Monday, May 09, 2011

This is definitely not a sign of a bubble in British Columbia

Here in NNY we are benefiting greatly by the resurgence of the loonie. The Canadians are spending like Congressmen shopping from the Lockheed Martin Skymall catalog. This is boosting local sales tax receipts and clearly helping our local governments weather another potential downturn in the US economy.

Many argue that the commodity bubble that is driving this recent spate of good fortune in Canada is about to burst but I don't see that happening just yet. Anyway, in Canada the most bubblicious province has to be British Columbia. There are stories of wealthy Chinese visitors walking around neighborhoods knocking on doors and making cash offers for houses. I think people in BC would admit they were in a bubble if they weren't so busy skiing, mountain biking and generally enjoying life in the most beautiful part of North America.

However, this story might just cause people in BC to question their use of taxpayer funds and perhaps their position in the economic growth cycle.

Victoria's $60k open air urinal

Canada’s battle against public urination has a monument, and it stands in Victoria, B.C.

Prominently located just across the street from one of the city’s premier theatre venues stands the first of many artisanal urinals designed to rid Victoria’s alleys and alcoves of the unwanted stench of urine.

The $60,000 facility isn’t so much a bathroom appliance as a piece of public art. An automatic-flush stainless steel receptacle surrounded by a swirl of light-green tubes, it’s “an attraction in itself,” says Bruce Carter, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. Designers proudly note that it is the first municipally sanctioned open-air urinal in North America.

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