Conversations That Matter: Does it make sense to focus on single-use plastics?

Chris DeArmitt figures we’d be better off focusing on paper rather than plastic if we are worried about single-use items. The leading plastics scientist has written “Phantom Plastics,” a book in which he aims to debunk prevailing thoughts about plastics. He note both the banks of Canada and England chose to print money on plastic rather than paper because it was better for the environment. How can that be? “Life cycle analysis is the answer,” DeArmitt says. “Plastic money has seven times the lifespan of paper money.” He says the total carbon footprint and environmental cost of paper money far exceeds that of plastic banknotes, …read more Source:: Vancouver Sun… Read More

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Metro Vancouver house prices pushed up nine per cent at end of 2020 by bidders competing for few options

House-bound consumers competing for limited listings bid up the median price of a typical Metro Vancouver house by almost nine per cent to $1.56 million by the fourth quarter of 2020, according to realty firm Royal LePage. Royal LePage released its latest quarterly home-price survey Jan. 15, which showed prices generally up seven per cent to a median of $1.16 million across all property types in Metro. It was detached houses that saw the biggest price gains, showing another sign of the impact from a mid-pandemic rebound in Metro real estate sales that saw record activity in December. “Well-priced, intelligently priced homes are selling and often in multiple offers,” said… Read More

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B.C.’s top property sales undeterred by pandemic travel restrictions

A stately Shaughnessy mansion on leafy Selkirk Street sold for $23 million last Aug. 23, making it the most expensive home sale in B.C. in 2020, according to research by Landcor Data Corp. and information from the B.C. Assessment Authority. With a professional gym, indoor pool and tennis court, the house, titled the Redwood, has “everything one could want if we ever went through another COVID lockdown,” listing realtor Elizabeth McQueen said via email. And much like the surprising mid-pandemic rebound in B.C.’s overall real estate market, the highest end hasn’t been dented by COVID-19, even with restrictions on foreign travel to the province. The list of most expensive residential… Read More

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B.C. home sales up more than 20 per cent in 2020: BCREA report

Home sales are expected to continue to be strong in B.C. this year, and prices are expected to go up as supply remains low, according to a report Wednesday from the British Columbia Real Estate Association. BCREA says 93,953 residential units were sold in 2020, an increase of 21.5 per cent from the 77,350 units sold in 2019. The report follows a couple of real estate reports last week …read more Source:: Vancouver Sun – Business       

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Assessed value of B.C. homes ‘guaranteed’ to further surge in 2021, says Credit 1 chief economist

Newly minted Credit 1 chief economist Bryan Yu says when COVID-19 hit last March it was assumed and predicted (including by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) that the domestic economy would falter and real estate values fall. Yu — recently appointed chief economist at B.C.’s Credit 1 — said that while interest rates began falling as soon as the pandemic arrived, it was not expected to counter the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 on the residential property market. Then something happened. After several weeks of very few residential real estate sales — including one week where the market simply dried up — people started buying the relatively few properties… Read More

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Local group raises funds in anticipation of more Hong Kong asylum seekers

A Vancouver group in support of protesters in Hong Kong has been raising funds so it can help pro-democracy activists seek refugee status in Canada. It’s just a little, grassroots effort. But it’s happening as one observer is asking if Ottawa’s contingency plans for the political situation in Hong Kong include preparing for settlement and other services in Vancouver and B.C. The VSSDM, or Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement, recently decided to increase its GoFundMe …read more Source:: Vancouver Sun – Business       

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Vancouver real estate: Low supply behind price increases for detached homes

Mayur Arora just sold a detached home in Surrey’s Fraser Heights for $115,000 over the ask price of $1.3 million. The real estate agent showed another in the Sullivan area to 47 people over two days, interest he thinks might net a sale of more than $100,000 over the $1.7 million asking price. These are not artificially lowered asking prices like the ones some agents set to bring in a flurry of bids, explained Arora. “There are just not many homes.” Increased borrowing power due to low interest rates is enabling more buyers to trade up and go for properties with more space, he added. Detached home sales in greater… Read More

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Site C dam construction takes staged return to work while cabinet ponders project fate

Construction crews are making a staged return to work on B.C. Hydro’s Site C dam project in accordance with provincial health orders and while the provincial cabinet reviews a major report that could change its fate. Crews were cleared to add 400 workers Thursday to a baseline workforce of 400, under provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s Dec. 29 order aimed at controlling COVID-19 spread at work camps for B.C.’s megaprojects, including Site C. Hydro, in its latest construction bulletin published Friday, warned that some construction would be scaled back to comply with the order that limits its workforce, which stood at 4,941 in November, according to the bulletin. In… Read More

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