Only In Vancouver

By virtue of calling Vancouver home for 35 years, local shenanigans should roll off my back. Not like other major Canadian cities, Vancouver juggles odd contractions – spectacular scenery as back-drop for the poorest postal code in Canada, a mayor whose answer to one of the worst commutes in North America is bike lanes (never mind the fact you can’t buy a house in Vancouver for under $1 million and hundreds of thousands commute from suburbs) or the nicknames “Vansterdam” (in reference to liberal drug culture) and “no fun city” (a perception politicians are desperately trying to shake).

What better way to “have fun” than closing the Burrard Bridge for 7 hours on June 21. Why shut one of the bridges into downtown on Father’s Day? It’s international yoga day silly. Vancouver hopes to hold the largest International Day of Yoga (IDY) event outside India. It would be unfair to point fingers at Vancouver when in truth the edict came from the mouth of provincial Premier Christy Clark.

Woeful as Vancouver closing a bridge for yoga appears on the surface, it might easily be shrugged off if coming from city hall. Vancouverites are used to local attempts at “fun”. Lets not forget event sponsor Lululemon started in Vancouver – arguably the company responsible for resurgence of yoga’s rebirth, most certainly why half the city wears yoga pants. I have nothing against yoga, my problem is with Christy Clark and the city of Vancouver forsaking all else for a bridge top yoga class. June 21 happens to be National Aboriginal Day, officially recognized since 1996 as a celebration of First Nations heritage and culture.

There’s nothing ponderable about Vancouver closing a bridge for yoga – my jaw drops when the Province climbs on board. The city can knock itself out with IDY aspirations – the province should be ashamed for not sponsoring a single First Nations event. What does it say about a city and province more interested in yoga? Only in Vancouver indeed.


Oh Canada – Why Are You So Silly?

Today is one of those days when I’m easily annoyed; not in an angry, blood boiling way – simply a day when Canada strikes me as a pointlessly silly nation. I suppose that’s where annoyance comes in; I don’t mind jokes about Canada, it’s when we behave like idiots deserving snickers – that’s when I ponder the mindset of this great nation.

In no particular order, a few silly stories on this Canadians mind…..

Beluga Yoga protest at the Vancouver Aquarium yesterday struck me as rather silly. Granted, Vancouver is responsible for Lululemon; founder Chip Wilson found himself in hot water recently when he said “some women’s bodies don’t work for their yoga pants”, something to do with large thighs stretching the fabric, combined with “rubbing”, excluded those beyond size 12 from purchasing his $75.00 yoga pants. A petition is now circulating with the demand that Lululemon “stops shaming women’s bodies, apologizes and starts making pants for women of all sizes”. I’m rambling – back to Beluga yoga – the Vancouver Aquarium, a lovely facility in Stanley Park, began offering yoga classes beside the interior viewing area for Beluga whales. This landed like a lead balloon with certain yoga purists; yoga being about “freedom, unity and liberation”, the perplexed yogis staged a protest outside the facility. They held a yoga protest – and I mean that literally – yoga poses and placards in the parking lot. Nary a peep when Girl Guides camp in this space overnight or a swanky dinner is catered – all yogi hell breaks loose when yoga classes assault sensibilities. Plain silly.

Yoga with belugas draws protesters to Vancouver Aquarium

I suppose I can’t call this silly – at least not as silly as beluga yoga –  it got under my skin just the same. Driving today I heard a political attack ad, courtesy of our Conservative government.  Justin Trudeau, leader of the federal Liberal party has come out in favour of legalizing marijuana. Trudeau has stated openly that he’s smoked marijuana during the time he sat as a member of parliament, emphasizes the value of regulation, and stresses the importance of regulation rather than a continuation of failures concerning the “war on drugs”. Trudeau is realistic, practical and refreshingly honest. I literally threw up in my mouth as I heard a 30 second “spot”, undoubtedly paid for with my tax dollars – a “concerned mother” blasting Trudeau for turning Canadian children onto recreational drugs, asking if this was any sort of roll model our country needed. Holy crap.

Peter MacKay is criticizing Justin Trudeau for answering a question about the Liberal’s plans to legalize marijuana while speaking at a public school in Manitoba.

I promised myself I wouldn’t waste a moment pondering ridiculous Rob Ford – I confess, this zinger crossed the line; in reference to his former special assistant, Ford blurted at a press conference…

“Oh and the last thing was Olivia Gondek, it says it says that I wanted to eat her pussy. Olivia Gondek, I’ve never said that in my life to her. I would never do that. I’m happily married. I’ve got more than enough to eat at home. Thank you very much.”

Rob Ford is beyond silly; the “Ford show” more a SNL skit than reality. Perhaps Ford should attend Beluga yoga.

Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wipes his face during council at City Hall in Toronto, November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Mar