Daphne Bramham: It’s time to start asking tough questions of civic candidates

All of the candidates for October’s province-wide civic elections have filed their nomination papers, so the time for asking hard questions is now. Housing and affordability are clearly the most important issues for most communities, even those beyond the hyper-inflated markets in Metro Vancouver. Candidates won’t be able to avoid talking about it. But we need to make sure that they are answering the right questions. It’s not enough for them to only talk in generalities about supply and demand, or even affordability. We need to dig deeper to ensure that they are at least thinking about questions such as: What is the right kind of housing? Housing for whom?… Read More

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Trade war escalates as China announces tariffs on US imports

BEIJING — The U.S.-China trade war escalated further Tuesday, with China announcing retaliatory tax increases on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports, including coffee, honey and industrial chemicals. The increases are in response to the U.S. announcing it will impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese-made goods starting next week. The tariffs will start at 10 percent, then rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1. China’s Finance Ministry said its tariff increases are aimed at curbing “trade friction” and the “unilateralism and protectionism of the United States.” There was no word on whether China would back out of trade talks it said it was invited to by the U.S.,… Read More

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Restoring what we’ve ruined may be the best defence against climate change disasters

There are few more conservative people than those who determine risk in order for insurance companies to set their rates. They don’t need to look at the current images of winds lashing the east coast of the United States or the mega-storm ripping across Asia and question whether climate change is real. They’ve already crunched the numbers and seen the trend lines. Property and casualty insurance payouts in Canada have more than quadrupled in the last nine years to an average of $1.8 billion. Between 1983 and 2008, they averaged $405 million a year. While it’s troubling for the insurance industry, it’s financially catastrophic for individuals and for governments that… Read More

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Residents highlight site details in Grandview-Woodland rezoning application

Some residents near a Grandview-Woodland development site argue a proposal for a six-storey rental building ignores unique aspects of the street and will be out of place sitting in the middle of older, single-family homes, even if it ticks the boxes for adding density under the neighbourhood’s overall community plan. The architect who submitted the proposal counters that tweaks have been made and the vision for the project is of a family oriented, rental building with 38 units in an area that has been designated for multi-family projects since the 1930s. The debate is part of a rezoning application for a land assembly of four residential lots between 1535 and… Read More

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The Home Front: The design show loved by designers

For the past four years, furniture designer and maker Kate Duncan has assembled what she believes to be the best of Pacific Northwest design — in everything from furniture to textiles, metal work to lighting, ceramics, artwork and more — and presented it in a highly stylized vignettes through her design show ADDRESS. The show, curated by Amber Kingsnorth of Mak Interiors, has become a favourite within the design community and is back for a fifth year, opening with a Meet the Makers dinner at Belgard kitchen on Sept. 18. It runs Sept. 21 to 23 at Railtown’s Settlement Building with an industry party on the Sept. 22. “Kate is… Read More

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TransCanada signs all elected First Nations along $4.7-billion gas pipeline route through B.C.

TransCanada has completed benefit agreements with all 20 elected First Nation bands along its Coastal GasLink pipeline route from Dawson Creek to Kitimat. The pipeline would feed the Shell-led LNG Canada gas plant should it go ahead, with TransCanada saying it’s ready to build. There has been heightened anticipation recently that LNG Canada is gearing up to make a final investment decision on the up-to $36-billion export terminal in Kitimat. The company has announced major contracts and has been doing more groundwork in Kitimat, including dredging to deepen a shipping berth. The project also awaits a federal decision on whether major steel-fabricated components for the LNG plant can be shipped… Read More

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Software firm to expand Utah operations

SALT LAKE CITY — Cornerstone OnDemand, a cloud-based learning and human capital management software company, will expand its operations to Salt Lake City, according to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Under the terms of an agreement announced Thursday, the California-based firm will add up to 350 new jobs, generate $6 million in new state revenue and make an estimated $4.4 million in capital investment over a seven-year period. Employing nearly 2,000 employees in 43 countries around the world, Cornerstone recorded revenue of $482 million in 2017 — up 15 percent year over year, a news release stated. The new Utah Operations Center will be the company’s third office in… Read More

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Wanna get into bitcoin? New Overstock digital wallet opens the door

MIDVALE — While continuing to grab headlines, scare banks and mint millionaires out of techno-wunderkinds, the world of cryptocurrency, for most, remains a murky and mysterious realm. Overstock wants to change that. On Friday, Overstock.com officials announced a new digital wallet, Bitsy, which they say has overcome some of the confusion and complexity on the user-end of the new currency systems and created a tool suited for the average citizen. Overstock Founder/CEO Patrick Byrne, whose online retail company was an early adopter of bitcoin as a medium of exchange, said Bitsy is delivering on crytocurrency pledges that most systems have struggled to achieve. “The Bitsy service is a game changer… Read More

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SpaceX changes plans to send tourists around the moon

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX said it has signed the first private moon traveler, with some changes to its original game plan. The big reveal on who it is — and when the flight to the moon will be — will be announced Monday at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California. It’s not the same mission SpaceX founder Elon Musk outlined last year. The original plan called for two paying passengers to fly around the moon this year, using a Falcon Heavy rocket and a Dragon crew capsule. At the time, Musk said the pair approached SpaceX about sending them on a weeklong flight and paid a “significant” deposit for… Read More

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Utah vape shop owner sticks to helping smokers quit, says adults like flavors, too

SALT LAKE CITY — Any flavor of “juice” inhaled through an electronic cigarette is better than the taste of burning tobacco, according to one former heavy smoker. “People want to get away from the taste of tobacco,” said Lewie Lambros, director of the Utah Smoke Free Association and co-owner at Vapor Dreams, a popular vape shop in Bountiful. He said the industry offers thousands of flavor combinations and it is the option for a pleasurable taste that clenches smokers and helps them stop smoking more harmful cigarettes. Those flavors, however, are now under siege by the United States Food and Drug Administration, which on Wednesday said the taste is too… Read More

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