Squamish tells Whistler: We will decide about the Garibaldi ski resort

Plus, Vancouver real estate bubble and B.C.’s climate change agenda

Resort retort
The controversy over the development of an all-season 22,000-people resort between Vancouver and Whistler is heating up. Residents of Squamish are concerned about infrastructure: roads, water supply, housing and how a development this size would affect wildlife. Meanwhile, Whistler is loudly opposed to the $3.5-billion project, proposed by the team that created Revelstoke Mountain Resort: Aquilini Investment Group and Northland Properties. A ski resort located 15 kilometres north of Squamish would siphon Whistler customers, clog traffic on the Sea-to-Sky highway and interfere with their ability to attract and retain employees. But Squamish is outgrowing its on-the-way-to-Whistler status in the province and is flexing its muscles. It’s our decision to make, according to this editorial in the Squamish Chief. They might like a resort of their own with cheaper prices, not to mention the reported 2,500 year-round steady jobs. (Via Squamish Chief)

Bouncing bubble
The party’s over–or almost, anyway. According to Paul Matsiras’s weekly analysis for Moody’s, “The unsustainable house price bubble is due to pop.” And The Economist warns that “Consumer debt is a record 165% of disposable income. Most of that borrowing has gone into buying houses, which now look scarily overpriced.” According to The Economist’s house-price indicators, property is overvalued by 34% compared with the long-term average, and “when compared with rents, the overvaluation is 89%.” For now, we can afford it because intrerest costs have fallen in relation to disposable income. But that could change—and fast—due to inflation or recession in emerging markets or the U.S.

Concerning climate
The B.C. provincial government is updating its climate change agenda. A climate leadership team appointed in May will make its recommendations at the end of this month, after reviewing options for economic development and greenhouse-gas emissions reductions. Once government has reviewed the team’s recommendations as well as discussion-paper submissions from all over the province, it will release a draft Climate Leadership Plan in December 2015—a plan that will influence how British Columbians will work, travel and live for decades to come, according to Mary Polak, B.C.’s Minister of Environment.