This is what we've come to...?

Saturday, May 05, 2007
As I've mentioned before, and those of you in Alberta know this full well, the housing situation in Alberta is abhorrent. Seriously, I remember when I was in my first couple of years of university and the vacancy rate was so low that many apartment buildings were offering a variety of deals to get people to rent their units - free cable, 1 month free on a yearly lease, no damage deposits. Times have certainly changed. Construction companies can't keep up with the demand for new housing as more and more people flood the province looking for high paying, lucrative jobs. Like a scene out of Far and Away, people headed out to the prairies around Calgary and staked their claims. Hopeful future home owners camped out for the CHANCE to buy a lot. Just a lot, not a house and the land. And the lots are not cheap. They were going for $3 - 500,000. When you factor in the the cost of building a house on the property, buyers will be looking at shelling out around $1million or more. And chances are they're not going to be able to move in, given the demand on construction in the province, ooooh...I'd say about 2 years. Minimum.

In Edmonton, the number of homeless people continues to grow and the city seems to be doing nothing about it. To protest the lack of action by the city, a number of individuals, including a local street pastor, recently camped out in front of city hall hoping to have their concerns heard. It seems the mayor and city council weren't paying attention...that is until the smell of a little present left behind on the lawn reached their nostrils. The city has committed to open 200 beds at a local mission - but only for a month. The pastor and the other campers have said they might just end up on the legislature grounds if the province doesn't step in soon. That'll be interesting.

A recent poll was taken by Moneysense Magazine to determine the best places to live in Canada. Alberta's largest cities not high up on list (Calgary #28, Edmonton #31). And thanks to a lack of infrastructure, housing of any kind, and the high cost of living throughout the province, one of our fastest growing cities, Grande Prairie, ranked in the high 90s. Not good. What was the top city to live in all of Canada, you ask? Why, the capital, Ottawa, of course. I'm sure that has nothing to do with Stephen Harper or the fact that Ottawa has the only Canadian hockey team left in the playoffs. Hmmm...

In other news, CBC is reporting that Reese Witherspoon's production company will be making a movie based on the murder of Rena Virk in BC 10 years ago. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm certainly not ready to watch a movie about Nina Courtepatte. For that matter, I don't want to see a movie about the murder of little "Punky Gustafson" either. And you just know someone will eventually make a movie about Robert Pickton and his pig farm. I suppose if it raises awareness and may, indirectly, help prevent something similar happen to someone else, it's a good thing. But is that the real reason that filmmakers decide to make movies like this, or is it because the subject matter is so sensationalistic and they'll be guaranteed viewers? Something to think about.

And perhaps it's because I'm currently reading "The Great Influenza" but a Nova Scotian mumps outbreak has spread to Ontario...should we be worried? Like the flu, it can be spread through coughing and sneezing. However, I don't remember hearing anyone dying of the mumps. Regardless, perhaps we should all just start walking around encased in plastic bubbles.


Wandering Coyote said...

I couldn't believe that Ottawa was #1. I lived there nearly 7 years and hated the place. I keep hearing about what's going on in AB, all the jobs paying ridiculous wages ($16/hr to work at Timmy's?) and low rental availability. Of course, with every boom there are those that are left behind, and we don't seem to learn this at all.

As for the Reena Virk movie...well, you know what I think. I hope if it ever gets made that it's done with some sensitivity and not sensationalism. And I hope they respect the story for the sake of Reena and her family.

Last CSI on Thurs. made a reference to Pickton, BTW, though not by name. I was waiting for that one.

Mai said...

May I vent a little? Thank you. Mr. Pickton makes me ill. I put in a Google news/blog alert with his name to help me follow the trial. I am about to remove it because I'm getting sick. I've had plenty of violence in my life, unfortunately, but none of my family, as far as I know, has become pig slop. I could not possibly find a movie about him entertaining, although I'll probably watch the inevitable documentary/ies after the trial on Discovery/History channels - or Animal Planet. Thank you for letting me say that. I needed to get it out.

Now I issue an invitation to visit my blog about the life of a Sikh-French Canadian, not of the murderous variety.

Sheamus the... said...

coughing and sneezing...there is a scene in the movie Outbreak that will scare you away from a movie theater or and public place. Maybe the day of the zombie isnt too far away.

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