Slowing down in Trail, B.C.

Downtown Trail with the smelter on the hill

Downtown Trail with the smelter on the hill

The city of Trail, British Columbia, about 600 kilometres east of Metro Vancouver, lies in a valley near the American border. We visited Trail, my wife’s birthplace, as part of our summer vacation. We took some time to walk around and see what hasn’t changed.

Bay Avenue, downtown Trail

Bay Avenue, downtown Trail

Central Trail presents a museum of mid-20th-century architecture, which is great for a visitor like me. Some residents, however, worry that the city has been forgotten by the outside world.

To be fair, there have been improvements since the 1970s; the city is much greener than it was, due to emissions  improvements at the smelter that dominates the town. Trail’s 1961 hockey world champions were called the “Smoke Eaters”; the smoke used to kill the trees for miles around, as well as driving away tourists; but that is in the past. Continue reading

British Columbia’s election: and so we continue

Walmart under construction, Abbotsford, April 2012

Walmart under construction, Abbotsford, April 2012

In December 2012, Fraseropolis presented a seat-by-seat projection from threehundredeight.com showing a massive New Democratic Party lead in British Columbia opinion polls. Surveys continued to give the NDP up to a 10-point lead on the weekend before the May 14, 2013 provincial election.

To the astonishment of many people, including myself, and subject to the counting of some mail-in ballots, it appears our new legislature has 50 Liberals, 33 New Democrats, and 2 others. The Liberals enjoyed a five-point edge in the popular vote. Surrey, the North Fraser and B.C.’s southern Interior all showed surprising strength for the Liberals. Continue reading

B.C. party preferences, seat by seat

The Esplanade, North Vancouver

The polls indicate that British Columbia will see a change of government in the election scheduled for May 14, 2013.  The BC Liberals have taken the last three elections, but  credible polling firms have given the New Democratic Party a lead of at least 15 points over the Liberals throughout the past year.

Based on a compilation of polls through to early December 2012, Eric Grenier of ThreeHundredEight.com has determined that an election at that time would likely have given the NDP about 60 seats in the B.C. Legislature, with 24 Liberals in opposition and one Independent (Vicki Huntingdon in Delta South).  Mr. Grenier’s work appears regularly in the Globe and Mail.  He tracks opinion at the federal and provincial levels by combining polling results, recognizing that different polling methods have different strengths and flaws. Continue reading

Comox Village, municipal amalgamation and fresh vegetables

The Within its region, the Town of Comox on Vancouver Island is equivalent to New Westminster in Metro Vancouver or Oak Bay in Greater Victoria.  Comox is hemmed in by a bigger urban neighbour (Courtenay) and prevented from sprawling; it is forced to focus on how to densify its neighbourhoods, especially its downtown, building on its history and waterfront location, and boosted by regular non-stop commercial flights between Comox Airport and Calgary, Canada’s oil and gas capital. Continue reading