Approaching the end of fall on the Sunshine Coast

The days are increasingly short and grey, but nature is on full display everywhere we look

Approaching the end of fall on the Sunshine CoastI’m looking out of our living room window on a predominantly grey sea and landscape. The eye first trips over some close-in treetops before it encompasses five km of Jervis Inlet, leading to Scotch Fir Point in the mid-distance. The bulk of Texada Island beckons in the further background, hiding whatever it wishes behind its…

Canadian drilling forecast continues to cool

Capital, companies, equipment and crews are leaving Canada for better opportunities, with the U.S. an easy choice: PSAC

Canadian drilling forecast continues to coolThe Petroleum Services Association of Canada has decreased its forecast for the number of wells expected to be drilled across Canada for this year. In its third update to its 2019 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, PSAC revised its number from 5,300 (May 2019 revision) to 5,100 wells drilled. PSAC now projects 2,425 wells to be…

Small class sizes no guarantee of quality education

To listen to the teacher unions and their supporters, the sky is about to fall if class sizes for secondary schools get bigger. The evidence shows they're dead wrong

Small class sizes no guarantee of quality educationClass war may soon break out in Canada. More than half of Canadian high school students are in Ontario or British Columbia. Teacher negotiations continue in both provinces with secondary school class sizes a central issue that could trigger strike action. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation wants to retain or lower high school class size limits…

A whale of a shift in seasons on the West Coast

Blackberries, figs, grey and humpback whales, and spawning salmon all herald the arrival of autumn

A whale of a shift in seasons on the West CoastAs August turns the corner to September, some notable and familiar signs of change occur at Skelhp, which is known as “The place where the ancients dropped down from the heavens and taught us how to make canoe paddles out of yew wood.” The blackberries that have been thriving over the past three weeks start…

Memories of a Transmission lost in translation

Transmission Difficulties: The Dignitaries once had a place of pride behind my father's desk. My mother eventually sold it. Now we know why

Memories of a Transmission lost in translationFor her 97th birthday, I offered to take my mother to Whistler for the day, especially to see the new Audain Art Museum. She was ecstatic at the prospect, and especially eager to see the in-house collection of works by Emily Carr and E.J. Hughes – her two favourite B.C. realist painters. Mom was a…

A soft egg in the Nahanni National Park Reserve

Discovering Virginia Falls, a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site – and learning a little German

A soft egg in the Nahanni National Park ReserveON THE ALASKA HIGHWAY – In German, weichei means soft egg. It defines a person’s character. In Canada, we call them wimps. Charly Kudlacek is from Frankfurt in the German state of Hesse and, as eggs go, is hard-boiled. We met Charly and his wife Marion in a remote campground at Summit Lake on the…

Taking the anxiety out of long crossings in a kayak

Go early, be prepared for any eventuality, plan well, concentrate on strong paddle strokes and keep your destination dead off your bow

Taking the anxiety out of long crossings in a kayakIt’s the classic ocean kayaker’s dilemma: should I wait or go now? You’re all loaded up. It’s probably early in the morning and you don’t want to delay others as your trip unfolds before you. Some or all of your trip-mates may have taken kayak water rescue courses and have at least some confidence in…

Once in a blue moon: scaling B.C.’s Fisher Peak

Climbing Fisher requires no mountaineering equipment, no technical skills. But the steady steepness makes for a long, hard day

Once in a blue moon: scaling B.C.’s Fisher PeakOnce in a blue moon something improbable occurs. A goal beyond expectations and beyond the capacity of aging knees is accomplished. The view of Fisher Peak from our Kimberley, B.C., condo is mesmerizing. For years I’ve gazed across the Rocky Mountain Trench at that daunting, taunting pinnacle. Fisher dominates the skyline in this range of…

The Trans Mountain truth defies activists’ claims

For an issue that’s been so polarizing, the arguments against the pipeline expansion are surprisingly flawed

The Trans Mountain truth defies activists’ claimsNothing has been as divisive to national unity as the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in the 25 years since the Quebec independence referendum. But unlike separation, this project – approved again last week by the federal government – is good for the country and will benefit all Canadians. Moving to Vancouver two years ago from…

How mismanagement of B.C. forests is hurting Canada’s economy

Recent sawmill closures have exposed a raft of problems in the industry and government failure to ensure long-term productivity

How mismanagement of B.C. forests is hurting Canada’s economyRecent sawmill closures in British Columbia have brought to light the need for renewed focus on the mismanagement of B.C. forests over the past decades and what to do about it. That mismanagement is having a significant effect on the B.C. and Canadian economies. If you live in the B.C. interior, where more than 820…
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