A recent article posted by 'ThinkPol' states that "Asking home prices fall by double digits in Metro Vancouver as BC budget begins to bite". It went on to say that asking home prices in Richmond dropped by as much as 73%, while suggesting that budget measures announced by the NDP government have begun to work, even before they come into force.

Is this what 'fake news' really is?

If you want to make a point, please use some relevant examples. The example used in this article was a home listed on the 10000 block of Seaward Court. The current price dropped from the original listing price of $5,880,000 on Februay 14, 2018  to $1,588,000. 

If you did just a little bit of research, nobody would have taken the original price of $5,880,000 seriously.  The three best prices of similar homes in this exact neighbourhood sold for $1,660,000 on April 26, 2016, $1,640,000 on May 13, 2017 and $1,565,000 on April 21, 2017.

The 'Best All Time' price was just $1,660,000, and that was back in 2016.

Come on - Give me a break. It you want to stir some emotion, use some relevant facts. This just really makes you think twice before reading these articles.

Sorry for the rant!

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If you are like me, and have spent many hours watching CBC this month and enjoying the up and downs of Team Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics, we are not alone. But the commercial breaks also stirred up more feelings on Canadian pride, thanks to some Olympic themed ads that tugged at our heart strings.

One of the ads is from Canadian Tire, featuring a group of kids curling their young hearts out with intensity and passion. The rink is dimly lit, and looks like it's been a part of the community forever, giving the ad a sort of timeless feel. That's because the rink in real life has been part of a Vancouver community for nearly 60 years. This Canadian Tire commercial was filmed at Vancouver's Marpole Curling Club, a facility that was built in 1959, and it still holds the same inviting atmosphere that it did back then.

Obviously there was some dramatic lighting at work in the TV spot, but the Marpole Curling Club has kept their facility and 6 sheets of ice, meeting rooms and cafe up to date, while preserving it vintage vibes.  Congratulations Team Canada on a great Olympics!

Curl for Glory

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So B.C. will now have a speculation tax, which will be 2% annually of a homes value for those who don't pay taxes but own a property, and an increase in the foreign buyers tax to 20%.

But the foreign buyers tax will still not apply to farmland, despite the government committing to examining taxes on the Agricultureal Land Reserve.

In fact, the increase in the foreign buyers tax on residential properties will likely incentivize farmland even more.

With somewhat lax rules on the size of a home you can build in Richmond's ALR, and the fact these these properties will remain exempt from the foreign buyers tax, you can only wonder how the landscape of Richmond's farmland will change.

The few gigantic homes that we now see on these lands might be nothing compared to what the future might hold.  Once again can you hear the uproar?  And as usual, only after the damage has been done!

Image result for photo of a huge home on richmond bc alr



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TV shows portraying kitchens as a 'negative and aggressive' place to work has contributed to a labour shortage in the restaurant industry and is currently affecting Metro Vancouver.

One of the findings is that TV shows like to make the kitchen look like a hostile workplace, which is misleading and discouraging to operators. Often when you watch TV, you see people being yelled at, saying something negative and very aggressive, where this is usually not the case in reality.

Running a restaurant actually requires a lot of teamwork. Everyone has to work together to make sure you take care of all the people coming in.

Restaurant owners in Metro Vancouver would like to tell the stories that actually happen in the kitchen.

About 94% of restaurant operators are looking for chefs and cooks, and 76% of the operators want managers and dishwashers.  Those are the 3 positions most in need in the restaurant industry.

Wages are not the only challenge, as many restaurant employees are being paid $15 to $20 per hour.  People from 16 to 24 represent about 30% of the workforce, but there are more people retiring than people entering the workforce.

Restaurant owners would also like to see longer transit hours, and access to ride sharing, if possible. People need more opporunities  to travel early in the morning and late at night to get to their jobs.

The owners also need to work on benefits and scheduling. Let staff make an 'averaging agreement' so they work 10 hours for 4 days instead of 8 hours for 5 days. 3 days off is a nice opportunity to do something fun.  

Would you like to work your charm and creativity in a restaurant kitchen?

chef


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I didn't even know that Metro Vancouver still had a drive-in theatre, but the only remaining drive-in in the area, the Twilight Drive-In in Aldergrove kicks of its 2018 season on February 23rd.

If you have never been to this drive-in, but the venue looks familiar, that might be because you've seen in on TV's popular Riverdale.

Twilight is one of only 51 remaining operating drive-in theatres in Canada, and one of 3 in B.C. They operate typically from mid-February to November.

Movies on the docket for this year at Twilight include: A Wrinkle in Time, Star Wars Solo, Ocean's 8 and Skyscraper.

I have never been to a drive in movie? Maybe it's about time.

twilight drive in

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In January this year, there were a total of 5,306 homes sold in the whole province of B.C., a 7.5% decrease from a month earlier in December, when 5,738 homes were sold.

In Metro Vancouver, a  total of 1,846 homes were sold in January, compared to 2,069 which were sold in December - almost a 11% decrease. 

Does it appear that the new mortgage rules are effecting Metro Vancouver more so than the rest of the provinice? 

How about prices? While the average price of a home in Metro Vancouver is still over a million dollars, it dropped to $1,036,968  in January, from $1,049,424 in December - a 1% drop in the very first month of these new rules. Coincidence?

Is this the beginning of a trend? Are the new borrowing rules going to have a lasting effect of Metro Vancouver home prices?

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Are vehicle headlights getting brighter, like blinding bright? Well it's not our imagination, headlights are getting brighter, and this is creating a dangerous situation.

But blindng headlights are not our only traffic concern. With all the congestion and longer commutes, it appears that more and more drivers are running red lights. This is happening while many motorists oppose the installation of more red-light cameras, or a 24 hour operation of the 140 cameras currently in place at the province's most accident prone intersections. Did you know that most of these cameras are only operating 6 hours a day so our governments don't upset voters?

With the increase in traffic accidents and fatalities, as well as increasing insurance costs, maybe it's time to rethink how we enforce the rules of the road.

Should we implement a camera program that operates both speed and red-light cameras? Let's not only catch those running red lights, but also speeding.

With all the safety features in most cars today, you would have expected the number of injuries to be reduced - but they have gone way up.

If you look around, you will find that many motorists don't appear to know how to drive properly. They may not always be in accidents, but they cause them.

How about more regular road testing for drivers?  I haven't been tested since I first received my license. Can we insist that anyone deemd to have caused a serious accident must be re-tested before thay can drive again?

Yes, many drivers will just see this as another cash grab - but I think it will just make driving safer.  Your thoughts?

Columnist Michael Geller suspects dimmer headlights, more traffic cameras, roundabouts and driver re

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Once Upon a Time, the TV show that put Steveston on the map back in 2011 has been axed when its 7th season comes to an end later this year.

The show which attracted a global cult following, was primarily shot in Steveston, AKA Storybrooke.

This show was so popular that fans travelled from all over the world to experience Steveston and explore the village. 

It became so hot that Tourism Richmond would promote special package deals for fans which included hotel stays and Disney-licensed 'Once' merchandise, such as t-shirts, tote bags, hoodies... sold at Tourism Richmond's Visitor Centre/Museum on Moncton Street along with self-guided walking maps of 'Storybrooke'.

Steveston merchants had mixed feelings about the show taking over large parts of 'the Village' during filming, with some revelling in the publicity, and others lamenting the distruption to their businesses.

It's funny - it's been said that tourism in Steveston has jumped about 75% since the show first aired - how much of a distruption to their business could that be?

Understandably, fans around the globe took to social media to express their dissappointment of the cancellation.

Are you going to miss the 'Steveston Buzz' created by 'Once'?  Did you have an opporunity to experience the gathering crowds during filming?

Once Upon

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We hear about the issue of Chinese-Only signage in Richmond from time to time. What are the answers for these concerns?

Well the issue has resurfaced again. This time it's an ad on the side of a bus travelling along Steveston Highway last month that has ruffled some feathers.

It's an ad for a Richmond based financial company that covered the entire side of a bus.

Do you find this disgraceful or not? Would you like to see tougher language laws - whether they be municipal or better yet provincial? Or do we have bigger fish to fry?  Your thoughts!

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Heading south on Highway 99 approaching the Massey Tunnel you will notice a line up of BC Ferries to your right. But the Fraser River isn't a Ferry route. So what is going on?

I am sure many of you know the answer - this is the location of what's known as ''Deas Dock', the primary ship repair and maintenance location for BC Ferries. What you may not know, is there are lot of people working there - approximately 250 of them full time and up to 350 during the peak refit season, which runs from September to May.

If you drove by today you would see the Queen of Oak Bay, Queen of Capilano, Salish Orca, Northern Adventure and the Queen of Burnaby which is retired.

The Salish Orca was put into service in 2017 on the Comox-Powell River route to replace the Queen of Burnaby. 

You might remember the Queen of Burnaby being put up for auction, initially at a low, low price and the eventual high bid was $653,000, which is now subject to approval by BC Ferries. 

Of course the Massey Tunnel has been a hot topic over the past few years, as talk of a bridge or some other repair/replacement alternative has been in the news, but BC Ferries doesn't see that impacting their operation.

So, have you noticed the ferries parked by the Massey Tunnel, and did you know what they were doing there?

ferry

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