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Parker’s Pen – November 2021

David Parker

Being that it’s a monthly business magazine, by the time you read this the signs will all be down and the reshuffle will have taken place – a new mayor and several new councillors will have settled into their chamber chairs.

I don’t envy the enormous tasks ahead of them. Green line, event centre, downtown office leasing, budgeting and taxation. And I do hope that some of them drive cars and have experienced the problems of a daily commute on four wheels.

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With all due respect to my friends from the Netherlands, I don’t like the colour orange. In fact, the seemingly ever-increasing number of orange barriers, traffic cones and right-hand lane closure signs are enough to test any driver’s patience.

And some have been there for so long. John Laurie Blvd., between Shaganappi Trail and 14th Street N.W. has been a constant switcheroo and how long will traffic be constrained while a new turn is being made from 16th Avenue North onto Crowchild Trail?

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Council also must regain our reputation as being a business-friendly city. Ask any business owner, developer, architect or engineer about the frustrations in obtaining approvals from city hall. It’s not only the time it takes but having to pander to some of the rules that seem just a bit ridiculous. Like the number of slots in bicycle racks required in an industrial area or how many trees must be planted by a new building and how far apart they must be.

We do have a lot of good developers here who know they have to put up with costly constraints, but I am not surprised at the number who are spreading their investment wings into the U.S. where it seems new business is most welcome.

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On our first flight out of the city in over two years, we certainly missed the friendly and helpful White Hatters. And where are the power carts they used to transport those who needed help in reaching the far-flung gates?

The Link is a help but doesn’t take you halfway to the WestJet areas that are a long way off for those using a cane. Fortunately, the WestJet attendant at the desk took pity on my wife and upon arrival in Vancouver a nice young man with a cart was waiting at the plane doors who drove us all the way into the pick-up baggage area.

Bring back the Calgary volunteers.

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British Columbians seem to have accepted new COVID-19 regulations with few problems. Asking for a seat in a tapas bar or paying to enter the well worth a visit Victoria Bug Zoo, simply show your vax proof and ID, carry on and enjoy.

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I worry about us losing our sense of humour as some find fault with everything.

A British newspaper reports that a policeman has had to face a disciplinary hearing because on learning of an Asian man who lived to be 105 said, “Maybe I should start eating curry.” Really! Can I still say I enjoy Chinese food?

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Final words: If you want to walk quickly, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.