Letters to the Sun, October 9, 2021: Property transfer taxes add to the high cost of housing


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Politicians continually lament that housing costs in the Lower Mainland are disproportionately high. Affordability or the lack of it seems to be a regular part of any speech they give.


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Recently my son bought his first house. This is a modest condominium on the North Shore.

He was very surprised when the real estate agent said that in addition to the sale price he would have to pay a property transfer tax. In his case, it amounts to just over $ 10,000. When young people are struggling to save enough to buy their own homes, this tax only adds an additional burden. If politicians were really concerned about the high cost of housing, they would remove property transfer taxes for first-time buyers. However, with their extravagant spending practices, this is unlikely to happen and they will continue to speak on both sides of their mouths.

Robert Fairweather, West Vancouver

Thanks for the memories John Mackie

Re: Psychedelic Relic From Vancouver Comes To The Prairies


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Mackie’s story was a blast from the past. I never knew the drummer, but I did know Lee, Tapanila and Danny Mac. We lived in the same block and all drank at the Anchor Hotel, along with the party. They were our country and sour house band under the name Fireweed in 1970-71.

Lee Stephens was a great bass player. He played like Phil Lesh. Huge waterfalls of sounds and rhythms. Danny M would get stronger and more emotional as the evening wore on. Tapper sat on top with tight, quick licks. When Danny Tripper got drunk, he played loud, sloppy blues. When they cooked they could be a magic carpet. I have kept a lot of mayflies from this period.

I donated posters and clothes to the Vancouver Museum and sold a bunch of them to Rob Frith. My posters were all well used, so they weren’t particularly valuable. I still have a few favorites.


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I have fond memories of that time. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had a lot of friends and we could have fun.

I last spoke to Danny Mack and Dan Tapanila around 2010 and we compared years of sobriety. Mack was playing music until the end. I’m glad he was recognized by the Australians, but it’s telling that his ashes are sent here and scattered on Kits Beach.

Thanks for the memories.

Mel Watson, North Vancouver

Prime Minister Should Listen to Fairy Creek Protesters

Re: BC judge refuses to extend court injunction in Fairy Creek

On the same day that the Fairy Creek blockers celebrated an important victory with Supreme Court Justice Douglas Thompson’s refusal to extend the court injunction against the former logging protesters, Prime Minister John Horgan them rejected in a deceptive and ultimately counterproductive manner.


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Referring to the recent postponement of logging in the Fairy Creek watershed, Horgan called the blockers squatters who would not take “yes” for an answer. This line can work to persuade those who have not followed the controversy that the blockers have served their purpose and now perversely persist in their protests.

But Horgan should know better. From the start, the Rainforest Flying Squad has sought to end all ancient logging, taking its action far beyond the immediate vicinity of Fairy Creek.

During my time in the Fairy Creek camps, the many young people I met (a few precious blockers are over half of my 74 years old) impressed me greatly with their unity of purpose, their ingenuity in peaceful civil disobedience. and their tenacity in the face of increasing aggressiveness. police that Thompson called.


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The Fairy Creek protesters have developed a strong and legitimate voice that deserves to be heard. Instead of denigrating them, Horgan should better listen to these determined defenders of the land and include them in any discussion of the future of ancient logging in British Columbia.

Andrew Clement, Salt Spring Island

Re: Proportional representation: Pay attention to what you wish

A writer warns against right-wing parties having a place in parliament under proportional representation. I have three rebuttals to this. First, there will be a threshold, say five percent, for any party to get seats. Second, the vote would be totally different in PR mode. Now voters vote to be represented, which is why the main parties get the most votes. If the smaller parties had a chance to win seats, there would be fewer strategic votes and more support across the country for smaller national parties, maybe not so much the Bloc. And finally, why use the voting system to restrict extremist parties? If 10 percent of people share these views, they should be heard. It is up to the 90%, the education system and the media to refute these views with sane arguments. A proportional system would reflect the diversity that Canada is, and politicians should recognize this diversity and achieve real consensus on the bills they pass.

Tony Burt, Vancouver

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