverse community, this seniors centre will improve the quality of life for seniors from all backgrounds and provide an accessible space for recreation and socialization.”

The Courier has been writing about the need for a seniors centre in Southeast Vancouver for most of those 15 years and as municipal, provincial and federal governments have come and gone, many promises were made and were not so much broken as they were never brought to fruition.

In 2009, the park board committed the land for a centre to be built adjacent to the Killarney Community Centre, while the city promised $2.5 million towards the project. Last year the province committed $1.3 million. It was hoped the remainder of the financing would come from Ottawa so Tuesday’s announcement was well received. The problem is the initial cost was estimated at $7.5 million, but since then has risen closer to $10 million. The $2.5 million comes from the Building Canada Fund — Major Infrastructure Component. The 10,000-squarefoot facility will include a reception area, six to eight meeting and multipurpose rooms, washrooms and office space. On hand at the announcement were Vision Vancouver park board commissioner Aaron Jasper, NPA commissioner Melissa De Genova and Vision Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie. Young said a start date will depend on how quickly the funding is firmly on the table. She said the next step will be meetings with the city and Liberal MLA Suzanne Anton, a former city councillor and park board commissioner. Gibbs ended her comments to the crowd with a not so subtle request that all three level of governments cooperate with a goal to see the project completed as soon as possible. sthomas@vancourier.com twitter.com/sthomas10


W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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news

Mayor, councillors to get pay raise AMOUNT OF ANNUAL INCREASE STILL TO BE DETERMINED MIKE HOWELL Staff writer

M

ayor Gregor Robertson and his 10 city councillors will get a pay raise this month. But how much of an increase is still being worked out. That’s because data relied upon annually by city staff to determine the raise isn’t the same as previous years and has resulted in a delay in setting salaries for 2014. The new methodology has Vision Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie worried the data will only reflect high wage earners and translate to a higher than normal raise for council. “I don’t believe that that’s appropriate — that’s a big concern for me and I don’t support that,” said Louie, who is the head of council’s finance committee. Louie said an increase should reflect what the average full-time employee in Vancouver earns, which was $65,860 last year. An independent panel that reviewed council’s salaries set that formula in 1995. Since the panel’s decision, an in-

photo Dan Toulgoet

Coun. Raymond Louie said an increase in his pay should reflect what the average full-time Vancouverite earns, which was $65,860 last year. crease in salary for council has been automatic in January and adjusted annually to track changes in wages as reported by Statistics Canada. This time around, however, the data was collected under the voluntary National Household Survey, which replaced the mandatory longform census. Louie, who argued in council chambers against the federal government’s move to the new survey, believes the new data won’t be as ac-

curate or reflective of wage earners. Response rates to the new survey, as he learned in reading an analysis by University of Toronto professors, have varied by location, socioeconomic status, cultural origin and family status. The analysis by professors David Hulchanski, Robert Murdie, Alan Walks and Larry Bourne showed people with higher levels of education, higher-status jobs, higher incomes and older people had higher

response rates. “Single parents and one-person households as well as renters had lower response rates,” the professors wrote in a recent editorial in the Globe and Mail. “So did those living in the richest and poorest census tracts.” Louie said other implications of a “skewed” average income could mean increased costs for childcare and affordable housing rental rates. “It relates to many other incometested services that are provided in our city,” he said. Last year, councillors collected $65,860, a jump from $64,385 in 2012. The mayor earned $149,503 in 2012, an increase from $146,156 the previous year. A councillor in Toronto earns $102,000 a year and an Edmonton councillor pulls in $87,995. Edmonton’s mayor earned $135,694 last year. NPA Coun. George Affleck said he didn’t choose to run for council for the money. Affleck, who also runs a public relations firm, said he would settle with no increase. “I’m not in it for the money,” Af-

fleck said. “Zero, zero and zero would be fine for my three years in office.” Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr, who estimated she works 70 to 80 hours per week, agreed with Affleck that she didn’t seek a council seat for the money. “Certainly, the facts are we are underpaid for a city of our size,” Carr said. “But the good news is that we’re pegged to the average income of Vancouverites and I just think that’s so eminently fair. We’re supposed to be representing the people of Vancouver.” But, Carr said, she would favour spending money on hiring more staff to assist councillors with the deluge of emails, letters and phone calls they receive. “We have wonderful staff but we share them,” she said. “I literally can���t keep up.” City staff is expected to finalize council’s salary increase before the end of the month. The mayor’s rate will be 2.27 times the rate of a councillor. mhowell@vancourier.com twitter.com/howellings

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W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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news

Proximity to liquor store cited as part of park’s problems Continued from page 1 “There are just varying degrees of what’s considered acceptable public behaviour.” He added some of the solutions suggested at the meeting included introducing more scheduled activities in the park, better maintenance by the park board and improved lighting, which is expensive and could affect neighbouring residents. “The meeting was a positive step,” said Anderson. Archambault said he had not known the park had be-

come such a trouble spot until contacted by the Courier in November. “But it was certainly useful in engaging people in conversation,” said Archambault of the Courier article. “There are less problems in the winter so it’s not as obvious at this time.” Archambault said many of the more serious incidents have taken place in and around the bocce pit, but acknowledged removing it would be an unpopular decision.

Nearby school has safety concerns Continued from page 1 One meal, prepared offsite, will be brought in for residents daily. RainCity Housing will also provide personal care items, clothing, and resources, such as nurse drop-in hours, treatment referrals, and helping with applications for long-term housing. The city is hosting two community information meetings about the Biltmore plans Jan. 8 and Jan. 11. Parents from Nightingale elementary school, which is about a block-and-a-half away from the building, have raised concerns about its proximity to the school. Jim Meschino, the Vancouver School Board’s director of facilities, said concerns centre on fears about student safety and potential problems on school grounds. VSB ground crews do regular sweeps of inner city school sites. “We were doing that already at Nightingale, but only three days a week. What we’ve done is taken that to five days a week at Nightingale to make sure that first thing in the morning the workers check for needles or condoms or anything like that that would not be suitable for a school site,” he said. “We have been meeting with the city and the city’s been meeting with the school [parent advisory council] directly and we’ve been listening to concerns. What we’ve said we would do, along with the city, is monitor any activity on or around the school site that isn’t appropriate and then those concerns would be brought forward by either us or the school PAC to the city, so we can try and mitigate any challenges that might come up.” Meschino sad not everyone is satisfied, although others see the need for this type of housing and believe it’s long overdue. Briscall said neighbourhood residents who have concerns should attend an open house. “Let us know [about concerns]. If you want to become really involved, there’s a community advisory committee that will be established once the building is open to address concerns — to both work out scenarios that could arise and figure out the best way to address them and also to address things as they happen,” he said. Steve Bohus, spokesperson for the Residents Association of Mount Pleasant [RAMP], wants “meaningful involvement.” “We support social housing in Mount Pleasant. We want the facility to be very, very successful and very well run and [to be] a good environment for the residents and to integrate the facility into the wider community — those are the goals,” he said. “The question is will the city’s plan get us there or are there many problems and has there been adequate consultation to date. This is where there have been significant issues.” RAMP held a community meeting about the Biltmore Dec. 18 and plans another one Jan. 9. The city’s first open house is at St. Patrick’s Regional High School from 6 to 8 p.m., Jan. 8, while the second one is at the Native Education College from 10 a.m. until 12 noon, Jan. 11. RAMP’s community forum is set for Jan. 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church. noconnor@vancourier.com

“But two weeks after that stabbing, the victim became the aggressor and came back,” said Archambault. “There are a lot of problems between people at the bocce pit.” He added many long term homeless people hang out at the park during the day. “It’s really like their living room because they have nowhere else to go,” said Archambault. “But we’ve heard that a couple of them are moving into housing.” Archambault said the

close proximity of a nearby liquor store adds to the problem. He noted staff at the store are working with the policing centre in finding solutions. “They won’t sell to anyone who’s drunk, but they get around that by sending the most sober guy in to buy,” said Archambault. “What’s important is we want this park to be for everybody so we need to come up with some solutions.” sthomas@vancourier.com twitter.com/sthomas10

Steve Anderson lives near Victoria Park.

photo Dan Toulgoet

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4

news

Begbie hosts open house CLASS NOTES

with Cheryl Rossi

T

he options under consideration for the seismic renewal of Sir Matthew Begbie elementary will be outlined at an open house Jan. 13. Vancouver School Board and city staff as well as Hughes Condon Marler Architects will attend to provide an overview and receive feedback. The school board is considering three options for improved seismic safety: a retrofit of the school, retaining the 1929 building and replacing the 1947 addition or a total replacement. School board staff will present their preferred option at the open house. Jim Meschino, director of the facilities for the school board, didn’t want the VSB’s preferred option or the estimated cost of each before the open house. The estimated cost range for the three options is $14 million to $20 million. The retrofit or a partial replacement would see the students housed in portables on school grounds. A replacement school would be built on another portion of the property at Lillooet between Kitchener and

Grant streets so students could remain in the old school until the new one was built. The 1929 portion of the school isn’t listed on the city’s heritage registry, but parent advisory council chair Peggy Hoffman notes many parents in the area attended Begbie. “So there is a lot of community attachment to Begbie,” Hoffman said. She noted the school isn’t wheelchair accessible and the bathrooms are in the basement. She said parents are excited about potential open areas where there could be day-to-day intermingling of classes. “The feel of the PAC is essentially how can we get this done. We all want our kids to be safe but we don’t want to ruin three years of their schooling,” Hoffman said. Feedback from the open house will be reported to the VSB’s planning and facilities committee, which will decide whether staff’s preferred option should be forwarded to the board for approval or whether more work is needed. Once the board approves a concept, a report is submitted to the Ministry of Education for funding approval. If the ministry approves the money, the design work is completed and development permits are requested. The earliest a seismically safer school would be in place is in three years. The open house runs from 3 to 7 p.m. in the multipurpose room at 1430 Lillooet St. crossi@vancourier.com twitter.com/Cheryl_Rossi

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W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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news Caring Award humbles Holocaust survivor ROBERT WAISMAN WAS 11 WHEN HE WAS SENT TO A CONCENTRATION CAMP CHERYL ROSSI Staff writer

R

obbie Waisman didn’t speak publicly about his experience of the Holocaust for 36 years after he left the Buchenwald concentration camp. But he’s spread his message of survival so well he’s being honoured with a Caring Canadian Award. The Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award recognizes individuals who volunteer their time to help others and to build a smarter and more caring nation. The award was created in 1995 and since then hundreds of volunteers have been recognized. Derek Glazer nominated Waisman because he felt his longtime friend deserved national recognition for educating and inspiring thousands of high school students across Canada and the United States. “I was able to get letters from lots of students from all over who sent in letters saying how wonderful the speech was and that this speech changed their life,” Glazer said. Glazer nominated Waisman for appointment to the Order of Canada but learned someone

photo Rebecca Blissett

Robert Waisman didn’t speak about his concentration camp experience until Alberta teacher Jim Keegstra started telling his students the Holocaust never happened. had nominated Waisman four years before. Glazer said another nomination couldn’t be considered until five years had passed. When officials told Glazer his 82-year-old friend could be awarded a Caring Canadian Award, Glazer approved the choice. They learned Waisman was a recipient last month. “I feel humbled,” Waisman said. “Of course, having gone through and survived the Holocaust I feel that I have a duty and obligation to make this a better world, and I represent 1.5 million Jewish children that didn’t survive.” Waismanstartedsharinghisexperiencesafter former Alberta high school teacher Jim Keegstra told his students in the 1980s that the Holocaust

never happened. Sharing his pain isn’t easy. “But I am compensated by the change that I see in youngsters and what they promise to do and what they’re doing,” Waisman said. Students he’s addressed have raised money to alleviate the suffering of children in Rwanda and around the world. Polish-born Waisman was 10 years old when he was separated from his family after the Second World War German invasion of Poland and 11 when he was put into the concentration camp by the Nazi occupation. He was one of 426 surviving youth liberated from the camp three years later in 1945.

“When I found out months later I couldn’t go home, everybody was murdered, I didn’t want to live,” he said. Waisman was the youngest of six children. His brothers, parents, aunts and uncles perished in the attempt by the Nazis to systematically liquidate European Jews. Only he and his sister survived.WaismanwastakentoFrancetostarta new life, laden with sorrow and anger. It wasn’t until a caring adult expressed disappointment in him and his defiant friends and asked them what their dead parents would want for them that they buckled down. One of his friends, Elie Weisel, won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. Waisman moved to Canada in 1949 and settled in Vancouver in 1978. He enjoyed multiple careers,married,hadtwochildrenandtreasures his two grandchildren. He’s former president of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre Society and was featured in the 2002 documentary The Boys of Buchenwald that aired on the Knowledge Network. Waisman also shares his message with survivors of Indian residential schools. “We were full of rage and we [couldn’t] move on in life,” Waisman said. “This is the message that I give to survivors of the residential schools. I tell them look what we did with our lives. It’s possible. You can do the same. And if you don’t, then you are handing a victory to your perpetrators.” Waisman hasn’t learned when or where he’ll receive his award certificate and lapel pin. crossi@vancourier.com twitter.com/Cheryl_Rossi

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4

THE VANCOUVER COURIER

1574 West Sixth Ave., Vancouver, BC V6J 1R2 604-738-1411 Twitter: @vancouriernews vancourier.com

Panel plays down effects of oil spill

B

ritish Columbia’s final submission to the joint review panel (JRP) that weighed all the evidence on the Northern Gateway pipeline took the commonly held view that an oil spill would have “severe effects.” Even Northern Gateway acknowledged as much. The company went into exhaustive arguments about how unlikely a big spill would be. But it didn’t dispute the widely held view that the effects of a big spill would be severe for the ecosystem involved. One expert consulting for the company explicitly confirmed as much. “It doesn’t take a lot of wit to come to the conclusion that a major oil spill would have significant adverse effects on a river.” Another said “adverse and significant acute effects can occur … adverse and significant chronic effects can occur.” So the province of B.C. put forth the view: “That severe acute effects on fish and other wildlife populations could result from a spill into a river is indisputable.” Turns out that’s wrong. It can be disputed. And it was, up to a point, by the joint review panel itself. In the huge report that approved the pipeline subject to 209 conditions, the JRP reached the conclusion that large spills on land or at sea would cause significant adverse environmental effects, but that “the adverse effects would not be permanent or widespread.” The report makes a clear distinction between large spills and small spills. As far as small spill of a few barrels are concerned, the JRP said spills from either the pipeline facilities, the shipping terminal at Kitimat or the tankers “are almost certain to occur during the life of the project.” It put the likelihood of a small spill over 50 years at 93 per cent, but said the balance of probabilities would indicate no lasting impact. The startling thing is that it reached a similar conclusion on large spills. A large spill was defined as one involving 5,000 cubic metres of crude oil or more that would spread from the immediate area, require a full-scale response and not be able to be effectively cleaned up. The JRP said it would not be likely and might not occur during the life of the project. But if it did, “natural recovery” would come into play. “A relatively large proportion of a large spill is likely to be naturally dispersed and degraded.” The panel acknowledged that a large one would have “short-term negative effects on people’s values, perceptions and sense of well-being.” But appropriate mitigation and compensation following a spill would lessen those effects over time, it said. So the conclusion was that a large spill would cause significant adverse environmental effects, but those adverse effects would not be permanent or widespread. That’s quite a departure from the common view that a major oil spill would be an irrevocable catastrophe. It also bypasses a widespread concern that no one actually knows how diluted bitumen behaves during a leak. It might be a scientific conclusion that stands on its own. But there’s one clue in the documents that suggests that if the JRP concluded the project was in the national public interest, it was obligated to conclude that the adverse effects of a large spill would not be permanent or widespread. Former National Energy Board chairman Roland Priddle, an expert on the process, was working as a consultant for Enbridge when he testified before the panel last year. He stated that if the panel found there were significant adverse environmental effects and related socio-economic impacts caused by the project, after proper allowance for mitigation of those effects, then the panel “should recommend against.” The B.C. government cited his observation in arguing against the approval. If you accept that proposition, then the panel could not accept the idea that a large oil spill would represent a long-term blight on the environment and still recommend in favour the pipeline. So the panel either discounted the potential for long-term damage in order to get to yes. Or it got to yes, then discounted the potential for environmental disaster, in order to backstop its finding. lleyne@timescolonist.com twitter.com/LeyneLes

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W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

WE WANT YOUR OPINION Hate it or love it? We want to know... really, we do!

Reach us by email: letters@vancourier.com

Getting ready to put one foot forward for happiness

I

t’s the new year so what’s a girl who’s fed up with feeling chunky and out of shape to do? Overly snug clothes, dreadful photos taken during Christmas dinner and the now hard-to-overlook jowls forming along my jaw line are doing little to boost the I-feel-good-about-myself attitude we’re all supposed to wake up with. (Does a bad photo — double chin, unflattering hair colour, droopy eyes, hunchedover posture, visible spare tire — spiral you into a state of misery as it does me? Future plastic surgery is only being ruled out because I probably will never be able to afford it. But let’s be honest. More people would undergo plastic surgery if money weren’t an issue. So, how much is an eyelift anyway?) Should I join a gym like the rest of the sheeple forking over their hardearned money this month only to see it go to waste after giving up on their New Year’s Resolutions by Jan. 31? I’ll pass, thanks. Gyms work for people who work the gym. I applaud them. It is a certain breed of people and I discovered long ago I’m not one of them. My preference is to get outside, breathe in fresh air and get exercise in a way that it doesn’t seem like I’m exercising. Rain has never really been a deterrent. Mostly, it’s working full time at the Courier then heading home to work full time taking care of all home-related duties and chauffeuring the kids around to all of their activities. Pffft, some of you may say to my excuses of lack of time. You gotta make the time, Hughesie. And so I do. My family is also now realizing the generally accepted wisdom that if you’re good to mama, mama is good to you. And just for the record, when I’m chauffeuring my kids around to soccer practice, games, swimming, Brownies, skating etc, I have tried to get in some exercise while waiting to pick them up again. I’m just not keen on being out in the dark near forested areas on my own and worrying about two- and four-legged creatures. Thanks to my colleague Naoibh O’Connor, 2014 is going to be the year of my return to happiness via improved fitness. I can already feel my heart growing two times in size. O’Connor succeeded in convincing me to enrol in a Sun Run training program through my local community centre this week. She took the time to find the program online. I just needed to fork over my credit card info and – boom — I was signed up. No turning back now. You wouldn’t know it to look at O’Connor, what with her trademark Irish pasty pallor and affinity for black clothes that even her young children question, but she’s completed a handful of 10k runs and I know come every Monday morning at work before the April run, she’ll greet me with a question: Did you get in an extra run on the weekend? But paying someone to lead me on runs outside has always been odd for me. I can run for free on the streets. Do I really need to pay someone for that? Yes, I do, especially since my level of fitness hovers at a three out of 10. I need help, motivation and purpose. The training will kickstart what I hope will be a return to a more active lifestyle if only because I will have other people to run with (and I’ve paid for the training, which also includes the race entry fee, Sun Run T-shirt and long-sleeved training shirt). I’ve completed one 10k run before and loved it but that happened because I had a running partner who was as committed as I was. It was also pre-kids when free time seemed limitless. The Pacific Spirit Run through the trails of Pacific Spirit Park is how I like to run. Trail running is so much more pleasant and easier on my joints than running on asphalt, but I’m not about to go negative before I’ve even started my training. My only fear, given I’m a bit claustrophobic, is running with 50,000 other people come race day. My excitement about the Sun Run appears to be infectious. I’ve already recruited another mother in my neighbourhood to join me in the training program. You may even see a decked-out Courier crew running in our trademark red T-shirts. On board so far are O’Connor, sports reporter Megan Stewart, her parents, myself and freelancer Jennifer Thuncher. With a bit more nudging, other newsroom staffers may also slip into their running shoes. fhughes@vancourier.com twitter.com/HughesFiona

FIONA HUGHES

CANADA POST NEEDS TO START BANKING SERVICE To the editor:

Re: Geoff Olson’s cartoon, Dec. 20 According to CEO Deepak Chopra, Canada Post has to make difficult changes to survive, but the difficulties under his plan will be borne by Canada Post workers, urban householders, seniors and the disabled. Another option would be for Canada Post to introduce a postal banking service, which would increase revenues and provide additional benefits to the Canadian public. And if Mr. Chopra and his team cannot handle this transition, then the first change must be a change in management. Larry Kazdan, Vancouver

COPE ON THE WAY UP, SAYS LOUIS

To the editor: Re: “Vision rides high as Vancouverites fume,” (Dec. 24 Allen Garr has it 50 per cent right. Vancouverites sure are fuming, and who can blame them? Vision Vancouver has handed tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars to developers in return for “affordable housing” — the catch being that affordable housing is now defined by Vision as market rental. Developers put studio apartments on the market for $1,440 apiece — Vision calls it affordable and waves the Development Cost Levies with a smile.

This is just one of many examples of Vision putting the interests of developers ahead of residents and neighbourhoods. Where Garr has it 50 per cent wrong is in his reference to Vision riding high. According to the most recent Justason Market Intelligence poll, published in September, the combined support for COPE and the Vancouver Green party is 34 per cent — within striking distance of Vision, who have fallen seven per cent since last year. At COPE’s AGM earlier this year, the turnout was over 400 — more than the combined turn-out of all other municipal party AGMs. COPE is on the way up and Vision is on the way down. Tim Louis, COPE Internal Co-Chair

RUNNING CLUB’S FEES HARDLY ACCESSIBLE

To the editor: Re: “Running club good for a girl’s soul,” Dec. 18. While a running program for tweens may be very good in theory since many girls get discouraged from sport at this age, to charge $295 +GST for only eight 1.5-hour sessions is ridiculous. The club’s mission statement of “empowering girls with tools to live healthy, active lives and create a community where girls are respected” rings very hollow when the program is directed to the wealthy who already live in neighbourhoods where girls are respect-

ed, and already have access to healthy food choices and many opportunities for positive personal development. To truly live by this mission statement, I suggest the cost be lowered to one that the average family can afford and that the programs be held in communities where the most vulnerable girls would benefit.

Camille Roberge, Vancouver

MAYOR SHOULD GO TO SOCHI, NOT GAY COUNCILLOR To the editor:

Re: “Gay councillor to take mayor’s place in Sochi,” Dec.13. Why do we have to send a gay councillor to Sochi’s Winter Olympics? Wouldn’t our mayor or any of our city councillors be capable of addressing the International Olympic Committee about human rights for people of all sexual orientations. I would hope so. Gail Cryer, Vancouver

PREMIER NEEDS TO WORK AS HARD ON POVERTY AS PUBS

To the editor:

Re: “Pubs cheer new B.C. liquor laws,” Dec. 17 (online). Is it too much to ask Premier Christy Clark to work as hard getting children out of poverty as she does getting them into pubs? David Anderson, Vancouver

ON YOUR MIND ONLINE COURIER STORY: “2014: The Year in Stars,” Jan. 2 Donna Morgan @DonnaMorgan8: Three full pages on Astrology?!? Please, resolve to give at least equal coverage to SCIENCE in 2014! COURIER STORY: “Stolen bike surfaces at binners market,” Jan. 2 Michael Geller @michaelgeller: Thanks @VanCourierNews for Gavin Fisher’s expose on sale of stolen goods at city-funded #DTES ‘binners market’. Hopefully #VPD will act! Aaron Chapman: There are monitors at the site apparently, and they do their best to keep that stuff out. I think every once and awhile its going to happen, and the system may not be perfect, but at this point I think it’s not fair to urge some sort of shutdown. Leona Rothney: No the City doesn’t care that they are selling stolen property COURIER STORY: “Kerrisdale businesses grapple with change and closures,” Dec. 19 Bea Westlake: I find this very sad as I loved shopping there, also I prefer small stores to malls, usually can find one of a kind! Follow us on Facebook: The VancouverCourierNewspaper and Twitter: @VanCourierNews

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Letters may be edited by the Courier for reasons of legality, taste, brevity and clarity. To be considered for publication, they must be less than 300 words, signed and include the writer’s full name (no

A11

initials), home address, and telephone number (neither of which will be published), so authorship may be verified. Send to: 1574 West Sixth Ave., Vancouver BC V6J 1R2 or email letters@vancourier.com


A12

THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4

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Prices are in effect until Thursday, January 9, 2014 or while stock lasts. Quantities and/or selection of items may be limited and may not be available in all stores. No rainchecks. No substitutions on clearance items or where quantities are advertised as limited. Advertised pricing and product selection (flavour, colour, patterns, style) may vary by store location. We reserve the right to limit quantities to reasonable family requirements. We are not obligated to sell items based on errors or misprints in typography or photography. Coupons must be presented and redeemed at time of purchase. Applicable taxes, deposits, or environmental surcharges are extra. No sales to retail outlets. Some items may have “plus deposit and environmental charge” where applicable. ®/™ The trademarks, service marks and logos displayed in this flyer are trademarks of Loblaws Inc. and others. All rights reserved. © 2013 Loblaws Inc. * we match prices! Applies only to our major supermarket competitors’ flyer items. Major supermarket competitors are determined solely by us based on a number of factors which can vary by store location. We will match the competitor’s advertised price only during the effective date of the competitor’s flyer advertisement. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO LIMIT QUANTITIES (note that our major supermarket competitors may not). Due to the fact that product is ordered prior to the time of our Ad Match checks, quantities may be limited. We match identical items (defined as same brand, size, and attributes) and in the case of fresh produce, meat, seafood and bakery, we match a comparable item (as determined solely by us). We will not match competitors’ “multi-buys” (eg. 2 for $4), “spend x get x”, “Free”, “clearance”, discounts obtained through loyalty programs, or offers related to our third party operations (post office, gas bars, dry cleaners etc.). We reserve the right to cancel or change the terms of this program at any time. Customer Relations: 1-866-999-9890.

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W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

A13

EVENT OR COMMUNITY NEWS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT? 604-738-1411 | sthomas@vancourier.com

Karateheadsoutsideforannualbeachpractice COMMUNITY CALENDAR

with Sandra Thomas

WEST END The annual Shito-Ryu Seiko Kai Karate-Do 44th Beach Practice takes place Jan. 11 at English Bay. For anyone not familiar with the event it includes a run along the beach to warm up, followed by a karate workout and finishes up with a “refreshing” dip in the frigid waters of English Bay. According to a news release, the event is an annual tradition started in 1971 by Shihan (Master) Akira Sato and takes place the third Saturday of January each year. Due to a scheduling conflict it’s taking place Jan. 11 this year. The event is free and everyone is invited. For more information visit shitoryu.net.

DOWNTOWN I could fill this column with details about the interesting programs being offered by the Vancouver Public Library, but since that’s not an option here’s a sample. The Book Lovers Reading Circle runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon Jan. 16, at the Central Library, 350 Georgia St. The event is described as a fun and interactive way to share favourite books with other enthusiastic readers. Participants are asked to bring a few must-read titles, authors or themes they’d like to share, be prepared to explain why they enjoyed them and, if so inclined, read a short passage. Also scheduled is Buying and Selling on Craigslist, part of the VPL’s Wired for Learning Series. On the hunt for a new home or a lamp? Need a job? Craigslist is the place to look and VPL staff can help get you started

with this free hands-on workshop. There are several sessions available beginning Jan. 25 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the computer training room at the Central Library. Basic computer, Internet, keyboard skills and an email account are required. The VPL is also offering Afternoon at the Movies: Hitchcock, a movie that offers a sneak peek behind the closed set of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller Psycho. Hitchcock, an adaptation of the Stephen Rebello novel, stars Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. The event takes place Jan. 22 from 1:30 to 3:30. Admission is free, but registration is required by calling 604-331-3603. For a complete list of events and tips on how to register visit vpl.ca/calendar/index.php.

Japanese origin had initially been told their homes and farms would be protected and preserved for the duration of the war, so what changed? Stanger-Ross suggests this Vancouver story demonstrates the complicated ways in which race influenced policy in mid-20th century Canada.

Suspect Properties: the Vancouver Origins of the Liquidation of Japanese Canadian Property in WWII takes place Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut St. The talk is free. sthomas@vancourier.com twitter.com/sthomas10

UNIVERSITY OF B.C. Women Transforming Cities and the Alma Mater Society’s Sexual Assault Support Centre are hosting an evening of discussion and planning about sexual assault on public transit. Dialogue Café: Sexual Assault, Safety and Public Transit is Jan. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. in room 205 at the UBC Student Union Building, 6138 Student Union Building Boulevard. The goal is to discuss ideas for improving public transit safety for women and girls. Angela Marie MacDougall, executive director at Battered Women’s Support Services, Anisa Mottahed, manager of the Sexual Assault Support Centre, and Wendy Hawthorne, senior sergeant with the B.C. Transit Police, will speak briefly and a roundtable discussion will follow. Participants can join in discussions in English and Farsi. Admission is free. Visit ubc.ca and search for “Dialogue Café: Sexual Assault, Safety and Public Transit.”

KITS POINT As part of the Vancouver Historical Society Speaker Series, author Jordan Stanger-Ross explores why in the spring of 1943 the government hastily sold all Japanese-Canadian property in Vancouver. Residents of

BCIT WELCOMES PRESIDENT Kathy Kinloch The British Columbia Institute of Technology welcomes President Kathy Kinloch this week. Kathy is a widely recognized educational leader—her career includes senior leadership positions in health, government, and post-secondary education where she has successfully led strategy development. She has also served as Dean, BCIT School of Health Sciences; Senior Advisor, British Columbia Ministry of Health; and Chief Operating Officer, Fraser Health. Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) from University of Alberta, a Master’s Degree in Leadership, and a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching, both from Royal Roads University. Kathy joins BCIT at a key moment in the Institute’s history as we prepare to celebrate our 50th anniversary in the Fall of 2014.

photo submitted

The annual Shito-Ryu Seiko Kai Karate-Do Beach Practice takes place Jan. 11 at English Bay in the West End.


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4

FUTURE SHOP - CORRECTION NOTICE

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he idea to own a café, a coffee shop or something along those lines — it was just a dream after all — came up during Ganga Jolicoeur’s first date with Walter Le Daca some 20 years ago. The couple met at the now longgone Commercial Drive restaurant Le Grec; he a server, she a patron with friends who dared her to introduce herself to the fellow Argentinian. A whole lot of life happened between then and now: they dated, married, lived in Mexico (where they were involved with the ACA World Sound Festival in Acapulco for a few years), had a daughter named Uma who travels so well they were able to pack themselves into a pick-up truck and drive to Mexico from Vancouver during the fall of 2012. But the dream of having a shop of some kind in Vancouver never went away. And then Le Daca came across the empty storefront at 994 Nicola St. and knew it was perfect. The Greenhorn is located in a small building in the middle of a neighbourhood, with a drycleaner’s on one side and a fire hall across the street. Working in the West End appealed to Le Daca. “The West End is a very proud community,” he said. “That’s something that’s always appealed to me.” With the help of close friends as well as outdoor designer Kevin Paetkau, whose daughter Deuphine Apedaile works at The Greenhorn, the space was meticulously appointed with touches that would look right at home in coffee-cool Portland, Ore. From the care-free floral arrangements sprouting out of wall-mounted sconces and the industrially distressed wooden shelves featuring Elderflower Presse juices in old-fashioned tonic bottles to the rolled brown paper menus featuring a lovingly assembled assortment of sandwiches and Moja bean coffee features, every detail was accounted for. Walk upstairs and visit the café art gallery, which currently features homage to Le Daca’s love of anything with two wheels: three vintage bicycles posing as sculpture.

photo Rebecca Blissett

Walter Le Daca and Ganga Jolicoeur stand outside the Greenhorn during the first Saturday their coffee shop was officially open. Le Daca’s love of vintage motorcycles and bicycles is also on display in the coffee shop’s gallery space. For more photos, scan this page with the Layar app. Sometimes a good idea, good work, and good instincts override the sensibilities of having a business plan, something Le Daca and Jolicoeur never bothered with. “It’s the Greenhorn way,” laughed Jolicoeur, referring to the three Englishmen who bought most of the land in the West End during the 1860s, and were mockingly labeled greenhorns by the locals who considered them silly for their plan of making bricks out of the area’s clay. Last Friday was the first day of the official opening (up until then, Le Daca often invited neighbours in for a coffee as he was experimenting with the machines) and was packed all Saturday long with a continual line of people who repeated the same thing, “We’ve

been waiting for 15 years for this to open up in the neighbourhood.” One of the neighbours, who got to know Le Daca and Jolicoeur during their six months of setting up, popped in and took in the crowd with wide eyes. He told Le Daca that he must know all the people, that they were charitable friends. “I stood up and called out, ‘Who here is my friend?’” Le Daca recalled. The response was nothing but looks of bemusement, and people turned around and went back to their chatter and coffee. rblissett@telus.net

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OPEN HOUSE

JANUARY 14, 2014 Vancouver College, a K-12 Catholic school for boys established by the Christian Brothers in 1922, is holding its annual Open House for prospective students and families on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at 5400 Cartier Street, Vancouver, BC, V6M 3A5. For more information call 604-261-4285 or visit www.vc.bc.ca (Applications are available online or from the Main Office)

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seniors

W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE

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January 2014

New beginnings

MOVING OR STAYING IN PLACE? REFRESH YOUR SURROUNDINGS AFTER

compiled by Helen Peterson

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re you an empty-nester with your home interiors still suited for teenagers or it simply looks dated? Have you recently downsized to a townhouse or condo and your furniture and décor are ill-suited?

this makeover delivers immediate results. esults. Upon completion of a consultation, Wolinsky will provide a variety of on-thespot finishing services to complete the changes.

New-i 55Plus Design Service is a business fronted by interior designer Karen Wolinsky, which helps boomers and zoomers - the 55-plus - to make changes, affordably, to their existing home or new enclave.

Wolinsky has the experience and innate ability to unify spaces. A 1970’s home can benefit from her vision that pulls the old and the new together for a modern and chic look, according to a satisfied client.

Wolinsky has experience with helping several seniors when they moved into The Terraces on 7th residence, and can seamlessly assist in making a new, smaller environment feel right like home.

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The main room carpeting was worn, and was replaced with hardwood. The stairs were carpeted, in low pile wool. The colour was chosen to unify the flooring, and to provide a slip-free surface. oughout The hardwood was extended throughout the kitchen to further unify the spaces. BEFOR E

She is also offering the New-I Coaching Consultation, which is a mini-makeover and idea session. By expertly rearranging furniture, art and accessories,

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and cupboards were chosen. The cupboards included interior fittings such as slideout shelves allowing for ease of use. The small opening between the living room and kitchen was enlarged to allow the kitchen to visually be a part of the living/dining area.

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4

Amica VITALIS™ Assisted Living Suites and Services with a Hospitality-Plus Attitude! When daily living activities such as bathing or dressing take a little more energy or agility than you once had, or if you would enjoy life a little easier knowing that a friendly face and helping hand is just outside your door, then it's time to consider the VITALIS™ way of life. Our VITALIS™ Assisted Living Suites are pleased to offer customized care throughout each day for assistance with activities of daily living. Call or visit today to learn more about our Independent Rental Retirement Living and our VITALIS™ Assisted Living Suites & Services. ~ Open House Week ~ Wednesday, January 8th to Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily Call today for a tour and stay for lunch compliments of our Chef de Cuisine Robert!

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seniors

Friendly faces

TRY NETWORKING WITH OTHER SENIORS

Get your free online subscription

compiled by Helen Peterson

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f you are over the age of 55 – and have barriers to leaving your home – you qualify for help in your home from a 411 Seniors’ Center outreach counselor. An outreach counselor can help you apply for important programs, such as: Seniors’ benefits (Canada Pension, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Disability pension), Housing (shelter referrals, BC Housing programs, SAFER).

W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

The 411 Seniors’ Outreach Counselors are volunteers who have been interviewed and carefully screened, and have had extensive training. The counselors speak many languages, are nonjudgmental, and open to differences and diversity. They treat all requests with confidentiality. There is no cost for this service. Call 604-684-8171 for more info.

They also handle referrals for legal information and Commission of Affidavits for services and filling The Vancouver Cross-Cultural Seniors Network is ideal for seniors from out applications. Finally, a all backgrounds who want to get together to counselor can refer you to share information, learn from each other, and work on appropriate community common issues. The Network is particularly interested in services, such as identifying and working on problems that seniors experience advocacy groups who when trying to access services and resources. help with issues like The Network meets once a month at the Trout Lake Community poverty, elder abuse, Centre. Everyone with an interest in seniors’ issues is welcome. To and legal services. obtain more information about the Cross Cultural Seniors Network,

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Sylvia McDougal good neighbour, blue ribbon pie maker, shopaholic

www.DiscoverTapestry.com Tapestry at Arbutus Walk 2799 Yew Street, Vancouver BC 604.736.1640

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4

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seniors

Freedom 55 ENTER YOUR RETIREMENT YEARS WITH A MINIMAL DEBTLOAD

Are you looking forward to leaving the hustle and bustle when you turn 65? Some people actually resent the idea of having to retire because they really love working. It makes them feel vibrant, engaged and valued. Others would prefer to put it off until they’re “forced out” because they just aren’t financially ready. Some haven’t saved enough, others are still paying off debt and then in some cases it’s both, which is a big concern. According to Statistics Canada’s “Retiring with Debt” publication, one in three retirees have some form of debt and that’s equally true for couples and people living alone. This debt can take different forms: loans, credit card debt, lines of credit, etc. But the good news is — if that’s how you want to look at it —that many retirees owe less than Canadian workers aged 55 and up. Their median debt is $19,000, compared to $40,000 for workers. Another recent survey indicated that only 24 per cent of Canadians are currently debt free, which is the best position to be in when you retire. The retirement planning experts from Desjardins Insurance particularly support this view because planning to work into your 70s and 80s is unrealistic. With the right plan, they suggest it’s possible to clean up your financial act and retire comfortably — on your terms. Remember, even if you weren’t able to adopt the best money managing skills throughout your working life, it’s still possible to make positive changes before you retire. Start by taking a closer look at your current financial situation. Carefully review your current budget: exactly

what is coming in and what’s going out. Next, calculate your total debt. There are two types of debt: debt that grows your assets (e.g. a mortgage) and debt that diminishes your assets, like: credit cards; lines of credit; bills (utilities, taxes, etc.); car payments; investment loans; student loans; mortgages. Now focus on paying off these asset-reducing debts, starting with the one with the highest interest rates. Once you’ve managed to pay these off, you might want to reduce the amortization period for your mortgage by increasing your payment amounts, payment frequency (e.g. weekly rather than monthly) or by making a prepayment. Once you’ve paid off your liabilities, look into what your cash flow will be during retirement. Other than your RSP and perhaps a company pension, what income can you expect from the government? You can find this information by accessing your Revenue Canada account on the CRA website. Once you have a better picture of what you currently have and what you can expect during retirement, sit down with your financial advisor for tips on how to top up your retirement savings. Article courtesy newscanada.com.

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W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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GOT ARTS? 604-738-1411 | events@vancourier.com

2

1

3 4

OUR

PICKS JAN. 8 - 10, 2014

For video and web content, scan page using the Layar app.

1 2 3 4

Vancouver’s only live, monthly variety show, PAUL ANTHONY’S TALENT TIME, kicks off 2014 right with a fitness-themed extravaganza Jan. 8, 9 p.m. at the Biltmore Cabaret. Highlights include septuagenarian singer Shirley Buchan, comedians Mark Little and John Beuhler, calisthenics with ex-Slow members Stephen Hamm and Terry Russell, EXERCISE EQUIPMENT, possible co-host Ryan Beil, and fan favourite the “cover charge piñata.” Details at biltmorecabaret.com. Fans of insects and modern dance, your shawl-cloaked prayers have been answered. Canadian dance icon PEGGY BAKER returns to the Firehall Arts Centre for the first time in 12 years with two companion pieces “inspired by the mysterious, interconnected world of insects.” COALESCE & ARMOUR spreads its spindly legs and antennae Jan. 8 to 11. For tickets and more details, go to firehallartscentre.ca or call 604-689-0926. Expect a sea of ink, Brylcreem and flame-adorned clothing as REVEREND HORTON HEAT, featuring guitar-beast JIM “THE REV” HEATH, unloads a wagon of psychobilly treats Jan. 8 at the Commodore in support of their new album REV. Nekromantix and Old Man Malarkey open. Tickets at Redcat, Highlife and all Ticketmaster outlets. Shirt-phobic rapper and Swollen Members alumni MADCHILD hauls his inky torso down to Fortune Sound Club Jan. 9 with guests Merukules, Born Stoned, Cutthroat, JC Subliminal and GKR. Tickets at Highlife, DIPT, Red Cat, Beatstreet and East Side Urban Wear. More info on fortunesoundclub.com.


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4

Notice of Development Permit Application - DP 13034

Public Open House

arts&entertainment KUDOS& KVETCHES

Orchard Commons | Vantage College You are invited to attend an Open House on Monday, January 20 to view and comment on DP 13034: Orchard Commons | Vantage College - a mixed use student housing and academic project. Plans will be displayed for this project.

Date: Monday,January20, 2014 Time: 3 - 5 PM Place: Atrium, Fred Kaiser Building, 2332 Main Mall Representatives from the project team and Campus + Community Planning will be available to provide information and respond to inquiries about this project.

For inquiries, please direct questions to Karen Russell, Manager Development Services karen.russell@ubc.ca 604-822-1586 This event is wheelchair accessible.

For more information on this project, please visit: www.planning.ubc.ca

KNOCKED UP Good news, commitment-phobes. According to a forthcoming paper from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, couples who experience an unplanned pregnancy are now more likely to move in together rather than go for the full meal deal and get married. We’re also willing to bet that those couples are more likely to describe moving in together as “shacking up” and pregnancy as “having a bun in the oven.” Maybe that’s just us. According to an article on the Vancouver Sun website, the shift away from so-called “shotgun weddings”intheU.S.ispartlyduetoalooseningof social stigmas regarding out-of-wedlock births. All of which raises several questions. Could there be a more unsexy, uninteresting study about people doing it? Why is a Vancouver newspaper running storiesaboutAmericanmarriagetrends?Andhow tired and possibly hungover is K&K that we have to resort to writing about this kind of stuff?

GOAL SETTING We realize the window for making New Year’s resolutions is closing and, frankly, a little tired. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t set some achievable goals for ourselves in 2014. For too long K&K has led an aimless, spiritually nomadic life. Our mojo has wandered. Our inner child has become a statue. The wind beneath our wings is now a resigned sigh. So here’s what we’re setting out to accomplish this year before all is lost. • We’re no longer going to eat cereal out of

a cup. For decades we’ve done this to deceive ourselves into thinking that eating cereal while watching The National is somehow inconsequential and merely a tiny snack that’s not really even a snack because it comes in a cup. But there is no bigger lie than eating cereal from a cup and mark our carb-addicted words, it stops today. • We’re going to make a concerted effort to stop using the word “retarded” even though deep down we believe we’ve had many meaningful and convincing discussions at parties sufficiently explaining why the term (as we use it) is in no way offensive and meant strictly to apply to government policies on climate change, cellphone bills and episodes of New Girl. But that will stop today. •WewillnotbuyanythingatWinnersthatwe wouldn’t buy at another store for full price. For too long we’ve settled for poorer fitting clothes that weren’t exactly the most becoming because it saved us a few bucks. In short, we didn’t respect ourselves or the people who had to look at us enough to pay full price for something we truly wanted. We’re sorry, and that will end. • We will no longer channel surf as a means of making ourselves sleepy. That’s what alcohol, smooth jazz and The Brothers Karamazov is for. • Cheese and pickles are not a meal. Sorry, delicious plate of cheese and pickles, but our codependent relationship is over. Probably. • Bragging about how we no longer drink Slurpees is no longer a brag-worthy accomplishment. We need to realize that most people did not have a Slurpee-a-day habit between 1998 and 2003, and finally slaying the so-called “Slurpee dragon,” while commendable, is not something to be proud of, let alone mentioned every few weeks. • Less talking, more rocking. twitter.com/KudosKvetches

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W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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arts&entertainment

Theatre and therapy share stage at PuSh festival IRISH ACTOR ENLISTS MOTHER AND THERAPIST FOR INTROSPECTIVE HAVE I NO MOUTH STATE OF THE ARTS

I

with Cheryl Rossi

t’s not often you see an actor, his mother and their therapist share a stage, but that’s exactly what will happen during the 10th anniversary PuSh festival’s Have I No Mouth. When Feidlim Cannon’s father died a sudden, preventable death 11 years ago, the loss caused a fissure in his family, and became the basis for his performance piece, which runs Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. Cannon, co-artistic director of Irish theatre company Brokentalkers, always knew he would attempt to keep his father alive through art. “Two weeks after his death I made a video piece and I’ve got some tattoos that are a tribute to him,” he said. But when his co-artistic director of Brokentalkers,GaryKeegan,suggested they fashion an autobiographical piece with Cannon’s mother, Ann, he immediately said no. “I’d seen a lot of autobiographical work where the artist had worked with their parent and some of those shows are really good and some of them weren’t, and the ones that weren’t good were very sentimental,” he said. But Cannon changed his mind after a couple of hours. He visited therapist Erich Keller for advice on bereavement therapy. “Very early on in the conversation I just thought, God, it would

Feidlim Cannon joins his mother Ann and their therapist Erich Keller on stage for Have I No Mouth, which reenacts their therapy sessions following Cannon’s father’s unexpected death. be very cool to have this guy on stage with us,” Cannon said. He was drunk when he asked his mother, who’d never previously been on stage, whether she’d appear in an intimately autobiographical show. He got sloshed on a cheap bottle of rosé on a vacation in Spain and asked her. Trusting her son and Keegan, she agreed.

Cannon and his mother saw therapist Keller individually and together. They recorded their sessions, Keegan and he listened to the recordings and picked bits around which to devise a performance. “So much stuff came up from those sessions,” Cannon said. “Stuff that I never had spoke about before, my mother had never

spoke about before.” Their resulting work, Have I No Mouth, sees Cannon and his mother “attempting to bring dead memories back to life. “And the audience will help us in those attempts,” Cannon said. “So it’s a bit like a theatrical séance.” The trio reenacts their therapy sessions.

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“It’s different most nights because it’s not completely scripted,” Cannon said. “Particularly the opening scene… depending on how we’re feeling on the night that changes all the time.” The production incorporates song, movement, video, audio and actual medical transcripts. Keller not only plays himself and therapist, but also morphs into a representation of Cannon’s dad. The performance delves as well into the death of Cannon’s brother, Sean, who died young. Have I No Mouth follows in the vein of Brokentalkers’ production The Blue Boy, which deals with the experiences of men and women who were incarcerated as children in Catholic residential care institutions in Ireland. Norman Armour, artistic and executive director of the PuSh festival, was taken with Have I No Mouth the first night he saw it in the Dublin Theatre Festival in 2012. He saw it a second night to test his response. “I’m half Irish so I hope I can say this, but [it’s] particularly Irish in that it’s fierce, it’s tender, it’s humorous, it has a sense of wit about it, but there’s also a sense of [a] begrudging kind of resentment, an unresolved tension to it,” he said. “It goes places that you wouldn’t imagine it ever going… In the end, it’s incredibly moving and ultimately celebratory.” Have I No Mouth runs at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island. The PuSh performing arts festival takes place at various venues around the city, Jan. 14 to Feb. 2. For more information, see pushfestival.ca. crossi@vancourier.com twitter.com/Cheryl_Rossi

presents

The Vancouver International Boat Show Presented by Boating BC is back January 22-26, 2014. Western Canada’s Premiere Boat and Accessories Show! Find Show Hours & Ticket Prices Online at vancouverboatshow.ca

Two Great Locations! - BC Place & Granville Island • Over 100 Seminars from Boating Experts • SS Minow & Gilligans Island’s Mary Ann!

created & directed by Joan Bryans

Win 2 passes to the 2014 Vancouver Boat Show est t Plus, an LED Plug Light provided by n Co TNA Marine worth $200 Email Name & Phone number for contest to; BOATSHOWCOURIER@glaciermedia.ca

puzzles

vancourier.com …get caught in our web

Tue - Sun at 8pm Matinées at 2pm

1675 DISCOVERY STREET

Tickets: $12-$22 Rsvns: 604-224-8007 ext 3 or jerichoartscentre.com


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4

arts&entertainment

Chekhov’s funnybone on display in UncleVanya BLACKBIRD THEATRE PRODUCTION PROVES INTIMATE AND RELEVANT UNCLE VANYA

At the Cultch until Jan. 18 Tickets: 604-251-1363 thecultch.com

U

ncle Vanya is one of Anton Chekhov’s funniest plays and John Wright, directing for Blackbird Theatre, captures all the humour he can find in it. While the descriptor “Chekhovian” has come to suggest ennui bordering on despair, Chekhov wrote many farcical short stories before turning to drama so he was no stranger to funny business. Many directors favour “Chekhovian” over funny — hence the prevailing misunderstanding that the plays are dreary. Chekhov himself was surprised to discover audiences in tears and accused Moscow Art Theatre’s director Konstantin Stanislavski of turning his characters into “crybabies.” For a play written in 1899, Uncle Vanya

feels very contemporary partly because of the fervent environmentalism of Astrov, a character whose concerns for the vanishing Russian forests mirrored Chekhov’s own. But even more modern is Chekhov’s exploration of the human condition with all its longing for love, for life, for fulfillment coupled with ineptitude and failure to communicate. While the playwright invites us to laugh at human frailty, he treats his characters with generosity, never with condemnation. In Uncle Vanya, Professor Serebryakov’s country estate is being managed by his daughter Sonya and his brother-in-law Vanya (Sonya’s uncle) while he and Yelena, his much younger second wife, live the good life in Moscow. At the beginning of the play, Serebryakov and Yelena are visiting and plan, possibly, to stay on; declining revenue from the estate is making it difficult for them to remain in the capital. Yelena, who married Serebryakov because, she says, “he’s a

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scholar and famous,” is bored beyond endurance. Vanya, a bachelor who has given his life to maintaining the estate, is smitten with her, as is Astrov, the local doctor. Sonya, hard working and plain, is in love with Astrov but incapable of telling him. Completing the list of characters are Marina (an old housekeeper), Madame Voynitsky (Vanya’s mother) and Telyegin, an impoverished landowner and hanger-on. While director Wright gets the humour right, his approach to Vanya gives the character more gumption than was possibly intended. Anthony F. Ingram’s Vanya is almost forceful, although to be fair, after each outburst, he backs wearily down. A usual reading of the character is more teddy bear, more pathetically resigned, more “Ah, well, it doesn’t matter.” Luisa Jojic, dressed in white and ivory in contrast to Sonya’s beige, brown and grey, makes a beautiful Yelena. Graceful and girlish, Jojic captures the desperation of a character locked in marriage to a pompous pedant; it’s probable that Yelena will take a lover but will it be Astrov? A real crybaby is Sonya and Cherise Clarke sheds many tears. In his stage direction, Chekhov now and again says Sonya is crying, but in this production, the tap seldom gets turned off. Very attractive Clarke is transformed into a plain country girl in

loose-fitting, drab garments whose very posture — head thrust awkwardly forward and wringing hands — conveys Sonya’s complete lack of confidence. Appropriately self-important is Duncan Fraser as Serebryakov, at times almost apoplectic; wise and motherly is Mary Black as Marina; silly and foolish is Stephen Aberle’s Telyegin; and primly proper is Donna White’s Madam Voynitsky. Robert Moloney is outstanding as Astrov, a country doctor with a drinking problem. Moloney makes Astrov’s frustration obvious while keeping the character just short of despairing; Moloney strikes the perfect balance. Uncle Vanya concludes with a long, fervent monologue by Sonya, which, if you can get past how ridiculous it is, you might find sad. She blithers on about her afterlife — and Vanya’s — that will be “bright, and beautiful and lovely;” that is, happiness deferred beyond the grave. Pie in the sky when you die. This production — performed in the round — is intimate and, while exploring stasis and ennui, is neither static nor boring. Designed by Marti Wright, it’s a handsome production of one of the great dramatic masterpieces. —reviewed by Jo Ledingham For more reviews, go to joledingham.ca.

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Robert Moloney (Astrov) and Cherise Clarke (Sonya) appear in Blackbird Theatre’s production of Uncle Vanya.


W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

A23

GOT SPORTS? 604-738-1411 | mstewart@vancourier.com

Houndspickupanewballgame POINT GREY SECONDARY IS THE FIRST PUBLIC SCHOOL IN VANCOUVER TO LAUNCH A FIELD LACROSSE PROGRAM MEGAN STEWART Staff writer

The intent of “ this club is to

M

arc Carmichael, the first lacrosse coach in the history of Point Grey secondary, was on the sideline at O’Hagan Field in late December shouting instructions at a field of helmeted players. “Don’t think of it like soccer!” “If you hit his stick, you’ll destabilize it — hit it!” And among the directions, a question: “Who’s the kid in the blue helmet? Tell him to come over here.” The secondary school has never had a field lacrosse team and neither has a Vancouver public school. The Hounds are the first, ever. They join Vancouver College, whose program dates to 2003 and now has junior and senior teams, in a large regional league that includes teams like the Maple Ridge Ramblers and Delta Pacers, which has a new lacrosse sport academy. Like the many Hounds who are new to lacrosse, Carmichael is new to coaching this sport. (He also coaches senior girls soccer at Point Grey.) The team now counts 15 players from grades 8 to 12 although there are not enough seniors for a team. Half the players are rookies. “There is no stereotypical player group,” said Carmichael. “We would love to recruit any player who has the desire to learn and play the game. We have a few girls interested in playing and the senior players are now getting wind of what the game can offer.” Called the fastest sport on two feet, lacrosse draws on elements of hockey and soccer and has a meaningful aboriginal tradition, but the first abilities players need to develop are their stick skills. “You can’t really do a lot if you can’t catch a pass,” said Jared Lynd, 15, one of the players who pushed for a team at Point Grey and who competes with the Vancouver Killarney Minor Lacrosse Association. “Also, I try and sometimes throw the body around, throw my shoulder into someone,” he said. The Hounds are bolstered by a few players from Vancouver’s lacrosse association whose Bantam “B” box team, the Burrards, came from behind to win gold at the provincials this summer. The city’s only minor league has supported Point Grey with equipment and other intangibles like encouragement and guidance. One of the winning Burrards coaches is Cody Macvey, who also assists at Vancouver College where Matt Esaw is the head coach. Esaw was thrilled by the addition of a second Vancouver high school pro-

introduce the joys and challenges to students who have dropped out of sports like hockey and soccer. — Marc Carmichael

photo Dan Toulgoet

Point Grey Hound Campbell Ferrie (No. 21) runs up field during Point Grey’s first field lacrosse game at O’Hagan Field Dec. 18. gram and said the Hounds are “groundbreaking.” The schools that have programs typically have successful lacrosse programs in their community, such as Delta, Coquitlam and Langley, he said. “However, it is a little tougher for schools in Vancouver who are not very familiar with the sport,” Esaw wrote in an email to the Courier. “That being said, things are changing in Vancouver.” The membership at the city’s minor lacrosse association is swelling, and Cana-

da’s national summer game is the fastest growing sport at North American universities and colleges, according to the U.S. Lacrosse Association. This means scholarships and post-secondary opportunities. Since the Vancouver College program launched a decade ago under the guidance of Jim Canil, the Fighting Irish have sent five graduates to Canadian universities, including Esaw who played both football and field lacrosse for SFU. From day one, the Fighting Irish program, as Esaw put it, “welcomed any stu-

dent with open arms, gave them a stick, and let them play. “I believe this is the mentality of most of the other lacrosse teams starting up around the Lower Mainland,” he said. That’s certainly the idea at Point Grey. “The intent of this club is to introduce the joys and challenges to students who have dropped out of sports like hockey and soccer,” said Carmichael. “For brand new kids, it is a great fitness sport with a quick and rewarding learning curve.” Over-run and out-scored in one early game, the Hounds improved as the minutes ticked by and found a way to score three goals in the final quarter. “It is amazingly rewarding,” Carmichael said. Lacrosse is not yet sanctioned by B.C. School Sports, but the March championship goes ahead independently, said the coach. “Because it is a club, players can join during the season.” In the first exhibition game of their maiden season on Dec. 18 at O’Hagan Field, the Hounds wore donated Burrards jerseys and counted at least 10 players on loan from their more established Fighting Irish hosts. The score, terribly imbalanced, was irrelevant. Carmichael and volunteer assistant coach Nicole Ferrie explained the game as it unfolded, pulling players aside and also shouting across the field. To a player Ferrie said, “You see how fast this game can be? You can never outrun the ball. Pass it instead.” Ferrie’s son plays for the Burrards and her knowledge of the sport is as evident as her ability to share it with the teen boys. The Hounds will continue to develop before the spring championship. On that topic, Carmichael bellowed one more important message at his players: “You’re looking up, boys!” mstewart@vancourier.com twitter.com/MHStewart


A24

THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, JA N UA RY 8 , 2 0 1 4

sports&recreation Urquhart eligibility hearing stalled PLAYER AWAITS RULING ON ELIGIBILITY FOR SEATTLE CATHOLIC SCHOOL MEGAN STEWART Staff writer

T

he president of Seattle’s Eastside Catholic failed to appear at a hearing this week to explain why she ruled Vancouver’s Drew Urquhart ineligible to play basketball at the private school. Sister Mary E. Tracy, also the school’s CEO and a nun with the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, was absent from a hearing of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Monday afternoon in Seattle. The Urquhart’s family lawyer, David Smith, said the meeting was scheduled on short notice but he was surprised by her absence and will now try to get her statement in written form. “We were unable to cross-examine her about some of her allegations and we’ve asked [the WIAA] to hold open the hearing so we have a chance to take her deposition and then develop some evidence that proves what she’s saying isn’t true,” Smith told the Courier Tuesday morning. The WIAA can rule Urquhart is eligible. In December, Tracy said Urquhart’s enrolment in Eastside Catholic raised too many “red flags” and she determined he could not play basketball. However, when she made the decision in the springtime, she didn’t inform the family. Later that summer, Urqu-

photo Dan Toulgoet

Drew Urquhart is prevented from playing basketball for a private Seattle school. hart started class and began training with the team. Sister Tracy could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning. Smith has argued that Urquhart is a foreign exchange student. However, Smith said the Urquhart family has now also heard of another concern, one that arises because that the teen athlete is boarding with a member of the school’s board of trustees who is also a significant financial booster.

The accusation is that the host father paid for Urquhart’s tuition. Smith said this is untrue because Drew receives financial aid from the school. “A lot of these problems could have been fixed if they’d only communicated directly with Drew and his parents about these things. Drew would have considered living at a different host family,” said Smith, who noted the host father wasn’t on the board

when Urquhart first applied for financial aid in 2012 near the end of his Grade 10 year. Urquhart was accepted for financial aid at that time but deferred his enrolment until his Grade 12 year in 2013. In Grade 11 he attended St. George’s, a private Vancouver school. The Urquhart family met the host family during a basketball tournament in Seattle. Smith said the Urquharts had already decided Eastside Catholic was a good school for their son. Tuition at Eastside Catholic is US$18,995. “[The school] had some mechanism for funding the financial aid that [Urquhart] was awarded in 2012,” said Smith. “They then awarded him financial aid in 2013 and from our understanding, all the money that goes to pay for scholarships, largely comes out of charitable donations that are made by donors and there is no way to trace the money to any one person. “This is the school having a problem with one of its board members who’s also a financial donor to the school. In my view, that’s an internal problem. If they don’t like what [the host father] has done or is doing, they can kick him off the board, they can tell him we don’t want your money, give it back. Don’t blame Drew for the grievances you have with [him].” Smith expects a WIAA decision in the coming weeks. mstewart@vancourier.com twitter.com/MHStewart

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