Friday, November 29, 2013


This house is at 1872 Parker Street in the Grandview district. It was built in 1909 for Mr. Brookhouse.

It is one of a dozen Queen Anne style residences in the area. The turret has become an identifying emblem in Grandview. 

Here's what the home used to look like, before years of neglect made it into what it is today.
Not too long ago this residence was sold. Initially, the owner was interested in turning this once fine home into a two-family home and retaining the character.

Unfortunately, there were problems with the plans to do this and now the owner has applied to the city for a demolition permit so that this formerly grand lady can be torn down and two duplexes put in its place.

The Grandview Heritage Group and others are protesting the demolition and trying to save the home. Members of the group have toured the interior of this home, which was once used as a boarding house and you can see those photos at this page.

I really hope that Brookhouse can be saved. Other Queen Anne style homes in the area have been successfully converted. The Odlum home on Grant is now a coop and the Hawkins residence on Victoria Drive has been redone and is now part of the Britannia Lodge. Kurrajong at Napier and Salsbury is another fine old home that has been remodelled. And Vancouver is so young that we need to retain as much of our history as we can.

Here's the Hawkins House.
The last two photos are of Kurrajong.

I thought I had a photo of the Odlum House - I am certain I have written on it - but I can't find it.

Thanks goes to the Grandview Heritage Group for the information on Brookhouse.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Premier Clark

Presently, until they move, this is the Vancouver Art Gallery. But, in 1917 when this photo was taken, this was the courthouse and you can see the Hotel Vancouver on the side. This would be the second Hotel Vancouver (we are currently on the third)
A 1916 view of the rooftop gardens on the Hotel Vancouver.

A 1939 panoramic view of the city from City Hall.
The Hotel Georgia - across the street from the courthouse - in the 1940s.

Ms. Clark did not stay out of politics for long. On August 31, 2005, she announced her intention to seek the nomination of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) and would run for the position of Mayor of Vancouver. She lost the nomination in September.

Christy also had a radio show on CKNW 980AM from August 27, 2007 to 2010. She wrote a weekly column for the Vancouver Province newspaper and the Vancouver Sun during the 2005 provincial election and was a political analyst for Global BC and CTV News Channel (both television stations) during the 2006 federal election.

Clark had said numerous times that she was out of politics and had no further interest in a political career. However, when Premier Campbell resigned, she apparently had a change of heart and decided to run for leadership of the B.C. Liberal party and take on the position of premier.

Family first was on the top of her agenda and Clark attempted to promote herself as an outsider, someone who could provide the change the people were looking for. She proposed establishing a provincial family day in February, establishing an Office of the Municipal Auditor General to monitor local government taxation and to provide a more open government by holding 12 town hall meetings to hear from provincial citizens.

All sounds well and good, but there was still the issue of the HST and some opposition wanted to bring up the BC Rail sale. At first, Clark wanted to cancel an upcoming referendum on the HST and instead let the MLAs do their job and vote down the HST. Later, however, she did decide to continue with the HST.

As for the BC Rail sale. This event haunted her until April of 2013 when B.C.'s Conflict of Interest Commissioner released a decision that Clark had been in neither a real nor apparent conflict of interest. 

On February 26, 2011, the B.C. Liberal Party elected Christy Clark as leader and on March 14, 2011, she became premier. She then unveiled a smaller cabinet.

At the time of her swearing in, Clark did not have a seat in the legislature so she ran in Campbell's riding of Vancouver-Point Grey. By defeating NDP candidate David Eby by 595 votes, Christy once again made history since her win marks the first time that a governing party won a by-election in thirty years.

When Clark first became premier, the B.C. Liberals experienced a surge in support and lead in opinion polls. Unfortunately, that increase was short lived and soon Clark and the Liberals were trailing behind the New Democratic Party.  Yet, despite the opinion of the polls, Christy Clark and her party were victorious in the May 2013 election. 

Clark, however, lost her seat to David Eby. Perhaps because she had spent so much time on promoting her party? The MLA for the Liberal seat in Westside-Kelowna, Ben Stewart, stepped down so that Christy could run in that riding. On July 10, 2013 Clark won the by-election, taking more than 60 percent of the vote. 
Wow! There it is, all thirty-five B.C. Premiers. Writing on the politicians did not give me a better understanding of the political system - I still don't understand a lot of it - but it gave me a better appreciation for what these men and women have gone through. From John Foster McCreight to Christina Joan "Christy" Clark, B.C. premiers are interesting, sometimes controversial, figures that helped shape this beautiful province I call home.

Of course, I have to thank Wikipedia for the information on Ms. Clark.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Christy Clark

On October 29, 1965, a Burnaby schoolteacher and his family counsellor wife, welcomed a female child into the world. Jim and Mavis Clark named their daughter Christina Joan "Christy" Clark.

Although she never obtained a degree, Christy attended Simon Fraser University, the Sorbonne in France and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

In 2001, Clark and then husband, Mark Marissen, had their first child, a son they named Hamish Marissen-Clark. Christy became the second woman in Canadian history to give birth to a child while serving as a cabinet minister.
Photo of Christy Clark supplied by the B.C. premier's office.
Clark was elected to the legislature in 1996, representing the Port Moody-Burnaby Mountain riding. She was busy for the next five years, serving as the Official Opposition critic for the environment, children and families and for the public service. She also served as campaign co-chair for the B.C. Liberals in the 2001 election. The one where the B.C. Liberals triumphed by taking 77 out of 79 seats in the legislature.

 When Gordon Campbell took office, he appointed Clark Minister of Education and Deputy Premier. She got busy making changes that were intended to increase accountability, strengthen parental power in the decision-making process as well as give the parents greater choice and flexibility in the school system. These changes were not popular among teachers, school board members opposing politicians and union officials. The union officials argued that the decision not to fund the pay increases agreed to by the government resulted in funding gaps. The BC Teacher's foundation challenged the changes, which were later found to be unconstitutional.
While she was Education Minister, Clark tried to increase the independence of the B.C. College of Teachers (the B.C. College of Teachers was the professional self-regulatory teachers in B.C. It set and enforced standards for teachers in the province, assessed applicants for the profession and issued teaching certificates.) But the B.C. Teachers' Federation heavily opposed this.

In 2002, Clark and the B.C. Liberals introduced Bills 27 and 28, which forced teachers back to work and banned collective bargaining. Nine years later, Ms. Clark's decision to do this was found to be unconstitutional.

Christy Clark and her brother, Bruce, were also drawn into the B.C.Rail scandal - one of the election campaigns the B.C. Liberals had was not to sell B.C. Rail, but they did. - but I am not going to go into it here because no one was charged, the B.C. Liberals were not ousted because of it and it does look a lot like a smear campaign by the opposition and others.

In 2004, Clark quit provincial politics and did not seek re-election in the 2005 election. She stated she wanted to spend more time at home with her three-year old son.

But Christina Clark did not stay out of politics - after all, she is our current premier - and on Wednesday, I will tell you more about her.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the information on Christy Clark.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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