Tag Archives: Gregor Robertson


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In every election campaign, political parties engage in a bidding war of absurd promises that fail to stand up to scrutiny. British Columbia’s May 2017 provincial election is no exception.
In an effort to out-do the governing Liberals—consummate liars in their own right—NDP Leader John Horgan presented the party’s plan to provide Vancouverites affordable housing by ,you guessed it, increasing the SUPPLY of housing units. 114,000 over ten years to be exact.

Sounds impressive. But how far would that go?

According to the 2011 census, the average number of persons per household in Vancouver was 2.2,  a number confirmed by the City of Vancouver Housing Characteristics Fact Sheet 5 years later. However, since the occupancy rates of detached houses are rolled into the averaging, it is reasonable to assume that non-market housing, the kind proposed by the NDP plan, would house fewer people than that.  Nevertheless, we’ll go with 2.2 to put the best face on Horgan’s vision as we can.

That means that 114,000 social housing units would likely harbour roughly 250,000 people, or 25,000 residents each year. That’s less than the 30,000 off-shore home-seekers that come through YVR airport during the same period.

To be sure, an equal number of newcomers would be arriving from other provinces, but of those, about 6,000 (20%) will be foreign-born. That means that in the course of a decade, we can expect 360,000 immigrants arrive in the city to compete for housing stock, in addition to the 240,000 out of province Canadian-born arrivals. From wherever their source, there will 600,000 new arrivals in Vancouver while the construction industry is busy framing up the units for the 250,000 winners of Horgan’s housing lottery.

The truth is, then, that in the best of circumstances, Horgan’s wet dream of 114,000 ‘affordable’ units will still leave 350,000 people out in the cold.  In the context of unending population growth, even the most ambitious and costly housing mega-project will fall far short of its objectives. Yet Horgan felt no shame in assuring low income voters that “help is on the way”.

Most critics have called the NDP plan highly unrealistic for a number of reasons, one of which is the scarcity of available crown land, land which local governments must be willing to donate.  The NDP apparently didn’t get the memo from Mark Twain that land is something they don’t make anymore. One cannot increase the supply of land ad infinitum. There are limits to growth.

Now that’s a concept. A concept that developers and politicians—particularly immigration ministers—have never heard of.  We tried to tell them, but our comments were moderated. Those of us who understand that everything, from motels to stadiums to swimming pools, to camp grounds, to nations and cities has a carrying capacity realize that there comes a point when you can’t shoe-horn any more patrons, customers or residents into a finite space.  If demand keeps growing, there comes a time when policy makers must ask: “Then what?”. Build 114,000 social housing units and then what? Build another 114,000? How? Subdivide and densify until what point?  At what point will demand for more housing cease? Answer: It’s won’t. Not if politicians like Mayor Moonbeam (Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson) are intent on making Vancouver a “Welcoming”, “sanctuary” city open to the world.

Lets conduct a thought experiment and pretend that with the use of a magic wand, enough crown land would be found for John Horgan’s temporary fix, and 114,000 units could be built on it for $15-27 billion (best vs. worst case scenario). Voila, during the decade, 42% of the 600,000 new Vancouverites expected to arrive over that period would find affordable shelter. Whoopee. Does he expect the migrant flow will then come to a halt? Does he expect ten years hence that he would be able to pull another $15-27 billion out of the hat when aging infrastructure, health care and education will cry out for that same money? CHINESE IMMIGRANTS
Of course, there is an obvious solution to the insatiable demand for affordable housing in Vancouver.  The elephant-in-the-room. Reduce the DEMAND for housing (Duh).

And how do you do that? TURN OFF THE IMMIGRATION TAP. REDUCE IMMIGRATION INTAKES, Turning off the tap would relieve more pressure on the housing market  than dumping billions into a bottomless pit.

There is a reason that this solution is off the table of course. Too many people are making too much money in the immigration-driven population ponzi scam, and too many politicians lack the courage and the insight to call for a sane immigration policy. Immigration is the sacred cow of political discourse. It is a given. Part of our cultural DNA.  To make critical mention of the ugly “I” word is tantamount to inviting social ostracism and political suicide. Yet it is on almost everyone’s mind.

The most conspicuous feature of Horgan’s press announcement was not his speech, but the people who surrounded him. Every single one of the people who flanked him holding their NDP signs had Chinese faces, an irony that was lost on the media. But it was not likely lost on TV viewers, the majority of whom I’m sure are quite capable of connecting the dots. We are talking here of the muzzled majority of course.  The people whose views are beyond the pale, finding expression on the Internet under the cover of pseudonyms.

If you think that those who wish to slash immigration levels represent a ‘far right’, ‘racist’ fringe, just check out the comment sections that follow articles pertaining to immigration. It seems that the “fringe” is now mainstream, and it’s all reality’s doing. In this housing market, there is a thought criminal born every minute.

Tim Murray

May 4, 2017

Vancouver Mayor Dating Chinese Pop Star

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Vancouver Mayor Dating Chinese Pop Star



When the name of Haitian import Michaelle Jean, married to a White husband, was proposed to then Prime Minister Paul Martin for Governor-General, he gushed with enthusiasm. She was the perfect symbol of the New Canada, a foreigner in a mixed race relationship, to replace the then Governor-General, Chinese import, Adrienne Clarkson,  married to a White husband.


Promoting mixed race relationships is  a key part of the plan to replace the European founding/settler people of this Dominion.


Thus, it comes as little surprise to learn that Vancouver’s oh-so trendy Mayor Gregor Robertson now has a Chinese girlfriend,

named Wanting Qu.


The Hongcouver Blog by Ian Young on the South China Morning Post (January 14, 2015) website reports the story and contains some interesting factoids about Vancouver, Canada’s most miscegenated city.


“She has also helped develop the mayor’s substantial social media following in China (he has more than 88,000 followers on Weibo; Qu has 1.5 million) in various ways.”








“For a start, Vancouver has the highest rate of mixed-race unions in Canada, according to a 2010 Statistics Canada report, based on 2006 census results.”


“It’s true that ethnic Chinese have one of the lowest rates of mixed race unions in Canada: Only 12.7 per cent of all ethnic Chinese in couples in Canada had partners of another race. Compare that to, say, 74.7 per cent of ethnic Japanese”


“And because Chinese immigration has been growing so rapidly, the proportion of ethnic Chinese in Canada who are foreign-born – 72 per cent according to the 2001 census – is far higher than for most other ethnicities.”



A screenshot from the Chinese Youku video-sharing site, in which Wanting Qu sings “Happy Birthday” to Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, when he turned 50 in September. Photo: Youku

Vancouver’s ridiculously photogenic mayor, Gregor Robertson, has a new girlfriend, the mainland-Chinese-born pop star Wanting Qu.

First, some background and a disclaimer: I reckon the relationship is worth scrutiny for at least a couple of non-prurient reasons, not the least of which is that Robertson’s own PR team put his private life front and centre last summer at the start of his re-election campaign. This was ostensibly in response to some pretty wild rumours circulating about the married mayor’s private life which remain unfounded; the excellent reason that they have not been repeated by the mainstream media is that there is no reason to believe that they are true.

But Robertson’s campaign team didn’t have to respond the way they did, with a full-court-press that included the release of a private email from a political opponent to the mayor (CCed to a fellow councillor) that recounted some of the rumours. Now, Vancouver’s mainstream media has its faults – but an over-willingness to poke about the private lives of its politicians is not one of them, and I find it difficult to believe that these rumours would have been printed without the intervention of Robertson’s own people.

The upshot was that Robertson’s separation from his wife, Amy, was confirmed to the general public in prominent fashion.

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson and Wanting Qu in an image posted by Qu to social media before their relationship became public knowledge. Photo: Twitter

Another reason the mayor’s relationship with 31-year-old Qu, who is based in Vancouver, deserves at least some examination is her paid position as the city’s Chinese tourism ambassador. She has also helped develop the mayor’s substantial social media following in China (he has more than 88,000 followers on Weibo; Qu has 1.5 million) in various ways. These included a bikini-clad shout-out to the mayor in August, when Qu undertook the ALS ice-bucket challenge.

A month later, she did a ‘Marilyn‘ and sang happy birthday to the mayor on the Chinese Youku video-sharing site when he turned 50 in September. She also attended the mayor’s inauguration in December and both spent the holiday season in Hawaii.


Neither the mayor nor Qu are commenting directly on the relationship (first reported by the Globe and Mail’s Frances Bula last week), and that’s their prerogative. Qu on Sunday obliquely observed on Instagram : “I have lived my life with integrity, strong morals and respect for the world. I believe in life you just gotta be who you are. And you’ll only attract those who are like you and live by the same values.”

There have been some sadly predictable racist remarks in various online forums. But asides from the public profiles of the presumably happy couple, their pairing represents nothing terribly remarkable. For a start, Vancouver has the highest rate of mixed-race unions in Canada, according to a 2010 Statistics Canada report, based on 2006 census results. The study found that 8.5 per cent of couples in Vancouver were in racially mixed unions, compared to the national average of just 3.9 per cent, Toronto’s 7.1 per cent and Montreal’s 4.4 per cent.

Wanting Qu’s ALS ice-bucket challenge, which she issued in August to Gregor Robertson, among others. Photo: YouTube

It’s true that ethnic Chinese have one of the lowest rates of mixed race unions in Canada: Only 12.7 per cent of all ethnic Chinese in couples in Canada had partners of another race. Compare that to, say, 74.7 per cent of ethnic Japanese (whose are the most prone to being part of a multi-racial couple, according to the census).

It might be tempting for some to think that this data therefore demonstrates a powerful romantic aversion among Chinese for other races (or, conversely, other races’ aversion towards Chinese) that makes Harbin-born Qu an oddity.

But closer examination will show otherwise. Over all, minority members born overseas were far less likely to be in a mixed couple than Canadian-born minority members (12 per cent to 56 per cent). It’s obvious when you think about it: People who immigrate tend to do so as adults, and as such are more likely to have formed a relationship in their former homelands. The effect is particularly pronounced among ethnic Chinese in couples, only 6 per cent of whom were in mixed unions if they were born outside Canada. But among ethnic Chinese born under the maple leaf, that rate soars to 54 per cent. In other words, most Canadian-born Chinese in couples had a non-Chinese partner.

And because Chinese immigration has been growing so rapidly, the proportion of ethnic Chinese in Canada who are foreign-born – 72 per cent according to the 2001 census – is far higher than for most other ethnicities. Among ethnic Japanese, only 23 per cent were born outside Canada (2001 census).

Another factor is likely at play in reducing the general likelihood of mixed race unions among Chinese, and that’s the sheer scale of the ethnic Chinese community. Members of smaller minorities (such as Japanese) simply don’t have as large a pool of potential romantic partners of the same ethnicity, regardless of any supposed race-based romantic preferences.

All of which goes to show, in a roundabout way, that racial romantic pre-determinism is a pretty wobbly concept at best. Black or white, Chinese or not, mayor or pop singer, the heart wants what the heart wants. The Hongcouver blog wishes Robertson and Ms Qu the very best.

The Hongcouver blog is devoted to the hybrid culture of its namesake cities: Hong Kong and Vancouver. All story ideas and comments are welcome. Connect with me by email ian.young@scmp.com or on Twitter, @ianjamesyoung70