The Life and Death of Colonel Ferry

Jon Ferry is mad. The government is thinking about experimenting with social engineering again and he hates it. Why, oh why, can’t we go back to a time when the government didn’t engage in social engineering and everything was tip top. Like it was during Jon’s childhood in Victorian London. Ok, maybe that wasn’t the best example. Anyway, talking about the Vancouver Housing Task Force’s report he gets to the crux of the matter:

But where is it written that select, politically favoured income groups have a divine right to subsidized housing in one of North America’s most expensive cities?

This select, politically favoured income group is, you know,  the poor. You can identify them easily by the fact they have very little money. The advice Jon give is, of course, for these children of privilege to learn to stand on their own two feet [actual quote] and move to Surrey. Not like those crybabies in Quebec [actual quote]. The matter of one’s poverty being a morality play, and all that.

Oh sure, Jon concedes, there are problems with affordability but it’s a problem from too much government meddling…

Misguided government meddling in the housing market, after all, is one of the reasons why Vancouver housing is so unaffordable in the first place.

See? And also: Indeed! At times like this I like to turn to my personal bible – the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World 2011 Annual Report. At the top of the list of economically free countries is Hong Kong and Singapore – and you certainly won’t find subsidized housing in either of those places. Gotcha there!

So as Jon so deftly shows as he argues with someone in 1930, this is a failure of government and not the market and/or this:

For couple families (with or without children), the largest increase [in family median income] occurred in Guelph (+2.6%) and the largest decrease was in Vancouver (-2.4%). Among lone-parent families, the largest increase in median total family income was in Thunder Bay (+6.6%), and the largest decline was in Calgary (-3.2%).

For people not in census families, the largest increase was in St. John’s (+2.3%), and the largest decline was in Vancouver (-5.6%).

Lalalala…Jon can’t hear you! Besides…

One of the biggest obstacles to owning or renting a home in Vancouver is government and government taxes.

Of course, that the property tax rate in Vancouver is lower than in Surrey is unmentioned.



  1. RossK (@RossK_)


    I thought for sure the good Colonel, based on his ranting and raving last week, was going to say the real obstacle to finding a place to live in Vancouver is….

    Bike lanes.

    Or maybe it was libraries.

    I know for sure it wasn’t gov’t-assisted co-ops.

    ‘Cause those are deader than do-dos and/or cocoa-puffs, neither of which were invented in Victorian era sweatshops or government-mandated seat-belt factories and daycare centers that steal all the housing stock.



  2. spartikus

    He makes a point of blaming the ALR. That there are large parcels of ALR in Surrey and a sliver in Vancouver seems to have eluded him.