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Posts tagged as Vancouver

New Canada Food Guide meal resonates best in BC, not so much elsewhere

The veggie-loaded, almost meatless plate on Canada’s newly released Food Guide actually reflects how many young British Columbians eat, When you look at the proteins, there’s almost no meat, just a little bit of chicken, a little bit of fish and a little bit of beef, said Rebecca Coleman, a vegetarian food blogger and mom.The rest of it is tofu, beans and a piece of an egg, not even a whole egg. It’s just crazy how different it is from the last guide.While the 2007 food guide depicted a whole fish and a roast of beef, in the 2019 version those animal proteins are reduced to a few bite-sized morsels. Milk used to be front and centre, but no more.Today, half the plate is covered with a variety of fruits and vegetables, one quarter by whole grains and the remaining quarter by mostly non-meat protein sources, including seeds and legumes. Cheese and milk have disappeared entirely, with just a dollop of yogurt, or possibly sour cream, left to represent dairy.This is a very vegan-friendly plate, said Coleman. When I saw it I thought, Wow, (the government) is kind of getting me.

This is the world in which I live and we have a very big vegan and vegetarian population, Coleman said. If you want to eat that way, Vancouver is the city to do it in.Even people who eat meat are deliberately eating less of it. Per capita beef consumption in Canada has dropped from almost 40 kilograms a year in 1980 to 25 kilograms today, according to Statistics Canada.It feels like no one just eats meat and potatoes anymore, just no one, said Coleman. The new guide really encourages people to eat from a wider spectrum of foods.Eating the ingredients suggested by the Food Guide and avoiding processed foods will likely require some home cooks to acquire new skills. Pulling together a dish from vegetables, grains and legumes is trickier than frying a pork chop.

For this guide to work, we are going to need a lot of education, said a Dalhousie University food researcher, Sylvain Charlebois. People know what to do with a piece of beef or chicken, but it may not be as clear for things like lentils and tofu.People were concerned that the food choices on offer would take too long to prepare and more than half believed the grocery bill would jump, according to a study led by Charlebois.But following the recommendations of the new guide will likely lower your family’s grocery bill by almost seven per cent, compared with following the more-meat-laden guidelines of the 2007 version, the study found.While the guide strongly recommends eating at home for better nutrition and to save money, Canadians are less likely than ever to cook at home.The guide ignores the fact that we spend 35 cents of every food dollar outside the home, said Charlebois.

It tells us nothing about how to spend that money.Restaurant sales have more than doubled in the past 20 years and 71 per cent of Canadians regularly order takeout.Prepared food services businesses that drop off up to a week’s worth of ready-to-eat meals at a time are the fastest-growing segment of the food industry.The guide ignores people’s desire for speed and convenience altogether, he said.People want more convenience because they have no time and that is a huge barrier to adoption.The guide’s recommendations to take more time over meals and cook more often are almost quaint in their naivet when the amount of time that we spend preparing food has been dropping steadily for decades, said Charlebois.

The vast majority of Canadians go through something I like to call life, he said. People travel, they get ill, they work and go to school, they have kids who go to hockey and gymnastics, you name it.It prevents people from being disciplined about food.While the Food Guide may have caught up to B.C. it appears to have zoomed right past mainstream Canadians.Nearly two-thirds of Canadians don’t use Canada’s Food Guide, according to Charlebois. Among those who have bothered to look at it, 20 per cent didn’t like the food choices, while another 20 per cent say it doesn’t fit their dietary needs.

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Residential real estate foreclosures in Metro and Fraser Valley rising

Because residential real estate prices have only dropped further since last summer and real-time information about recent transactions in March 2019
With recent home sales in the Lower Mainland showing some dramatic price declines, there has been an uptick in foreclosures as owners are unable to make mortgage payments.

In the past decade, there have been few foreclosures because rising real estate values and low interest rates allowed owners to easily refinance or sell to get out of a bind.But as prices have turned, there has been a modest increase in the number of court-ordered residential real estate sales in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, starting late last year, according to several agents.Yes, there’s definitely more, said Vancouver realtor Russ Macnab. For the last three or four years, on average, there have been about 20 to 30 (court-ordered sale) properties listed at any time across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.There were lots of people looking at them and interested in them, but fewer of them (available) because prices were rising.Now, it’s more like about 50 to 70 or 100, said Macnab.

There’s not a boom of them, not all of them at once, but there’s more of a flow.There was an increase in court-ordered sales in Burnaby and Vancouver starting last November, said Simon Clayton, who has sold over 20 foreclosed properties since 2012.Quite a number started popping up as people can no longer rely on gained equity to solve the problem (of not being able to make mortgage payments), said Clayton.Realtor Gary Voigt described the current ratio of court-ordered sales compared to total listings on the MLS as a sliver.
He said out of the 8,406 total listings for detached homes in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, 42 are court-ordered sales. For attached homes, the number is 26 out of 9,466.Put together, the total is 68.It can take months to half a year from the time an owner first misses payments to when a lender applies to court to recoup money, said North Vancouver realtor Aaron Rossetti.“It’s a trailing indicator.”For this reason, because prices have only been dropping since last summer and information about recent transactions shows sharper declines, especially in more expensive areas, the number of foreclosures could gather pace.

It’s very telling of the market, said Vancouver realtor Ian Watt, who started tracking the number of past court-ordered sales (not listings) to see how they correlate to price trends. In 2010, there were 752 court-ordered sales of both detached and attached homes, in Metro Vancouver.The number held steady until 2015 when there was a drop to 605. As real estate prices surged in 2016, they dropped further to 327, and then to 214 in 2017, and 195 in 2018.In the first months of this year (there’s not much activity in January, so really it’s February and March, said Watt), there have been 22 houses and four condos for a total of 26 court-ordered sales. Watt, who believes more owners are overextended in this market than in the prior downturn after 2009, predicts that next year, the number of these sales could be back up to 550.

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Huawei Sues US Government Over Ban on Its Products

Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies on Thursday confirmed it is suing the US government over a section of a defence bill passed into law last year that restricted its business in the United States.
“The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products.We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort,” Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping said in a statement.”This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming US consumers.We look forward to the court’s verdict, and trust that it will benefit both Huawei and the American people.””Lifting the NDAA ban will give the US Government the flexibility it needs to work with Huawei and solve real security issues,” Guo said.
In its lawsuit, Huawei said its “equipment and services are subject to advanced security procedures, and no backdoors, implants, or other intentional security vulnerabilities have been documented in any of the more than 170 countries in the world where Huawei equipment and services are used.”The privately owned firm has embarked on a public relations and legal offensive as Washington lobbies allies to abandon Huawei when building 5G mobile networks, centring on a 2017 Chinese law requiring companies cooperate with national intelligence work.
Founder and Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei No proof,The NDDA bans the US government from doing business with Huawei or compatriot peer ZTE Corp or from doing business with any company that has equipment from the two firms as a “substantial or essential component” of their system.In its lawsuit, filed in US District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, Huawei argues that the section of the law is illegal because it could sharply limit the company’s ability to do business in the United States despite no proof of wrongdoing.
Separately, the lawsuit also alleges that Huawei has been denied due process and that Congress, by stripping Huawei of US commercial opportunities, has violated the “separation of powers” portion of the constitution by doing the work of the courts.UPHILL BATTLE:Some legal experts, however, said Huawei’s lawsuit is likely to be dismissed because US courts are reluctant to second-guess national security determinations by other branches of government.The lawsuit “will be an uphill battle because Congress has broad authority to protect us from perceived national security threats,” said Franklin Turner, a government contracts lawyer at McCarter English.In November 2018, a federal appeals court rejected a similar lawsuit filed by Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, which was challenging a ban on the use of the company’s software in US government networks.
The Texas court hearing Huawei’s case will not be bound by that decision, but will likely adopt its reasoning because of the similarities in the two disputes, said Steven Schwinn, a professor at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.”I don’t see how (Huawei) can really escape that result,” said Schwinn.Retribution:The legal action and public relations outreach compare with a more restrained response in December emphasising “trust in justice” when its chief financial officer, Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver at US request.The United States has accused Meng – Ren’s daughter – of bank and wire fraud related to breaches of trade sanctions against Iran.
Meng appeared in court on Wednesday during which her lawyer expressed concern that the allegations have a political character, raising US President Donald Trump’s comments on the case.Separately, Meng, who is fighting extradition, is suing Canada’s government for procedural wrongs in her arrest.The case had strained relations with China, which this week accused two arrested Canadians of stealing state secrets in a move widely seen as retribution for Meng’s arrest.While Meng is under house arrest in Vancouver, it is unclear where the two Canadians are being detained in China.Sources previously told Reuters that at least one of the Canadians did not have access to legal representation.Change of tuneRen met international media for the first time in several years in mid-January, calling US President Donald Trump “great” and refraining from commenting directly on Meng’s case.Shifting tone, Ren in mid-February said Meng’s arrest was politically motivated and “not acceptable”.Long before Trump initiated a trade war with China, Huawei’s activities were under scrutiny by US authorities, according to interviews with 10 people familiar with the Huawei probes and documents related to the investigations seen by Reuters.

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Commercial real estate remains hot commodity in Greater Victoria

Value for money and a strong return on investment will continue to drive activity in Greater Victoria’s commercial real estate market, according to a new.
The commercial real estate firm said there is still strong demand for good office space from the provincial government and the private sector, while investors and developers see the region as a relatively good bargain.
Trending StoriesSchools will require kids’ immunization status by fall, minister saysWilson-Raybould says she was pushed, got veiled threats on SNC-Lavalin Victoria council mulls mid-block crosswalk on Blanshard StreetMayor, councillors in Sooke vote for 50% pay raise “We still see a tremendous appetite for investment product in Greater Victoria and I think the same can be said for development properties,” said Ross Marshall, vice-president with CBRE Victoria. “Investors and developers see value in Victoria [because] it didn’t get over-inflated like Vancouver.” Marshall said that’s what he’s been hearing from both groups, who, in some cases, have been looking at moving money from other markets into the capital region to add to their property portfolios. He said they see Victoria as a safe and secure market.“And our yields are higher than Vancouver, and everyone is chasing yield, so we are a pretty attractive place,” Marshall said, noting strong demand from tenants has driven up rental rates across property classes. According to Colliers International, downtown Victoria office vacancy was at 6.4 per cent overall in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 7.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017.
That drop came despite the addition of 280,000 square feet of new office space to the mix. Marshall said there was a flight to quality, with professional firms and government moving to class A space, freeing up class B and C space in the region, with some of that taken up by the growing high-tech sector.Marshall said given the region’s strong fundamentals — low unemployment and a strong, diverse economy — there’s no reason to expect developers and investors to back away from the region anytime soon. Marshall said he has fielded inquiries from the Lower Mainland, across Canada and the U.S. expressing interest in some of the larger properties available in the region.“They have a lot of confidence in the fundamentals evident in Greater Victoria,” said Marshall, who sees demand outstripping supply for the next couple of years. “The reality is a lot of these groups are looking for vehicles to invest in and the West Coast and, in particular, Vancouver Island, [is] shining.
” One of his biggest challenges has been to find large enough properties to suit some of the larger investor groups. But even in rosy conditions, the cost of construction, increased development fees, approval delays and other factors could affect the appetite for development in the downtown core.
Marshall said in some cases, it has spurred developers to explore other municipalities that might be more keen on development. The report also noted that Victoria’s industrial market is experiencing historically low availability, while land constraints have led to upward pressure and record-high lease rates.

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Gears 5 Is "Looking Great," Xbox Boss Says

Gears of War 5, which is actually called Gears 5, is coming together well ahead of its 2019 release date, it seems. Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently traveled to Vancouver to visit Gears 5 developer The Coalition, and he came away impressed, apparently.

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