Different, just like everyone else

I left my native France at the age of 18. Italy, England and then Thailand became my new homes. Every step was a breath of fresh air, a culture to adopt, a language to learn and each time I had that feeling of freedom where I could be who I wanted because I was different,…

Politicians who ignore renters could face eviction from office

There are more than half a million renters in British Columbia. In Vancouver fully half of us rent, although you wouldn’t know it from the way homeowners, developers, and real estate agents dominate the media and political discussion of housing. While those in the market get all the attention, the worst victims of our city’s…

Spring through the looking glass

This fish eye mirror at Ocean Concrete on Granville Island enables drivers of the company’s cement mixers to see what’s behind them as they enter the premises. But it also transforms reality. Regard the distorted shapes of the Granville Bridge, cement truck and even the photographer. What intrigues me, though, are the colourful leaves both…

The impressions of a Tunisian in Vancouver

As soon as you arrive at Vancouver International Airport in Canada you are struck by the pleasant greeting of the customs and immigration officers. Be it timid and restrained or large and welcoming, the sincere smile of these officials brightens your day, even if it’s the first time you set foot on Canadian soil. This…

Whose side are they on?

Big money, big media and the coming B.C. election It turns out B.C. politics may be even more corrupt than we imagined. So-called “pay-to-play” political fundraising is so widespread it has created a veritable industry for lobbyists and other corporate operatives, according to a new blockbuster investigative report by journalist Kathy Tomlinson in the Globe…

Getting a Lift

Most people probably just walk past this sculpture, paying it little if any notice. It’s located on the west side of the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) facing Hornby St. The King Edward VII Fountain was unveiled on May 6, 1912 to commemorate the British monarch’s death on the same date in 1910. It is the…

Please forget my accent

In Vancouver, everybody comes from somewhere else. I’ve always liked this aspect in a town, being multicultural. However, one of the things that confused me the most in Vancouver is the way people make you notice, on an awfully regular basis, your own accent. With 52% of the population speaking another mother tongue than English,…

Everyone should live in Vancouver at least once

I have been in Vancouver for a year and a half or so. I grew up in Shanghai, the biggest city and financial centre in China. After twenty-two years living there, I made the biggest decision of my life. With the support of my family, I came to Canada to study at UBC’s School of…

Education is one of our best weapons against racism and hate

This past weekend people from coast to coast braved the cold to hold vigils and rallies in response to the horrific massacre carried out by a white supremacist at a mosque in Quebec City. More than 40 cities and towns across Canada held actions to mourn and to stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers…

Burrard Bottleneck

This picture says it all – a chaotic situation generating no end of frustration for many drivers. Even the hold-up being on a bus is not pleasant. This $58 million upgrade is set to finish sometime in the fall of 2017. So what’s it all about. First a bit of history: the Burrard Bridge opened…

The prism effect

I still remember that one of my favourite childhood toys was a kaleidoscope. It is a tube that contains loose fragments of coloured glass that produce, through an interaction of light and mirrors, symmetrical and geometric patterns, which vary with each rotation. The whole image consists of segments reflected in mirrors. If we compare Vancouver’s…