The Senate should do its job and respect the nation’s regions

Bill C-48 is the kind of extraordinary circumstance that requires the Senate fulfil its role as a regional counterbalance to the House

The Senate should do its job and respect the nation’s regionsThe Senate’s fundamental job is to review legislation while respecting its regions. In that sense, it is a unique part of Canadian Parliament. The Senate is a built-in safety valve to protect regional interests against the majoritarian impulses of the elected chamber. It ensures that all parts of this diverse country have a meaningful voice…

Remembering the legacy of B.C. horse racing icon Richard Yates

Notes and quotes from Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver

Remembering the legacy of B.C. horse racing icon Richard YatesOwner, trainer and breeder Richard Yates was a go-to guy when it came to horse racing. Among his many achievements, he was extremely proud of the Hastings Racing Club in Vancouver that he helped form in 2015. On March 22, the racing community was hit by the sad news of Yates’s death from a massive…

B.C. won’t be able to quit fossil fuels any time soon

The results of greater energy efficiency will materialize over the long term, even if politicians seek abbreviated timelines

B.C. won’t be able to quit fossil fuels any time soonJock Finlayson and Denise Mullen Business Council of B.C. Metro Vancouver residents are rightly upset over paying the highest gasoline prices ever recorded in a North American city. Cost-of-living pressures are already significant for many households in British Columbia, making the recent jump in pump prices particularly hard to stomach. The unprecedented attention being given…

B.C. money-laundering crackdown carries hidden costs

The province needs to get its house in order. That means, among other things, good old-fashioned police work

B.C. money-laundering crackdown carries hidden costsBritish Columbia is hardly a tax haven in the mould of Panama, yet organized crime has still established a foothold for laundering,– according to some estimates, $1 billion or more a year. Until last year, despite mounting activity, the problem flew under the radar. Now several reports have made their way to the media and…

Never shirk responsibility for honest, forthright observation

The rules of writing opinion pieces haven't changed through the generations in the Robinson family

Never shirk responsibility for honest, forthright observationOne day in 2004, Doug Firby, then the editorial page editor of the Calgary Herald, took me to lunch. I was the CEO of the Glenbow Museum and I had no idea what we were going to discuss. It turned out that he invited me to write occasional “op-eds” for the paper, on culture and…

Localized and personalized: how to keep culture relevant

The world of arts and culture offers lots of examples of gross expense and imported notions of what’s important. But there are alternatives

Localized and personalized: how to keep culture relevantHow are the National Post and the Globe and Mail doing in your neighbourhood? In Powell River, the big Toronto newspapers are on their last boomer gasp at the newsstands. In their place, piles of the weekly Powell River Peak and monthly Powell River Living fly off the counters and adjacent distribution boxes. The local…

Vancouver’s bike-walk bias is costly and unjustified

Money budgeted for an elevated greenway for walkers and bikers should go to housing the homeless or easing traffic congestion

Vancouver’s bike-walk bias is costly and unjustifiedVancouver is a great city. For people like me who use their feet for most of their transportation, it’s wonderful. But sometimes city decision-makers go overboard. For recreation and exercise, there’s the 28-km seawall, part of which circles Stanley Park. It’s been voted the best place to run in Canada. There’s also the nine-km Arbutus…

Spring semester begins at Skelhp

Some familiar buzzes, croaks and tweets and a new cat-like cry as the turning of the seasons teaches anew

Spring semester begins at SkelhpMy British Museum 2019 Diary proclaims the vernal equinox arrived on March 20 this year, with a cryptic little note: “Spring begins.” At Skelhp, we already knew. In fact, I think spring began on Sunday, March 10, when we descended artfully on the deer-fenced garden with pruning clippers to shape some apple and cherry trees.…

We have an obligation to use our gifts for good

We’re all born with a unique and inherent capacity to do good. The trick is to put it to use

We have an obligation to use our gifts for goodAs we go through life, we’re given many pieces of advice. Those that are most truthful tend to survive the test of time, and the best advice brings enduring happiness and a sense of peace. At an orientation social before I began my first assignment as a young teacher, I sang a song for an…

Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching an idle ferry

The Canadian response to being stranded for 11 hours on a BC ferry? Free food, cheers and applause!

Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching an idle ferry“Please be advised that the next sailing from Langdale to Horseshoe Bay has been delayed by at least four hours. Those passengers wishing instead to return to Powell River, please pull over to the right-hand side as you exit the ferry, and you will be guaranteed a return trip. …” “Hmmmmm. What’s that all about?”…