The Farm Bill’s Threat to Food Security

Hunger still exists in America, and the national food-stamps program is one of the policy tools Americans have for fixing the problem. Those two facts aren’t in debate. In its annual report on household food security, released Wednesday, the United States Department of Agriculture confirmed these conclusions. On a hopeful note, the report finds that fewer than 12 percent of all households in the country face food insecurity, the lowest share since the height of Great Recession in 2011. The report also finds that participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the federal food-stamps program, is highest in households that are food-insecure. The problem is still there, but it… Read More

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Vaughn Palmer: SkyTrain construction soars to $500M per K, but why is it ‘confidential’

VICTORIA — At first glance the report on the Broadway SkyTrain extension posted on the transportation ministry website holds out the hope of shedding light on how construction costs have soared to half a billion dollars per kilometre. “Cost report,” it says, followed by a comprehensive statement of purpose: “This document details the preliminary cost estimate of the reference concept design for the Millennium Line Broadway extension project.” But the first indication that the contents offered less than full disclosure came when I clinked on the link and learned that the copy released for public consumption had been “redacted” and, yes, “sanitized.” I’ll say it was. Doubtless the unsanitized and… Read More

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Vancouver says short-term rental enforcement system has cut active listings more than 40 per cent

Vancouver’s chief licensing inspector says the city saw a 43 per cent drop in active short-term rentals in the months leading up to its registration deadline, and said staff will continue to rely on complex software and old-fashioned tipsters to hunt down and fine operators flouting bylaws. New regulations for short-term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO came into effect Saturday, after the city approved regulating the services last fall and launched a permitting process in April. VANCOUVER, BC., September 5, 2018 — Kathryn Holm, chief licence inspector, gives an enforcement update on the new short-term rental regulations at City Hall in Vancouver, BC., September 5, 2018. (NICK PROCAYLO/PostMedia) 00054517A ORG… Read More

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Surrey First unveils its 2018 municipal election slate

Surrey First has unveiled a slate of candidates for the Oct. 20 municipal election — two-thirds of them new to the party. The party won all seats on Surrey’s city council in the last election. But three members are retiring from municipal politics this fall and three others left the party to run together on a new slate. “Yes, two-thirds of our 2018 Surrey First team are new — fresh faces, fresh voices, fresh perspective and new ideas,” Tom Gill, the mayoral candidate for Surrey First, told a large crowd of supporters at Surrey’s Holland Park on Wednesday. But “together with the experience of our incumbent candidates, … I believe… Read More

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Taking a Blowtorch to Debate

On Tuesday, some conservative activists spent much of the day enraged on Twitter, hashtagging boycotts, destroying sneakers and otherwise defacing the Nike swoosh in protest of the company’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick in its reboot of the “Just Do It” campaign. At the same time, some liberal activists were doing the opposite: tweeting and re-tweeting support for the very same company that had chosen to elevate one of the country’s most prominent (if strategically silent) voices on social injustice and police brutality. The fury of the Kaepernick wildfire, which was ignited and burned through social media within 24 hours, was not the same as the relatively contained brush fire… Read More

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Progressives Get What They Want in Massachusetts

Representative Mike Capuano was hoping that Massachusetts voters would opt for his decades of experience over the tantalizing gleam of a fresh face. They didn’t. Just over an hour after polls closed on Tuesday night, the nine-term Democrat with a robust progressive voting record, suddenly conceded to his uber-progressive challenger, Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley. “Clearly the district wanted a lot of change,” Capuano said sadly to a quiet room full of supporters. “We’ve done everything we could do to get this thing done…I’m sorry it didn’t work out, but this is life.” It wasn’t that Capuano had done anything wrong, said the people I spoke with, he just… Read More

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A Daily Caller Editor Wrote For an ‘Alt-Right’ Website Using a Pseudonym

Former Daily Caller writer and editor Scott Greer has severed all ties with the conservative website after acknowledging that he had written under a pseudonym for the white supremacist Radix Journal. Greer, who stepped down as an editor at The Daily Caller in June to write a book, said he would drop his contributor status last week after The Atlantic confronted him with leaked chat logs that showed he spent some of his time at the website also writing as “Michael McGregor” for Radix, the online publication founded by “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer who wants to turn America into a white ethno-state. The Atlantic last week was the first to… Read More

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Vaughn Palmer: Costs of Metro transit plans soar, with no word of explanation

VICTORIA — For all the enthusiasm Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan brought to their announcement on transit funding Tuesday, there was no overlooking the soaring cost of building SkyTrain and light rail in Metro Vancouver. The two leaders reiterated their support for the SkyTrain extension under Broadway in Vancouver and for a stand-alone light rail project in Surrey. They had promised much the same previously. But both bristled at the suggestion that the event at the Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University was little more than a joint photo op, with SkyTrain itself as a backdrop. “We’ve locked in this funding for the next 10 years,” insisted… Read More

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The Most Extraordinary Quotes from Bob Woodward’s New Book

On Tuesday, The Washington Post published excerpts of famed journalist Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book on Donald Trump’s White House. The excerpts reveal a White House in turmoil: several current and former administration officials and aides are quoted expressing a lack of confidence in the president. Most notably, Defense Secretary James Mattis, who has, up until now, maintained a relatively low profile, expressed a lack of confidence in Trump’s abilities to lead, comparing his understanding to that of “a fifth- or sixth-grader.” In a statement, Chief of Staff John Kelly denied that he had called Trump an “idiot,” saying “he and I both know this story is total BS.” Below, a… Read More

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Bob Woodward’s New Book Shows How Broken the Trump Administration Really Is

One unexpected byproduct of the Trump administration has been the resurgence of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. It’s not just that Watergate feels freshly relevant and impeachment is on tongues around the country. The two aging reporters are making vital contributions once more. Bernstein has contributed to several major stories, including the revelation of the Steele dossier. Now comes Woodward’s long-anticipated book on the Trump administration, and the first revelations, reported by The Washington Post on Tuesday, suggest it’s a doozy. Dishy, insidery books on the White House have become Woodward’s staple in recent decades, and is any White House as well suited to dishy, insidery accounts as Trump’s? Almost… Read More

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