Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for May 10th, 2007

Asia trade chokes West Coast ports

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Asia trade chokes West Coast ports

When I started reading this article I thought it would be the same story, about how China is expanding its ports much faster than we are – as though all the trade from China was with North America. But what this article is really about is the alternative strategy. If we don’t have enough capacity on the West Coast, then maybe we should stop outsourcing and start making things at home again.

Most orders to Asia have to be made in large volumes to make them cost effective, Mr. Stalk said. But for producers of highly profitable products with a volatile demand bringing operations back to North America … may be a better alternative …

This seems to me to be something that we need to add to our anti-gateway strategy. It may make better long term economic sense for us to bring back manufacturing to North America, with the good jobs that brings with it. Then perhaps some of our communities can achieve a better balance. While Canada keeps trumpeting about how low unemployment is at present, that is becuase there are a lot of low paid, low skilled part time jobs. And many people in employment need two or more jobs just to stay afloat financially. It would certainly help if we could reduce some of the regional imbalances of decline of small prairie towns, and chronic unemployment in the maritimes with a steaming hot economy in the oil patch with shortages of housing and infrastructure.

Written by Stephen Rees

May 10, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Straight Issues | Premier called a hypocrite | Straight.com Vancouver

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Straight Issues | Premier called a hypocrite | Straight.com Vancouver

“The evidence is overwhelming that when the provincial government is involved in regional transportation decisions, they stop being regional transportation decisions and they start being provincial political decisions,” Campbell said. “That’s one of the reasons why we’ve had so much difficulty in managing transportation in the Lower Mainland over the last number of years.”

That’s Gordon Campbell, then in opposition, speaking against the GVTA Act in 1998.

This is the same Gordon Campbell who was once the Mayor of Vancouver, Chair of the GVRD and the driving force behind what became the Livable Region. He was also apparent in a recent tv appearance with the Governor of Washington and on a BBC Radio program posing as the greenest leader of any province or state.

Maybe he is simply incapable of controlling Kevin Falcon who seems to be the favourite of the ruling clique to be the next premier after Campbell.

It was striking to hear Gordon Price yesterday lambasting the proposed new authourity, and Gordon was an NPA councillor do not forget. Donna Passmore, leading the fight against the South Fraser Perimeter Road has been a small c conservative activist all her life. Indeed with the fight against Gateway, the power lines, the port expansion and the greenhouses, I wonder how the Liberals expect to hang on to their normally safe seat in Delta. Opposition to the Sea to Sky construction in West Vancouver was not a leftie rent a mob either.

The Liberals still have a seemingly unbeatable lead over the opposition half way through term, when you would expect them to be further behind. The BC Rail scandal has started to produce ever more startling stories. The awareness of global warming has also shifted. As Gordon remarked yesterday, the political climate has changed in the last three months. From the Stern report to the UN warnings. But somehow the Liberals seem to be able to shrug all these off. Or maybe its just that people cannot see the NDP getting their act together any time soon

Written by Stephen Rees

May 10, 2007 at 9:17 am