Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

First some stats…

Violent Crime And Homicides [2000]Homicides per 100,000 [2000]

Note how Canada is way up there on both charts and Switzerland is at the bottom. So you think Switzerland must have some crazy serious gun control going on, right? Think again. Check out this video below.
So I guess knowing that practically every home in Switzerland has a semi-automatic weapon waiting to greet would-be burglars has put a damper on the B&E business. Who’da thunk?

And the Brits, who surrendered their pistols over a decade ago for the promise of less violent crime, have only seen gun-related offenses skyrocket since (evidently the criminals must not have got the memo to turn them in). And in the last two years Britain has experienced its largest peaceful protest ever in a desperate bid to keep their remaining long guns.
Meanwhile back in Canada the idiocy continues. First British Columbia banned citizens from bullet-proofing their cars. Now they’ve banned bullet-proof vests. This IMHO is just stupid. As usual, the local media mouthpieces have abandoned their post and practically parrot the provincial government’s talking points verbatim. I have yet to hear of anyone being killed or even wounded using a bullet-proof vest as a weapon. They are D-E-F-E-N-S-I-V-E by definition. Scissors are more dangerous (are they next?). If people want to protect themselves from being killed why is our government trying to stop them?

We’re like frogs in a slow-boiling pot. Wake up, people! If we don’t soon, we’re lunch meat. Call your local MLA and give ’em hell!

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.
Benjamin Franklin

In case you thought this sort of Thought Police crap could never happen in Canada then read on, oh innocent one…

My Dear Friends.
This is my first opportunity to tell what is happening to me.
On Nov 24 late evening I was arrested by police and send to detention center under “mental health act”. … All I did was protest the participation of Canadian troops in illegal and fake war in Afghanistan. I stopped the traffic on Robson street in the heart of the tourist district in Vancouver Canada

[ Blog Post Source ]

My 2-Bits: Okay, so his protest method was a tad unorthodox, but to be detained for 10 days in a mental institution? This sort of psychological thuggery reeks of the kind of totalitarian tactics we hear far too often coming out of communist countries.

For all those the-housing-market-is-different-here-in-Canada folks this one’s for you, courtesy of the Bank of Canada. BoC made this working paper entitled “Housing Market Cycles and Duration Dependence in the United States and Canada” available in February 2007 to very little fanfare. If this is old news to some then I’m sorry for wasting your time, but since I frequent many Canadian RE websites I see nary a mention of it, and its findings are IMHO quite pertinent. So here are some of the highlights (bolding and comments within square parentheses are mine):

From the abstract:

  • Using a panel of 137 cities, we examine the duration, size, and correlations of housing market cycles in North America. [Although mostly secondary, the research does go back as far as 1870.]
  • We find that North American housing cycles are long, averaging five years of expansion and four years of contraction, and there is a fairly high degree of correlation in house price cycles between U.S. and Canadian cities. [Ahem, to those few Canuck RE bulls still in denial out there, please take note — NEWS FLASH! WE’RE NOT DIFFERENT.]
  • … to the best of our knowledge, this is the only study that tests specifically for duration dependence in housing market cycles.

From the summary:

  • Housing cycles in the U.S. and Canada are quite similar overall, but Canadian housing market cycles are more volatile than those in the U.S. Most notably, Canadian housing market contractions are somewhat shorter and sharper than those in U.S. cities. [Sharper, as in we Canadians will see bigger housing price drops than what we’re seeing in the U.S. which, three years later, is still in freefall.]
  • In both countries, real house prices decline by 10% to 11% during an average contraction. [So since average prices in the U.S. have so far dropped by 20% with no sign of stopping we are obviously entering an abnormal price decline. How abnormal? Just keeping watching the Case-Shiller’s U.S. home price index to get an idea of the minimum drop we’re going to see here in Canada.]
  • This price decline however, occurs more rapidly in Canada since the average contraction lasts only 3.5 years in Canadian cities compared to 4.4 years in the U.S. cities. [This should be good news for those young Canadians smart enough keep building their nest eggs and not succumb to realtor wiles. Since most analysts put the current U.S. housing top in summer of 2005, Canada seems to be a little bit behind schedule with a spring 2008 top. The paper’s data seems to suggest a bottom in the U.S. around Christmas of 2010 and for Canadians the end of 2012. Remember however, this is based on an average correction and so far the housing bloodbath going on down south is anything but normal.)

In the interests of brevity I’ve only highlighted the abstract and summary. However for the avid RE blog reader there is plenty of interesting tidbits in the 40+ pages in between. All in all a really interesting study, and I would like to thank the folks and the BoC for doing the work. (Thanking a central bank–ugh!–but credit where credit is due.) The BOC link to the working paper is here . Enjoy!

Vancouver Gas Price to Crude Oil Ration - 2 Year Chart

My 2-Bits: Up until a year ago, Vancouver’s gas price and crude oil tracked pretty closely … check where it’s at now. Something’s gotta give: either the pump price is going up or the barrel price is going down. (My gut says the former. Does anything go down these days?)

P.S. The six-year chart looks even worse: $3.00/liter+ 😦

” I had dinner with six good buddies, all from `questionable’ foreign countries [Pakistan, Syria], all great guys and I found out they were all `Canadian’,” he said. ‘None of these guys has spent more than a few weeks in Canada. Yet four were citizens and two were permanent residents who will become full blown citizens shortly.’ … ‘They come from rich families in corrupt countries and they travel the world freely on our passports, without ever paying a dime in tax.’ “

From a Vantage Point in Coquitlam BC Canada One Looks Up in the Sky to See Six New Condo Towers Feverishly On The Way…

Six New Condo Cranes In Coquitlam BC, May 16, 2008
Photo 1 of 3: Six New Condo Cranes In Coquitlam BC, May 16, 2008

… And Another Trying to Sell (Is “Open Daily” Realtor-Speak For: “Please Buy!” ?) …

Almost-Completed Condos For Sale In Coquitlam BC, May 16, 2008
Photo 2 of 3: Almost-Completed Condos For Sale In Coquitlam BC, May 16, 2008

… But Down on the Ground We See This. (Pick a Condo, Any Condo)

Photo 3 of 3: Existing Condos For Sale In Coquitlam BC, May 16, 2008

My 2-Bits: Three photos that summarize how truly blind Vancouver real estate developers must be. If these images don’t speak volumes to present-day large mortgage holders and would-be new homeowners, then nothing will. Nothing more need be said.

Special Thanks to MandyCat for the Photos!

” The Mounties have stripped any new answers from a heavily censored report on the high-profile stun gun incident, obtained by The Canadian Press and CBC under the Access to Information Act. … Absent from the report is the name and rank of the officer who fired the Taser, the name of his supervisor, details about the duration of the firing, and the number of times the weapon was used in stun mode … A written summary of the incident has been blanked out along with assessments as to whether use of the Taser helped the RCMP … New information is scant. “
My 2-Bits: Cudos to Jim Bronskill, Sue Bailey, CBC and the Canadian Press for continuing to investigate this issue!