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Tuesday was the coldest Aug. 2 since 1937. That’s when the temperature fell to a chilly 8.3 C, according to Environment Canada records.
The high was an unseasonably low 16 C. The norm for this time of year is 22.
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Many of you will be intimately familiar with the massive real estate bubble still in the process of inflating in certain parts of Canada, particularly Vancouver.
The insanity of it all recently received a great deal of public attention when the following home was listed for $2.4 million earlier this year (it has since sold).
If you’ve been following this story, you’ll also be aware that the primary driver behind the bubble is foreign investment, particularly Chinese. Of course, this isn’t a phenomenon unique to Canada, and as I noted in last year’s post, Welcome to Arcadia – The California Suburb Where Wealthy Chinese Criminals are Building Mansions to Stash Cash:
Over the past several months we have repeatedly noted a recurring peculiarity of the Vancouver housing bubble: there are numerous multi-million dollar mansions, which rot, abandoned, their owners having long ago disappeared.
Two months ago, we first postulated the hypothetical timeline that starts with the purchase of a Vancouver mansion
Two days ago we introduced you to “the rich kids of Vancouver” for whom the most important decision in any given day is whether to spend half a million dollars on a new Lamborghini or on an investment such as “two expensive watches or some diamonds.”
From left, Loretta Lai, Chelsea Jiang and Diana Wang attended a reception
at a Lamborghini dealership last month in Vancouver, British Columbia
We now introduce you to someone who may be one of these rich kids’ dad. Or rather was, because Gang Yuan, a 42-year-old mining tycoon is no longer alive. His corpse was found chopped into 100 pieces in his Vancouver home.
Gang Yuan’s dismembered body was found at a West Vancouver home.
According to a civil lawsuit, Yuan came to Canada in 2007 with permanent resident status and made his money by investing in real estate and Saskatchewan farmland, in the process becoming the owner of a at least one abandoned multimillion-dollar Vancouver home… and much more.
By now, the only people in the world who are not aware that Vancouver has been overrun by Chinese “hot money-parking” oligarchs, who rush to buy any and every available real estate leading to such grotesque charts as the following showing the ridiculous surge in Vancouver real estate prices…
… are officials from the prvincial government conveniently turning a blind eye to what is a very clear real estate bubble. Which perhaps is understandable – for now prices are only going up, giving the impression that all is well even if it means locking out local buyers from being able to purchase any local housing. It will be a different story on the way down.
But instead of focusing on the culprit of this regional housing bubble, this time we’d like to present the “rich kids” of the Vancouver’s new invading billionaire class, who according to the NYT are also filthy rich.
“Housing in Vancouver is insane — it was insane when I left and it’s more insane now.”
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In Canada, an interesting paradox is visible.
On the one hand, the country’s oil patch is dying a slow death in Alberta, where the worst 12 months for job losses in 34 years is contributing to rising property crime, higher food bank usage, and a rash of unsold condos and empty office space in Calgary.
On the other hand, if you were to take a look at real estate in Vancouver and Ontario you’d think you were looking at home prices for an economy that’s thriving.
In fact, prices in Vancouver have reached nosebleed levels. In January for instance, the average selling price of detached homes was an astronomical $1.82 million.
Here’s what that look likes like in chart form:
Five years ago, in July of 2011, the house at 4182 West 8th Avenue in Vancouver in sold for $4.6 million. It now rests vacant, abandoned and rotting.
– 60 Year Old Vancouver House Sells For 40% Above Asking As Chinese Buyers Go Full Tilt (ZeroHedge, June 9, 2015):
While the US housing bubble may have made its triumphal return particularly among the ultra-luxury segment in select cities on the east and west coast (making both owning and renting unaffordable for most Americans), it pales in comparison to what is going on in Canada. Case in point, this 60-year-old, 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom rancher in West Vancouver. The house, according to the Vancouver Sun, was originally listed with an asking price of $2.98 million. A few days later, the house is in contract at a price of $4.1 million, 40% above asking.
– Radio: “Surprisingly, high concentrations [of Fukushima cesium] found in Vancouver area” since ocean currents slow down — Levels are increasing — “Might be hotspots where radiation concentrates” — “Chances are high for marine life to absorb it… concern about mussels… clams, oysters” (AUDIO) (ENENews, April 1, 2014):
At 4:15 in
- Joseph Lopez, reporter: In the Vancouver area, as of June last year […] there are increasing levels of cesium-134, the same isotope released from Fukushima. […]
- Irene Querubin, host: I hope we’re not slowly dying by that.
At 7:00 in
– Vancouver, Western Canada facing record cold temperatures this winter (The Vancouver Sun, Oct. 11, 2011):
As Canadians wrap up what for most has been one of the warmest October weekends in recent memory, they can brace themselves for the coming winter with a long-term forecast calling for thick socks and thicker skins.
The forecast is for one of the coldest winters in the past 20 years for Western Canada, major snowstorms for Ontario and Quebec, and a drier than normal winter for Atlantic Canada, according to U.S.-based AccuWeather.com.
That’s not to say that blasts of Arctic air won’t chill Canadians east of Manitoba, but those bitter blasts will be short.
“You can be pretty confident that Western Canada will be pretty cold,” said Brett Anderson, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather.com.
VANCOUVER – Tens of thousands of bald eagles that usually gorge on the late season chum salmon in rivers from Alaska to Vancouver have been forced from their usual feeding grounds by poor salmon runs, according to wildlife biologist David Hancock.
While the Brackendale eagle count registered only 627 birds in 2010 — its forth consecutive year under 1,000 after peaking at nearly 4,000 in 1994 — Chehalis [Harrison] attracted a record 7,400 eagles, more than double the normal count due to a moderately successful coho run.
The disappointing numbers at Brackendale are only a microcosm of what is going on right up and down the coast, said Hancock. As many as 50,000 eagles are searching for food and may range as far as the Mississippi River to find it.
Based on a count he conducted Monday (today), Hancock reckons that as many as 800 eagles are feeding at Boundary Bay and the Vancouver Landfill in Delta.
“I have about 100 eagles in front of me right now at Boundary Bay,” Hancock said. “They are all desperately looking for something as an alternative [to chum].”
VANCOUVER — The country’s only armed transit police have been tasering passengers who try to avoid paying fares.
According to documents provided in response to a Freedom of Information request, police patrolling public transit in the Metro Vancouver area have used tasers 10 times in the past 18 months, including five occasions when victims had been accosted for riding free.
In one incident, a non-paying passenger was tasered after he held onto a railing on the SkyTrain platform and refused to let go.
“After several warnings to the subject to stop resisting arrest and the subject failing to comply with the officers’ commands, the taser was deployed and the subject was taken into control,” said the report provided by TransLink, the region’s transit authority.
An internal review of the incident concluded that the action taken by transit police officers complied with the force’s policy and was within guidelines “set out in the National Use of Force Model,” the report said.
On another occasion, a passenger was tasered when he fled from police who found him without a payment receipt during a “fare blitz.” This time, however, the passenger got away because, as recounted in the report, “the Taser was ineffective due to the subject’s clothing and [he] escaped the custody of the officers.”
Politicians and civil-liberties activists alike decried the use of tasers on individuals who were attempting merely to avoid paying a fine for not buying a ticket to ride.
“I think it’s absolutely uncalled for, absolutely reprehensible, and the police should not be doing that,” federal Liberal public safety critic Ujjal Dosanjh said in Ottawa yesterday.
On the face of it, the use of tasers by transit police here is far outside guidelines that say they should be used only if someone is suicidal, violent or about to injure himself or someone else, Mr. Dosanjh said.