Living/Working November 8, 2019


November 8, 2019

Cannabis company wants BC Supreme Court to force City of Vancouver to issue permit and business licence for Commercial Drive retail store

BIV's lawsuit of the week


Egg’s Canna Franchising Ltd. is taking the City of Vancouver and its Board of Variance to court to compel the issuance of a development permit for a Commercial Drive marijuana retail store that was previously rejected due to “neighbourhood opposition.”

In a petition filed in BC Supreme Court on October 25, Egg’s Canna claims it made two previous unsuccessful attempts prior to legalization to get a development permit for a cannabis retail operation at 2633 and 2637 Commercial Drive. In May 2019, the company’s latest application was denied due to objections from neighbours, which it appealed to the Board of Variance. The board, however, refused to hear the appeal because it had already denied Egg’s Canna’s previous appeals and found the latest attempt to be for the “same site” and “same land-use.”

But Egg’s Canna claims the board failed to consider the new application as “made under a new bylaw and arose in an entirely different regulatory environment,” the petition states.

“At the time of the application and BOV [Board of Variance] hearing, cannabis had been legalized, and the previous neighbourhood objections related to issues for which the municipal, federal and provincial governments had addressed in the new regulatory environment.

“Additionally, the experience of legalization across North America has resulted in studies that debunk the concerns expressed by the objectors. The newest development permit application also had substantially more support than previous applications, which was not taken into account by the BOV.”

The company claims the city’s regulatory scheme prior to legalization and community opposition “clearly took into account the general illegality of cannabis-based businesses,” which was no longer the case with the passage of the federal Cannabis Act in October 2018.

“The Petitioner’s appeal arose out of a different context than previous applications, particularly because cannabis became legal in Canada,” the petition states. “As a result, the Petitioner’s appeal was, in effect, a new appeal, rather than the third appeal in the same matter.”

Moreover, the company claims the board struck the appeal from the record before providing Egg’s Canna a “fair opportunity to address concerns around the ‘same site’ ‘same land-use’ issue.”

Egg’s Canna seeks an order quashing the board’s decision on its latest appeal, and orders compelling the city to issue a development and business licence. The petition’s factual basis has not been tested in court and the city had not responded to the case by press time.


Green party’s top post-May challenge: find new leadership vision

Elizabeth May’s departure as the federal Green party leader is a loss and a gift. If, as the saying goes, 80% of life is showing up, it is also true that 80% is knowing when to leave.

May led a movement but stayed too long and hindered it. To start, though, let’s lay down laurels upon which she can rest.

I first caught her drift as the Sierra Club Canada leader, back in my Ottawa years when the environmental focus was more on pollution than on climate change, and she was nothing short of ferocious in summoning and garnering habitual attention. May was by no means straight out of Central Casting. It helped her narrative that she had advised (gasp!) a Conservative environment minister and resigned in principle.

She handily won Green party leadership in 2006 and ran unsuccessfully for office in Ontario that year. May allied, sort of, with Stéphane Dion for the 2008 campaign, and his Liberal party did not run a candidate against her in Nova Scotia. She didn’t win the seat even though she won national attention in the federal leaders’ debates. She would come to B.C. and win in 2011 – when, strangely, she was prohibited from the debates.

(A personal aside: Indirectly, I suppose, it can be said May caused dubious institutional reform when I was CBC ombudsman. The Radio-Canada ombud, now Quebec’s lieutenant-governor, and I wrote that May should be in the 2011 debates. This infuriated the organization and began a process to shrivel the job’s mandate, now among the western world’s weakest.)

In the Commons, in its committees and certainly in its foyer at the microphone, May has been pretty much what you’d expect from someone who believes Rome is burning and we are fiddling. Her shtick is part science, part outrage and part urgency, and it has been both her blessing and her curse to be the go-to person on the file because she is almost never the go-to person on anything else.

She has, ahem, misspoken – comparing Stephen Harper’s climate change stance to Nazi appeasement, stepping into a trap door on the abortion issue, linking Wi-Fi to cancer and insect disappearance, tweeting initial support for Jian Ghomeshi and getting into her cups at a Parliamentary Press Gallery dinner in welcoming Omar Khadr back from Guantanamo Bay. She has walked back much of this, which is more than you can say about many.

The singular prominence on climate change, even as a major campaign issue, hasn’t provided the platform for growth. The between-election poll spurt sputters on vote day. May helped define the climate change issue for Canadians, but the issue also defined her – and, it can be said, limited her. The Greens’ problem on climate change has been eerily similar to the former Reform party’s on fiscal responsibility: those danged Liberals take an absolute position, dilute it, appropriate it and subdue the upstarts. Absent a big issue, the newbies stall. In the case of the Reformers, they morphed and amalgamated; in the case of the Greens, they might yet.

The climate change challenge May’s successor faces is the same one provincial leader Andrew Weaver’s successor confronts: how to politically allocate evidence, emotion, environment and the economy. Finding equilibrium has been elusive, mainly out of fear of what tackling climate change would mean for our standards of living.

The party’s larger challenges involve a stronger occupation of its principles on social justice and participatory democracy, and in that regard it will likely require as leader someone in a different subject position than May or Weaver. It might be necessary, too, to take one step back before taking two ahead – to build momentum in regions before again tackling a national campaign it clearly cannot yet muster. But whoever steps forward has what stock pickers would call a strong buy, if with an asterisk. The galvanizing environmental issue is theirs to own, the traditional left-of-centre NDP vote is aging out, and the historic governing parties are bound to be uncomfortable and vulnerable if they can’t resolve the systemic inequalities of a socially progressive country.

But who is this leader who can capitalize on the opportunity? The name escapes me.

Kirk LaPointe is editor-in-chief of Business in Vancouver and vice-president, editorial, at Glacier Media.


See thousands of dazzling lights illuminating one of Metro Vancouver’s most majestic attractions

The dazzling Canyon Lights returns to delight locals and visitors of all ages at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver | Photo: Courtesy Canyon Lights

One of Metro Vancouver’s most awe-inspiring attractions, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, will once again shine brightly this holiday season as the dazzling Canyon Lights returns to delight locals and visitors of all ages.

Considered one of the world’s most spectacular holiday light displays, Canyon Lights features thousands of twinkling lights adorning the iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge, as well as the exciting Treetops Adventure walk and its 250-year-old Douglas firs.

In fact, with those majestic firs draped in lights, those enduring trees become the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world.

While you may make only one round-trip and heart-pounding journey on the illuminated bridge crossing the canyon, there is plenty to do for everyone, including strolling through the many light displays, stopping for cookies and hot chocolate, shopping in the store, enjoying live music, and keeping little ones busy with all sorts of activities.

Partial proceeds from admissions are donated to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund for fire and burn education in schools throughout British Columbia. To date, Canyon Lights has donated over $346,000 to this worthy program. Admissions also allow for Capilano to continue to host the Twelve Nights of Christmas offering passes for local charities.


Photo courtesy Canyon Lights

Canyon Lights kicks off Friday, November 22, 2019 and has once again been extended into the new year, running until Sunday, January 26, 2020. The venue offers a shuttle from Canada Place, and B.C. residents can receive a complimentary annual pass upon the purchase of a single admission, which means you can return for the rest of the year to see the stunning park in all seasons at no extra cost.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

When: Friday, November 22, 2019 – Sunday, January 26, 2020; Holiday activities from 4-9 p.m.; Park is open from 11 a.m.– 9 p.m. daily. Closed Christmas Day.
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Cost: Canyon Lights is included in regular park admission; B.C. residents can present ID to receive a free annual pass after purchasing a single admission. Adults (17-64) $53.95; Senior (65+) $48.95; Student (17+ with ID) $39.95; Youth (13-16) $29.95; Child (6-12) $16.95; Kiddie (under 6) Free. Youth, Children, and Kiddies must be accompanied by an adult age 17+.

Vancouver Is Awesome


What to eat right now in Metro Vancouver

The Double Baked Milk Chocolate PB & J Viennoiserie at Blacksmith Bakery | Photo: Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome

Decisions, decisions: What are you going to eat right now, and where are you getting it?

If you need some help with your next meal, snack, treat, or drink, consider this your guide. Here’s what to eat right now in Metro Vancouver.

The Faux Pho at DownLow Burgers at The American


The Faux Pho burger at DownLow Burgers. Photo: @downlowburgers/Instagram

First off, it’s fair to say it’s hard to go wrong with any burger on the menu at DownLow Burgers, which operates out of The American on Main Street. Their burgers are meaty and thick, on pillowy custom-made buns, and kept as classic or wild with the toppings as you want. But it’s the Faux Pho, which riffs off the flavours of Vietnamese cuisine, that has Vancouver burger fans feeling some legit joy. There’s the sweet twang of Hoisin, the sour bite of pickled veg, and of course that stunner beef patty to love. If you can handle it, order some Pork Belly Bites on the side. Bonus: They’ve expanded their hours to include lunch service, so you can get your meat sweats on midday, too.

Address: 926 Main St, Vancouver

The Oat Milk Brown Sugar Series at Baroness



Baroness specializes in brown sugar pearls – this is itself a sub-set of bubble tea that emerged a couple of years ago in Taiwan and is out in full force on this side of the Pacific. Brown sugar pearls are the result of cooking tapioca pearls in brown sugar, resulting in a rich, deep caramelized sugar flavour at the base of the beverage, which is then topped with milk. To go the extra mile, Baroness also puts a shot of brown sugar syrup in the drink with the pearls. Doubling up, indeed, on what Vancouverites love is the fact that Baroness carries locally-made Earth’s Own brand oat milk for those who prefer to cut the dairy from their BBT experience.

Address: 2790 W Broadway, Vancouver

Pizza and Pasta at Farina a Legna


Four cheese pizza with white anchovies. Photo by Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome

The menu at this Lower Lonsdale sibling to Vancouver’s Pizzeria Farina features a lineup of antipasti, like tender meatballs nestled in marinara sauce, salads such as the burrata with roasted squash and pesto, along with pizzas, handmade pastas, meat mains, specials, and desserts. Showcasing classic flavour and topping combos, the pizzas have that beautiful bubbly-burnt crust and the sauce a standout bright and distinct pure tomato taste, with the perfect amount of cheese. I’ll never say no to anchovies, which is how I ended up with a quattro formaggi (four cheese) with whole white anchovies. For pasta, check their specials; I had their handmade ravioli panna e prosciutto (cream and ham), which was good to the last drop of sauce on the plate. Get a glass of lambrusco (seriously grape-y red bubbles) and enjoy.

Address: 119 2nd Street East, North Vancouver

Fried Chicken & Waffle Sandwich from The Frying Pan truck


Fried chicken waffle sandwich. Photo: @thefryingpan604/Instagram

This wicked mash-up of sweet and savoury is only available from The Frying Pan’s second (silver) truck, and it can seriously take your lunch break to the next level. Their fan-fave fried chicken is sandwiched between two waffles, and it’s decked out with both syrup and cheddar cheese, because why not?

Address: The Frying Pan silver truck: Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at 900 W Cordova, Vancouver

Night-time dim sum at Little Bird

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Dim sum at night, and better, with craft beer and wine? Bring it on 🥟🍤🍺🍷

A post shared by Christine (@christinelai604) on

Little Bird is the just-opened Kitsilano restaurant that is serving up dim sum weeknights and all day and into the night on weekends, too. Not only are their hours shaking things up, but Little Bird is also changing the game by creating dim sum offerings that are vegan, and serving up delicious craft beers to go with everything.

Address: 2958 West 4th Ave, Vancouver

Weekend special pastries at Blacksmith Bakery

Seriously, how did Fort Langley get so lucky to have Blacksmith Bakery creating some stunner treat-yo-self treats? On the weekends, this cafe and bakeshop features a special pastry creation that you won’t want to miss out on. Last time I was there it was this Double Baked Milk Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Jelly Viennoiserie w/ Raspberry Chantilly. Basically the most insane PB&J croissant with extras. They’ll share on Instagram what’s on deck for the coming weekend, so keep your eyes open, and your stretchy pants handy.

Address: 9190 Church St., Fort Langley

Vancouver Is Awesome


You can buy this massive armoured vehicle in Metro Vancouver right now

Photo: Mark Fleming / Vancouver Craigslist

Do you ever dream of owning your own armoured vehicle?

An armoured halftrack personal carrier is for sale right now in the Lower Mainland and it could be yours for a cool $75,000 – in USD, that is. In CAD, the price works out to just under $100,000.

Listed on the Vancouver Craigslist, the off-road vehicle is described as clean and in good condition, and it seats ten. The lister adds that it is, “Definitely one of a kind for the person that has everything,” as ‘anyone’ can buy a Lamborghini or a Ferrari.


Photo: Mark Fleming / Vancouver Craigslist

The four-wheel drive vehicle, which is described as a, “Czech produced post war copy of the famous German WW2 SdKFz 251 halftrack,” has a manual transmission, eight cylinders, and is fully operational. There are also mounts for MG34 or MG42 machine guns in the front and rear of the vehicle. It’s even bulletproof.

A veteran of military TV and film production, the poster asks that anyone who wants to take it for a test-run put down a $500 deposit, which can later be applied to the asking price.

Mark Fleming, owner and President of Blueleader Enterprises Ltd., told Vancouver Is Awesome in an email that the vehicle can be used on any terrain, but that you’d get the most use out of it off road. However, you won’t need a special permit to operate it.

 “It does have lights and signals and could likely be licensed but that was not my intention,” writes Fleming.

“I operate a fleet of rental vehicles to the film industry and it is generally used on closed sets. It hasn’t been in high demand so I am looking to sell it to buy other vehicles.”

With this in mind, Fleming’s post states that he’s willing to consider an “interesting partial trade,” too.


Photo: Mark Fleming / Vancouver Craigslist

Fleming added that the vehicle is priced in USD because the most likely buyer will be from the United States or overseas, where he originally purchased it.

Bluelight Enterprises Ltd. offers picture car rentals in Vancouver for large and small scale productions. Rentals include everything from jeeps and trucks to heavy armour vehicles to motorcycles. They even have a variety of de-activated machine guns.

Vancouver Is Awesome


What are we reading? November 7, 2019


Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.


Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

In a paper published in BioScience, a team of scientists from around the world declares a climate emergency and identifies six areas of action that need to be taken to ward off disaster. Among them: “eat mostly plants and consume fewer animal products.” – Independent


A new countrywide poll by the University of British Columbia pegs the proportion of Canadians who view China favourably at 29%. “Worries about China’s domestic impact in Canada are increasing, especially about cyber-attacks and espionage,” the survey found. – Reuters


Glen Korstrom, reporter:

Peter Ladner is right that too often there is a lot of recrimination that takes place when people change their minds about an issue and are upfront about it.  Being a “flip-flopper” is not always bad. Given that the end-game of advocacy is to get people to flip their position, he argues, there shouldn’t be this stigma. – Price Tags Blog


This long read is damning in its dissection of Airbnb scams, and prompted Airbnb a week later, on November 6, to vow to verify all seven million of its listings to improve trust. Worth a read – Vice


Arthur Xie, editorial researcher:

A group of leading China watchers discussed how should universities respond to China’s growing presence on their campuses. Joanna Chiu, bureau chief and a senior reporter at the Toronto Star’s Vancouver newsroom, joined the conversation and reviewed a series of China-related political clashes on Canadian campuses from McMaster University to University of Toronto Scarborough. She also talked about the Chinese-language misinformation on WeChat, China’s most popular social media platform with a monthly user base of over 1 billion people, during the recent federal election campaign. – ChinaFile


Hayley Woodin, reporter:

The news is fake. The traffic is fake. The dollars, however, are real. How a “hugely popular” fake news site in Albany – and its counterpart in Edmonton – scammed advertisers. – Buzzfeed News


Clio made headlines recently with its big capital raise. For four years, the legal tech firm has analyzed legal industry trends. The 2019 iteration covers how law firms grow, areas of opportunity and other insights based on data. – Clio Legal Trends Report