|Alexandra Waterhouse-Hayward - Royal Hudson 1979|
Sometime in the last century I watched a scientific program on PBS that featured a roomful of mousetraps each with a ping-pong ball. One of the traps was moved and the result was the explanation for what is a chain reaction.
In British Columbia, and particularly in Vancouver, the issue of homelessness is a most important one. It is one that MLA and BC Premier Designate David Eby understands well.
From this non-expert’s view, attempting to solve homelessness without studying and solving some of the ancillary problems, amounts to having a large room with a single mouse trap.
In this blog I state Nini Baird’s theory years ago, but most relevant now, about Vancouver’s density situation. She maintains that the cities and towns of BC’s interior are isolated because they lack communication. Folks living in some of those remote and not so remote towns and their young high school graduates do not see the future of staying put. They come to Vancouver.
I am an Argentine by birth and since a child my family depended on railroads and subways. To this day the English trains, built at the end and beginning of the 20th century, link Buenos Aires to its surrounding neighbourhoods and to the interior of the country.
daughter Alexandra, who lives in Lillooet, must use her car to visit me. Lillooet
has one of the loveliest train stations.
It is an empty one. Another in Pemberton is a café. That a so called "World Class" skiing region that is Whistler is linked by a solitary bus service that begins at YVR is incredible!
I have been living long enough in Vancouver (since 1975) to have been on the Royal Hudson many times. In fact for almost 30 years I worked on contract for Canadian Pacific Limited and I did my share of photographs of trains, tracks and cabooses. I know how the scalers kept the sides of the mountains safe for trains going from Vancouver to Lytton and beyond. I remember the fine Budd diesel Cars.
You do not
have to be a railroad engineer to figure out that in many sections of the
single rail linking Vancouver to Squamish there are spots that could have short
double tracks where a train going in one direction could linger until another
going in the opposite direction would pass. A train to Whistler (at the very least) could be a reality.
The BC Ferry system links our islands because the ferries are deemed extensions of our highways. A BC Bus System could be in the works, perhaps?
Anywhere else in the world a large geographical entity that would be similar to BC without a good transportation would be a scandal.
I remember that Premier Gordon Campbell sold BC Rail to the CNR. The CNR promptly folded the company.
In this blog I mention a Basque gentleman who became a bishop in the 16th century who moved from Spain to the yet unnamed Mexico. On the way he read Thomas Moore’s Utopia. Vasco de Quiroga became a proto socialist and founded communes in what is now the state of Michoacán. He taught the Indigenous populations of every town a craft. To this day Santa María del Cobre manufactures copper wear and the best Mexican guitars come from Paracho Michoacán.
If one goes to the interior I guess one can purchase Nanaimo Bars in Nanaimo and fruits and wine in the Okanagan.
Lillooet with its very good motto of “Guaranteed Rugged” manufactures nothing. Boots, tents, jackets? I would buy one.
When I returned from Buenos Aires, after my conscription in the Argentine Navy in 1967, I was on board an Argentine Merchant Marine Victory ship called the Río Aguapey. It was many years later that to my delight I found out that it had been built in the Burrard Shipyards. We used to build ships!
Nothing seems to be made outside of the Lower Mainland now.
If we are to understand Nini Baird’s explanation for Vancouver’s density solving homelessness by considering that part of a multiple problem needing a solution could be a good beginning.
Sir, Mr. Eby, our future is in your hands.