Mark Busse writes:

Does Vancouver drive away more creative people than it attracts? Affordability aside, what other factors influence this issue? In particular, what are the forces that draw people here? Where does the potential lie?

Read this first:

Again, I don’t know how to answer this question but here are my guesses at some parts of the “solution”:


I hear stories about “creative” and other people not helping each other in Vancouver but I have never encountered this. The Vancouver Internet and Web startup “creative” community has always been very helpful to me (thank-you Lance, Boris, Peter, Dick, Stewart, Caterina, Richard, David etc etc I don’t know I could name dozens of people!) Vancouver folks I say: Continue to connect and pay it forward even if it’s only 5 minute chat or 1 email or a 5 minute coffee. It costs you nothing and the karma will continue to drive us all forward.

indigenous ingenuity

I know that if we learn through meaningful, respectful dialogue with the indigenous folks who for over 10000 years have survived, prospered and created here, it can’t help but but benefit everyone. It makes no sense that we aren’t doing this already.



Housing is “easy” :-). Just follow the 22 suggestions from Canada’s Housing Crisis: Twenty-Two Solutions and I would humbly add:

  • 6 stories everywhere like Paris; towers should be the exception not the rule; I would rather see free hold row houses than towers but they too should be exceptions.

“Creative” Jobs

Unlike Toronto, who are in a long term bubble of manufacturing and financial stuff (both of which could go anywhere else in the world until we run out of oil), we here in Vancouver don’t have any sort of sustainable bubble or long term sector with high paying jobs (mining doesn’t count nor does any sort of resource industry where we ship the stuff to other places to add high value).

I humbly suggest tackling global climate change. It’s the greatest challenge of our time and will take all of our “creative” effort in engineering (5-20 year fossil fuel wind down/transition to a zero carbon and emission economy, solar cells, geothermal all of which need software), marketing, etc.

I can hear you say but we don’t have the $ for it :-) ?!?!?

Agreed we don’t but I can dream, right? And are we really that poor? No! I would love the provincial government and federal government to fund this or at least kick start it with a carbon or fossil fuel tax. We went to the moon, we defeated the racist, crazy Nazis and the racist, crazy Japanese empire, this is doable and just as urgent (on a long term basis) as WWII and WWI! And Vancouver without any real carbon / fossil fuel legacy could lead it!

I really don’t think there is any other sort of Vancouver “creative” jobs solution unless Metro Vancouver becomes a province and we become masters of our own taxation and legislative destiny (and shouldn’t the biggest driver of jobs in the province be in control of its destiny?).

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