Tag Archives: keep out

Canada’s Shame: Harper at the Copenhagen Summit

Here are a few video primers for the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, where we already know that no binding agreement will be reached, thanks, in large part, to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s unrelenting undermining of the process. He’s from Calgary, right?

A quick recipe for a successful Copenhagen.


Listening to David Suzuki, as candid man on the street, turns out to be a whole lot more interesting than listening to David Suzuki, the slick media pundit. Wow.


Does saving the environment really mean massive job losses? This umbrella thinks so.


Greenpeace still likes Canada, even if our recent environmental record is abysmal. (The link to the CBC video report is at the bottom of the page).


So maybe it’s time to call Prime Minister Harper on his bullshit.  His phone number is posted in this video. So go ahead, make that call.


Remember this old song? Kofi Annan does! The music industry tries to inspire change.


Australian who wrote the above song, sings a new one for his prime minister leading up to Copenhagen.


And finally, a tragically funny one about how not to go green. Premier Campbell, is that you?



Across the Economic Divide: Gated Communities in the Inner City


In the 1990s, you could walk the BC Electric line that cuts diagonally across the Gastown grid from the Alexander Café (now a pumping station) to the Duck Ponds (International Village/Tinseltown) uninterrupted. I used to think these expansive unused spaces would be a perfect place for Vancouver to have farmer’s markets, festivals, etc. with shops and stoops and cafes opening along the angular sides of the old buildings. No cars, but maybe a street tram running through…


Now virtually every block and alley is gated off. The iron bars stretch across the expansive right-of-way between buildings, with combo locks and intercoms on every gate. There is rarely anyone sitting in these open spaces enjoying the sun, let alone barbequing, or chatting with their neighbours over a gin and tonic while the kids play.

(Top pic is the Koret courtyard, with the old rails still there. Next pic is the Van Horne courtyard, with a lone soul checking his PDA. Below is the alley on the other side of the Van Horne’s courtyard — perpetually busy.)


These courtyards are designed to keep people out, not bring them together. On one side, they say “Keep Out!” to the addicts in the always-busy alleys. On the other side they say, “I’m exclusive!” don’t talk to me.

Segregation is alive and well and living in Gastown’s gated communities.