Three ghostly tales from British Columbia

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Chris Slater photo

Being the ghost story junkie that I am, I have compiled a number of haunting tales over the years from various people in my life. Only in this little window of time with Halloween just around the corner do I feel right posting them.  So here they are. The stories exist as I recorded them.  They’re all true according to the people who shared them to me.  So with no further a boo . . .

Haunted rental in Nanaimo

Over 20 years ago a woman who I shall refer to as “Candice” to protect her privacy, moved with her three children between ages the ages of three and 10 into a rental home in an older section of Nanaimo.

Candice learned shortly after moving in that a man had been murdered in the basement of the rental property, although the details as to how, why and when were sketchy.

The basement of this home had a distinctly eerie feel according to Candice, who would have to venture down there frequently to do the many loads of laundry required for three young children. She described feeling something watching her every time she went down there to the point that she enlisted her boyfriend at the time to venture down there with her.

When he scoffed at the idea she asked him whether he wanted clean laundry or not. He did and accompanied her down into the basement every time a load needed doing.

“Jeff,” the oldest of the children at the time recalled playing in the basement with his two younger siblings one day before being called upstairs for lunch. A large box of powdered laundry soap sat on the counter in the laundry room which Jeff claimed was sitting there when they headed upstairs. Going back down after eating, the children discovered the soap had been dumped upside down on the floor. No one had been downstairs in the time they’d been on the main floor eating, nor did the family have any pets that could be blamed.

Jeff also recalled hearing sounds at night when he and everyone else would be in bed, sounds he described as “moaning,” coming from other parts of the house.

The family would go away to Vancouver for the weekend sometimes, where Candice was originally from and all her family then lived. The house would be locked up on Friday before they headed for the ferry. Upon returning the following Sunday to the house that had been unoccupied all weekend, the family discovered on at least once occasion that something had scratched up the upholstery of their couches, like an animal with claws. As mentioned before, the house was empty, securely locked and the family had no pets.

They didn’t stay in the house long, only a matter of months before Candice decided they’d had enough of the haunted rental near Nanaimo’s downtown core and moved her family out.

Disturbing vision in North Burnaby home

“Heather” wouldn’t describe herself as a physic by any means but certainly somewhat of a sensitive when it comes to certain things. Anyone playing a card game with her will soon find themselves frustrated for her uncanny knack to consistently “guess” right time after time.

Heather and boyfriend “Matt” were on the hunt for their dream home in the summer of 2008, spending countless weekends touring around various neighbourhoods in Metro Vancouver. A heritage home in a good location that needed a little work was the target of their search, although so far they hadn’t been too impressed with their finds.  One ad for an open house in an older North Burnaby neighbourhood caught their attention one Sunday morning as they flipped through the paper and after breakfast they jumped in the car and left their North Vancouver home for the short jaunt across the bridge into Burnaby.

The house was indeed impressive, an old Tudor style situated on a quiet street flanked with massive matured maple trees. The couple took in the old features as they milled about the old home on their own, trying to envision their own touches on the place.

Going up a staircase, they toured their way down the upstairs hall when Heather came upon a bedroom which still contained an old child’s bed against one wall. Heather stopped, staring at the little bed before she became completely overwhelmed with the image of a child thrashing around violently a top its surface, convulsing as if in the grips of a seizure. She stood for a half moment, transfixed with the horrendous image in her head before turning and leaving the house quickly without a word to Matt.

Once outside Heather began to cry, explaining to a perplexed Matt at what she had seen in her own head. Outside where they stood the window of the upstairs room could be seen looking down upon them. It may of been a tick of the light or mind but Matt thought he saw the curtain in that window pull back just a little. Understandably they didn’t purchase the old place.

Husband comes back for one last laugh

“Anne” lived a long and happy life, passing away in a care home at the ripe age of 84 a couple years ago. One “ghost” story she related to friends and family in life had to do with her deceased husband “Frank” who passed away from a sudden heart attack in the back bedroom of their North Vancouver home in 1978.

It seems Frank wasn’t the happiest man in the world in the final years of his life, sinking into depressions and often taking out his unhappiness on his wife and children, then in early adulthood.  Anne described her spouse of nearly 30 years of having somewhat of a cruel streak in him, not to mention a loud, domineering laugh that most who knew him remembered well.

While watching T.V. in the spare bedroom in the spring of 1978, Frank died of heart attack, his youngest son discovering him a short time later.  He was only in his early-fifties.

Although upset, Anne described being ultimately relieved that she was finally free of this man, who had done more than his share to create challenges in both her and their children’s lives.

A few weeks after his death, Anne recalled being awoken from  sleep by the sound of someone knocking on her front door, just a few feet down the hall from her bedroom. Shuffling out of her bedroom and to the front door, who should see upon answering it but Frank, standing before her on the top stoop, looking just as he did in life.

According to Anne he stood there making small talk with her, asking questions about the kids and her own life now that he was gone. Then, according to Anne, the specter of her husband began to laugh at her, that deep, hearty bellow that she’d become so familiar with in their nearly three decades of marriage.

“I can’t say for sure if it really happened or if it was just a dream. It sure felt very real,” Anne, who was never known to lie or exaggerate, would relate to friends and family of her experience over the years.

One time after just telling that story around a family dinner several years later in the same house, someone knocked on the front door just a few feet from the dining room table, the guests almost jumping out of their skins. It was only someone dropping by!

Happy Halloween!

— Chris Slater

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A haunting on the Sunshine Coast

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are orange, the days growing shorter and Halloween, a day where the veil between the living and dead is at its thinnest, is fast approaching. Certainly it’s the time of year to enjoy a good ghost story, which in this case comes right here from my hometown. Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

When people hear the term “haunted house” so often the image of some great decaying mansion comes to mind, windows smashed and boarded, yard choked with dead plants and trees, maybe a couple blackbirds gazing down from their spindly branches for good measure. However in reality, more often than not, it’s the plainest, most decidedly normal looking dwellings that can contain some of the most frightening paranormal accounts.

Just outside Gibsons, B.C. (on the southern coast of British Columbia on Canada’s West Coast for those non-Canadians) sits one such ordinary looking “haunted” house, at least according to its occupants. Less than forty years old, the somewhat shabby, albeit sturdy rancher is currently being rented by two friends in their twenties who we shall refer to as “Cloey” and “Rick” to protect their privacy. Situated on Burton Road, a back road with a rural sort of feel just a couple minutes up the highway from the main town of Gibsons, the long driveway and large property allows the the two renters abundant privacy, perfect for hosting gatherings with friends without having to worry about noise complaints. The place is a good size for just two people, with four bedrooms, a rec room and two bathrooms, not to mention plenty of property to spread out upon. Not too bad at all for two twenty-somethings it seemed, at least before the occupants discovered they would be sharing their space with something otherworldly.

Cloey describes feeling uneasy in the house, particularly when the sun goes down, something she noticed shortly after moving in. The sound of footsteps when no one can account for them, cold drafts and general feelings of unease have been described by Cloey, who, on one occasion even heard something saying her name after she went to bed one night. One evening while sitting on the living room couch with friend “Clay,” who had been staying at the place a few weeks, Cloey felt something unseen grab her arm. Friend Clay explains:

“(Cloey) and I (we’re) sitting on the couch and she gets grabbed on the arm. She could feel it, like (being) pinched. She’s like, what the f . . . is that, super scared, and I’m like ‘Oh, I have no idea.”

Clay, who explains he’d never put much belief into ghosts before, began to have his mind changed from the very first night he spent on the couch at the place.

“The first night I stayed here . . . I was lying on the couch and I heard noises in the kitchen, noises in the back room, noises just like footsteps, walking. I’m like ‘what is that?’ I had no idea”

Clay says the noises would begin about an hour after everyone had turned in for the night and continued throughout the duration of his stay. He also experienced some bizarre sensations during his time bunking out on the couch.

“This goes on for a few nights and I keep hearing the same kinds of sounds and whatnot. Whenever I’m lying on the couch, it’s like I can feel something. It’s like I can hear the sounds and then I fell pins and needles all over my entire body and then like a weight coming down on me.”

The ghostly phenomena doesn’t end at touch and sound either. On one occasion just last month, whatever it is making itself known to the tenants decided to show itself.

Cloey, Clay and mutual friend, “Shane” were returning from a trip into town around four in the afternoon. Riding down the long driveway, Shane, who was at the wheel and Cloey, who sat up front, both witnessed a white mass move quickly through the windows of the southern most room on the property (the rec room), through the outer wall and into an outside shed located directly adjacent.

“We pulled up and I saw it. I didn’t say anything right away but then I saw (Shane),” explains Cloey after first witnessing it. Clay in the backseat wasn’t looking in the same direction and didn’t see anything.

Both friends confirmed seeing something, but not before Shane, uncertain what he’d just witnessed, asked Cloey what colour the mass was to see if she’d seen the same thing. Both confirmed the mass they’d seen darting through the room and out  into the shed was white, roughly in the form of a silhouette.

Cloey at first tried to rationalize what they’d seen as maybe the vehicle’s headlights reflecting off the home but as it was only four in the afternoon in September and still plenty bright out so the theory didn’t hold.

“Was it just the headlights?” Cloey recalls their rationale at first. “But it was daylight. I was like ‘no, that was not your headlights!’ ”

On the back wall of the rec room is a door to the fourth bedroom which sits completely empty and has a distinctly ominous feel. The access to the attic happens to be located in this vacant back room which is colder than the rest of the house. At a recent gathering at the home, people, feeling gutsy after a few beers, were daring each other to spend a few minutes alone in that back room. No one agreed.

Clay, who has now moved on from his stay at the place on Burton Road, says he didn’t put much thought into the subject of ghosts when Rick and Cloey first brought it up. Now he’s not so sure.

“I don’t normally believe in them but now I kind of think something’s going on here.”

Author’s Note:

I’ve been to the house on Burton before on a couple of occasions and although I personally have never seen or heard anything, I wouldn’t spend a night alone there unless you were planning on offering me a prize with four digits, minimum. The place really does take on a rather ominous feel once the sun goes down, particularly in the southern end where the rec room and vacant back room are located. I recall waking up there one night around three in the morning and desperately trying to will myself back to sleep, frightened of what I might see or hear being the only one awake at the time. Thankfully it didn’t take me long. 

— Chris Slater

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10 interesting historical headlines from The Vancouver Sun and Province

Like most print reporters, I’m a bit of a nerd. What can I say? Names, dates, places; I’ve got a bit of a fetish when it comes to compiling random tidbits of information.

You might think ‘ yeah, whatever, a lot of us have nerdy tendencies.’ Well, did you collect antique and historical reproductions of American playing cards when you were a kid (and still kinda do)? I rest my case there.

So anyways, you can then imagine the excitement I felt when a former college instructor of mine very kindly offered me some old newspapers she’d been looking to get rid of but couldn’t bring herself to chuck out. My excitement gave way to sheer bliss when I opened the cupboard doors in my old learning grounds and discovered “the old newspapers” being offered to me numbered somewhere around 400, seven different bundles packaged carefully and in brown paper.

Well, being too cheap to pay for parking, it was a bit of a strain on the old arms to hike the 50-plus pounds of print the six blocks to my car, but oh was it worth it!

The collection contained an extensive amount of local, national and international dailies ranging from the 1880’s to the 1980’s, a glorious barrage of now defunct publications from a bygone era: The Vancouver Express, The Montreal Star, The Vancouver Daily World, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Headlines galore for an amateur history geek like myself.

So I’ve decided to share some of these cool finds on here and have gone about starting a series on some of the particularly eye catching headlines that jumped out at me during my five hour escapade browsing through the stacks. I’ve started here with Vancouver’s big two, The Province and The Vancouver Sun, two companies that have stood the test of time. Here’s to many more years of keeping those presses rolling!

— Chris Slater

1. THE VANCOUVER DAILY PROVINCE, SATURDAY, AUGUST 19, 1939

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PADDLE BOARDS TO THE RESCUE declares this front page story which came out a mere couple weeks before the outbreak of the Second World War. This was long before the time of today’s paddle boarders who are just about too cool, hip and different for me to ever want to know. No, back in ’39 these beasts were ‘placed at all city beaches for rescue work’ according to the caption above the photo, which reads in its entirety:

  New methods of life-saving have been adopted in Vancouver. Paddle boards similar to the famed surf boards of Honolulu, are being placed at all city beaches for rescue work. Ken Valentine, well-known Vancouver lifeguard is shown in action in this series of Daily Province photographs. At top, he watches for water accidents with his board beside him.

Next, having spotted a lad in difficulty, he paddles out and pulls the swimmer out of the water. Then he brings the rescued boy to safety.

As this paper is from the tense days leading up to the outbreak of the Second World War after Hitler’s invasion of Poland, it’s interesting to note the subheads “German Troops Reported Sent to Slovak-Polish Border” and “POLES WATCHFUL.”

1aAnd one thing that’s truly odd, which I’m assuming may of been the norm back in those days . . . a deathless day count.  It reads: Today Is Vancouver’s 23rd Deathless Day    Co-operate to Make 100 Deathless Days.

Kind of creepily ironic knowing how close the onset of Big Two was, which would soon swallow up well over 40,000 Canadian lives.

2. THE PROVINCE & THE VANCOUVER SUN, FRIDAY, MAY 15, 1970

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After strikes began at The Province and Sun in February 1970, staff from both actually joined forces to create The Vancouver Express, which ran for nearly three months before the reporters went back to work. Pretty damn remarkable I’ve got to say. You can read more about that at vancouverhistory.ca.

In the same fashion that holds true today, The Province (which back then was a big old broadsheet) runs the people picture, a smiling kid no doubt elated to be back chucking papers at the crack of dawn again, with a gaudy, albeit eye-catching ‘Good Morning!

The Sun on the other hand is more understated, with a simple ‘GLAD TO BE BACK’ in the top left accompanied by a witty editorial cartoon. But already The Sun (apparently they were too cool for the ‘Vancouver’ part in the 60’s, early-70’s and mid-eighties) is already on to bigger better things with a labour strike taking the main headline (which The Province also notes, albeit somewhat understated).

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The strike would continue to have consequences for the readers and delivery staff too, as noted in The Sun’s front page editorial, which reads in part:

  Our 4,000 carrier boys, especially, may have a little trouble getting their route books up to date but they’ll sort things out pretty quickly.

Our newsprint may be a bit brittle and susceptible to cracks after 90 days on the floor. The presses and conveyors will need a manicure and some baby-oil. Full color comics will not be available for three weeks.

What’s with the American spelling back then?

3. THE VANCOUVER SUN, FRIDAY, AUGUST 9, 1974

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The undoing of the United State’s 37th president was big news around the world in the summer of 1974 after he, Richard Nixon, was ultimately exposed as a crook (much to to his denial in his infamous, ‘I am not a crook’ speech) following an investigation into the infamous Watergate scandal in 1972. The recently resigned president (the only one to resign in-office in U.S. history) is seen waving to onlookers before heading back to his native California, in this front page photo run by The Vancouver Sun on Aug. 9, 1974.

The clever Shakespearean theme the writer (William Grieder) uses throughout this piece is apparent right from the lead, which reads as follows:

  Our king was ruled by troubled sleep undone by the ghosts of his secret self

Going on to read:

. . . His loyal friends, a shrinking circle of the faithful, saw Richard Nixon as a modern-day King Lear who raged magnificently at the storm around him.

But Nixon lacked Lear’s grandeur.

Nixon’s enemies cast him as Richard the Third, the King who was crippled by his male-violence.  . . .

4. THE VANCOUVER DAILY PROVINCE, TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 1912

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This has got to be one of my favourites of the whole collection, however let me lay it out from the start that this is a reprint by The Province from the mid-1970’s for what appears to be part of a mini historical series of past headlines. Still, I imagine there aren’t too many of these kicking around out there, original or repro’d.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with shipwrecks and front and centre of those was the Titanic, the great iron beauty that went down on her maiden voyage in FullSizeRender (11)April 1912. Approximately 1,500 of the 2,200 aboard perished that fateful night, including one Thomas McCaffry, superintendent of the Union Bank in Vancouver at the time according to one of the front page articles.

The article explains that McCaffry, who had been sick and was returning from health resorts in Italy and France, was accompanied by fellow Canadian and friend J. Hugo Ross back to North America. Both perished.

Although this paper came out only one day after the Titanic went down early on the 15th, it’s already apparent from the top story that any hope of finding survivors at that point had already waned away. It reads in part:

  All hope that any of the passengers or crew of the Titanic other than those on the Carpathia will be alive was abandoned this afternoon. All the steamers which have been cruising near the disaster have given up and continued their voyages.

The boats were filled with women and children’ but with sufficient members of the crew to guard them. The belief is general here that all who survived the wreck are on the Carpathia.

A list of survivors also appears on this page. Hmm . . . no Rose Dawson . . .

5. THE VANCOUVER SUN, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 1972

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When billionaire Howard Hughes rolled into town in March of 1972 it was kind of a big deal. The reclusive Texan entrepreneur, filmmaker and business tycoon had been spending the last few years bouncing around from country to country, having just left from Nicaragua according to the article, where he’d just spent the previous month.

Upon arrival in Vancouver, Hughes checked into the Bayshore Inn downtown. The article explains that Hughes and his party, which included “several personal maids and a food specialist,” reserved the 19th and 20th floors of the hotel, requesting keys in which they could lock off the elevators from reaching those floors.

Staff at the hotel were careful to keep tight-lipped about the whole thing (asides from talking to The Sun that is) according to the article, which reads in part: (Anderson is Warren R. Anderson, general manager of the Bayshore at the time)

  “As far as I’m concerned he can stay forever,” said Anderson, who has instructed his staff to respect Hughes’ desire for privacy.

He added that the hotel switchboard has been instructed not to say anything about Hughes’ presence at the hotel.

Anyone who attempts to call the Hughes suite will be wasting his time, said Anderson.

“As far as we are concerned, there is not Howard Hughes actually registered here.”

This page can actually be purchased at The Sun’s online store. Hughes would stay at the Bayshore for six months and was never once spotted despite repeated attempts by the media.

6. THE VANCOUVER SUN, SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 1983

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couple of interesting ones here. First is the oh so politically correct term ‘Gay plague’ used to describe the AIDS virus which was beginning to appear in Vancouver in the early-1980’s.

A doctor, who chose not to be named in this article, confirms that there were seven confirmed cases of AIDS in Vancouver at that time in 1983 and ‘two others suffering from diseases which have not yet been confirmed as AIDS.’

By the 2000’s HIV/AIDS had claimed several tens of thousands of Canadian lives although advances in technology have seen a significant reduction of those dying from the virus in more recent years.

But back in ’83 the prognosis for those infected was grim. The article reports that an association called AIDS Vancouver was formed to help press officials ‘for more medical research on the disease.’ It reads in part:

  “How many more have to die before somebody does something about it?” asks Ron Alexander a 40-year-old homosexual who works at a Vancouver gymnasium and who is one of the founding members of AIDS Vancouver.

More than 1,000 people have already died from AIDS around the continent — more than half within the past year.

Another interesting article is the one that takes up two-thirds of the page. It examines a man who lives in squalor in a Downtown Eastside rooming house and then compares a couple (the Rowses) living in luxury nearby in a converted warehouse condo. The tone of the article suggests the possible gentrification of the DTES after the many recent infrastructure upgrades the city saw in the first half of the 1980’s, many in preparation for Expo, then still three years in the future. It reads it part:

  The Rowses are the new wave who figure with B.C. Place, Expo, Canada Harbor Place and the major development those projects will attract — the downtown eastside will soon be THE place to live.

Rowses article writer- Gillian Shaw

7. THE PROVINCE, MONDAY, JULY 21, 1969

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It was huge international news when American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin emerged from Apollo 11 and hoped about the lunar surface back in the summer of ’69 (when Bryan Adams was only eight). The Americans had won the space race and the world seemed oh so happy to report on it.

This front page report explains that Armstrong and Aldrin arrived on the moon at 1:18 p.m. Vancouver time on Sunday, July 20. Over six-and-a-half hours later, Neil Armstrong emerged from the craft and took man’s first step on the moon, with Aldrin joining suit a short time later. For the next two hours the men moved across the lunar terrain ‘in bounding, almost floating steps.’

Next it was back to Apollo and time to begin the 384,400 kilometre journey back to earth while the world waited in anxious anticipation for their return.

That one month period in the latter part of the summer of 1969 was an eventful won for U.S. newsrooms, starting with the lunar landing on July 20. Three weeks later the upper crust of Los Angeles lapsed into terror after members of the Manson family savagely claimed seven victims on two consecutive nights, including movie actress Sharon Tate. From August 15-18 Woodstock took place in upstate New York which attracted around 400,000 spectators, making it one of the largest outdoor concerts by attendance in history at that point in time.

An interesting year that end cap to the sixties was.

8. THE PROVINCE, MONDAY, JULY 19, 1971

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Almost two years to the day of the moon landing, another major event made headlines: a proposal of ceasefire and reunification of the country of Vietnam by South Vietnam.

The proposal was one of the first milestones that would eventually led to the reunification of Vietnam and end of the conflict against communist (North) and anti-communist (South) forces. A ceasefire was declared in 1973, putting a temporary end to the conflict between North and South while the U.S. withdrew its troops in earnest. A couple of years later, following the North’s capture of Saigon, the nearly 20 year conflict ended officially.

FullSizeRender (15)Also this date marked B.C.’s centennial anniversary, for which both The Province and Sun each released collector papers sporting full colour photos on their front pages, a bit of a big deal back in those days I imagine.

9. VANCOUVER DAILY WORLD, SATURDAY, DECEMBER, 22, 1923

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very cool find here: the magazine section of the Vancouver Daily World, a long defunct paper first founded in 1888, just two years after Vancouver became a city.

While it’s not The Sun or The Province, I do think it’s worth a mention in the list as by the early years of the 20th century the World had earned itself a competitive spot on the dailies market. The World was actually the first occupant of Vancouver’s historical Sun Tower (which The Sun used until 1965) but back then it was the World Building.

However financial troubles would see the World, ‘The Newspaper of the Home’ as it branded itself, be bought out by The Vancouver Sun in 1924. As this section is from December 1923, the publication had less than a year to live!

With the date being just days before Christmas, this section is of course rife with holiday-themed features. One of particular interest is the article on the top left of the page which describes how Britain’s King George likes to go shopping for his own gifts come the Christmas season. It reads in part:

  King George’s gifts are limited strictly to the immediate royal family and are carefully selected from the stores by the monarch himself. His procedure is much the same as that of most any individual. He goes to the shopping district accompanied by one of his equerries and visits certain stores favored with his custom. Notice of his intended visit is usually telephoned to the establishment beforehand and a varied selection of gifts will be ready on his arrival.

Now that was a man of the people. I wonder what he got Queen E’s mom?

10. THE PROVINCE, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1983

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Let’s bring lead back! That seemed to be the sentiment of General Motors in 1983 when they decided to re-introduce two leaded gas-tolerant vehicles into their line up.

The big three North American car companies had for the most part done away with leaded gas vehicles by the mid-1970’s after studies linked lead particles in emissions with a series of health problems, particularly in small children. Catalytic converters were installed in larger cars to cap emissions and labeled “incompatible” with leaded gasoline. However less expensive leaded gas remained available well into the eighties (at least in Canada and the U.S. that is) and many drivers continued to purchase it for their vehicles, with or without catalytic converters.

The article uses statistics from Environment Canada which state that at that time in the early-1980’s, 50 per cent of western Canadian drivers still used leaded gas, with 20 per cent doing so in the east. The article states Canadians spewed out an appalling ‘8,000 tonnes of lead into the air’ in 1982 according to Environment Canada.

Laws just didn’t exist back then in Canada to put any sort of stop to the horrendous pollution caused by the burning of leaded fossil fuels, not to mention most people just didn’t really put all that much thought into the environment, at least that’s what seems apparent in this article, which reads in part: (Due to how bad the following quote sounds, I’ve omitted the name of the GM spokesman)

  “You’ve got to be competitive if you’re going to survive,” said GM spokesman —- —-, adding that mounting consumer demand and competition has forced GM to introduce it’s first lead-tolerant cars since 1975.

“It’s strange, but people just don’t seem to care about the environment anymore,” said —-. He said beginning in March, the firm will offer lead-tolerant models on two popular subcompact cars, Acadians and Chevettes, which sell at the rate of about 2,300 a month.

According to the article, Chrysler Canada had already been offering lead tolerant cars for awhile, holding an edge on the market, while Ford was considering following suit.

Today, according to Environment Canada, over 99 per cent of gasoline used in Canada is unleaded.

Lead gas article by- Margaret Munro, Southham News.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check back soon as there will be more to come!

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Technology and the new back to the land movement

One doesn’t have to look very hard these days to notice the increasing amount of people taking part in sustainable, back to the land type living.  Whether it’s growing small scale crops in the country or keeping a few chickens in the city, it seems more and more people are finding sustainable ways to find sustenance, the first real revival of such a movement since the early-1970’s.  In a world of corporate food chains, genetic altering, and Monsanto, a lot of today’s revival has to do with food and the health concerns surrounding it. It seems somewhat ironic that in this world of computers and smartphones, technology has made leading this type of simple, grassroots lifestyle easier than it has ever been before, whether in an urban or rural setting.  Chris Slater reports.

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Gridlocked Vancouver

Anyone who lives in Metro Vancouver has likely experienced the challenges of trying to get around in this region, particularly those who must depend on their vehicles for work.  From the lack of an inner-city freeway to the surrounding natural barriers putting space at a premium, there are many factors which may contribute to this  particular region’s 2014 ranking by TomTom GPS company as North America’s most traffic congested city.

There are many conflicting views on how to keep the city moving.  Do we build more roads or bolster transit?  Just what is the best way to keep the people moving and is there only one way to solve this issue?  Chris Slater investigates.

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Construction in Lower Lonsdale impacting local businesses

 

  There are times when Pete Turcotte of Big Pete’s Collectibles cannot hear his employees just feet away because the construction noise outside is so loud.  The dust and debris that often floats around from the nearby site makes it so he is unable to open the front door of his shop for fresh air.

  ” I can tell you that I would like the city to slow it the hell down and just finish one  thing and then give the go-ahead for another,” he says as he sits among the myriad of every collectible action figure, comic, and trading card one could ever hope to find as customers mill about the stacks of pristine paraphernalia. Continue reading

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History lives on at North Vancouver Shipyard

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