Opinion

Fifteen Problems I Wish BC Had

Sockeye return exhausts fishers! Eager electorate tramples voting booths! Add your own wishful woes.

By Crawford Kilian 14 Mar 2015 | TheTyee.ca

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

I accept the wisdom of Job: We are born to suffer as the sparks fly upward.

But what we suffer is largely up to us. And after a three-quarter century of suffering North American-style, I can tell you I'm ready for a better class of problem than we now deal with.

So here are 15 problems I wish The Tyee, as a solutions-oriented periodical, had to concern itself with over the next year or two:

1. The Vancouver SeaBus is delayed repeatedly by orca pods in Burrard Inlet that blithely ignore other marine traffic. The orcas then scare the hell out of boaters in Deep Cove. This aggravates the Cove's weekend parking problem as hordes swarm in, hoping to post a video of some kayaker being munched.

2. Returning wild sockeye salmon turn the Fraser River pink with their numbers, exhausting commercial and sport fishers alike. The price is 10 cents a pound and fish farmers criticize the government because they're going broke.

3. B.C. solar panel makers, unable to compete with ever-cheaper Chinese panels, clamour for subsidies plus provincially trained workers, while BC Hydro threatens "distribution charges" for self-powered homes.

4. Elections Canada apologizes in 2015 because it hadn't prepared for a 90 per cent turnout; it promises to do better for B.C. in 2017. Election clerks demand hazard pay: "We nearly got trampled," says Coquitlam clerk. Meanwhile, TSX drops 400 points on election of majority NDP government.

5. B.C.'s private schools start shutting down because the province's public-school ratings are beating Shanghai, Korea, Singapore and Finland. Vancouver School Board howls: "We don't have room for all these new students, and the buildings aren't seismically upgraded anyway." The Fraser Institute announces its first bake sale to fund next year's school ranking project.

6. Northern Vancouver Island and Central Coast communities protest the swarms of tourists and would-be settlers after BC Ferries returns to Crown corporation status and reduces fares. "We had a two-ferry wait from Port McNeill," complains Sointula resident.

7. Raw-log exporters are going broke because B.C. designers are consuming so much wood for furniture and artworks.

8. Vancouver Fire & Rescue faces layoffs as addicts cease overdosing and homeless move indoors or into care for health issues. Downtown Eastside residents protest new 80-kilometre per hour speed limit for electric scooters and longboards around Main and Hastings.

9. Ex-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, with no corporate board appointments, takes temporary foreign worker job as economics instructor at University of California, Berkeley, teaching Introduction to Keynes, gets awful scores on RateMyProfessor.com. Conservative Party launches crowdfunding appeal to support indigent former Tory backbenchers and cabinet officers.

10. Kinder Morgan seeks creditor protection as Asian markets ditch natural gas, oil for renewable energy. B.C. boaters complain about Salish Sea wind farms as hazards to navigation. "What is this, Denmark?" asks one yachtsman.

11. Wreck Beach emigrés fleeing sea-level rise turn Kits Beach, Commercial Drive into clothing-optional sites in summer because with climate change "it's too darn hot"; Chief Medical Health Officer frets about shortage of sunblock to thwart skin cancer.

12. Downtown Eastside gentrifiers protest swarms of cruise ship visitors ruining the ambience. ''It's getting as bad as Gastown,'' one café manager complains.

13. Healthcare crisis: ERs are deserted, wards half-empty. B.C. Nurses' Union complains: "Ministry is overfunding us and neglecting big business; corporations are persons too."

14. Financial institutions grumble about having to headhunt in China because "all our bright local kids are fighting to get into teacher training."

15. The Tyee appeals to readers for crowdsourced advice: "When we've solved these problems, what should we solve next?"  [Tyee]

Read more: BC Politics,

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