Clothing street bins have flown below the radar, have proliferated, and have turned out to be deadly. This  Vancouver Sun editorial  notes that in the last four years five people in this province have died in this containers, seven across the country. Several municipalities including Vancouver have sealed these clothing bins up. University engineering students are working on better designs for the bins. But why do we have the bins in the first place? If we are able to have the clothes picked up by the charities or drop them off at a charity store, is that not a more prudent solution that also allows for better connectedness to the organizations and to their works? Why did we allow the public realm to be peppered with these clothing bins? And who is benefiting from clothing  bin profits?

In Metro Vancouver clothing bins are ubiquitous, in different shapes and colours, but all serving the same function~they are donation bins on public and private property with a mail box lid type for people to deposit of cast-off clothes. It is assumed that somehow the charities hosting the bins pick up the clothes, clean and sort them, and ensure that the needy get access to these  donations, or that they are sold so that the sponsoring organizations can benefit. However the needy still have to pay for the clothes, and the fact that people die in these containers suggest that the people we intend the clothes to go to can’t afford them  or don’t have access to them.

There is a dearth of information on what really happens to those clothes, and those donations become part of a more complex story.

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Thank you, loyal podcasts listeners, for your eagle ears:

Released yesterday (New Year’s Eve), episode #13 “Grading Vancouver Council, by The Independents” was indeed missing 10 minutes of dialogue.

It’s fixed, so be sure to check it out now.

Not yet a subscriber or casual listener? Here’s a preview of our 2018 year-end episode:

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Long-time friends of Price Tags, Michael and Dianna have pledged an additional $2,000 in a matching contribution — meaning, they’re challenging PT readers to donate — for the very reason this blog exists:

“Price Tags gives us a digest of the most important urbanist writing and information that would otherwise require us to spend hours searching multiple websites.

It’s important stuff that we can’t get anywhere else, that would take too much time to find on our own every week.

Just the time Price Tags saves us each month is worth at least $100 a year — so we’re challenging readers to make a meaningful donation.”


Join Michael & Dianna — support Price Tags All donations up to $12,000 will be matched — learn how it will be used. Read more »

We hope our series of independent Vancouver City Council candidate Q&As has been informative.

That said, these are just four of the 26 unaffiliated candidates in the race; to learn more about the others, check out this list from CBC, and then look up their websites and Twitter accounts; the City of Vancouver website gives no indication of independent status or party affiliation.

Even better? Candidates not covered by Price Tags to date are invited to Comment on any (or all) of Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and this post. Why? Because your name will show up in the Comments feed on our homepage, and be seen by as many as 1,000 people on any given day.

The final question:

What’s Your Vision for Vancouver? Read more »

In this penultimate post, diving deep into the positions and ideas of four independent candidates for Vancouver City Council, we get to the question that inspired this series in the first place.

Misconceptions. Coming into this final month, I wondered if independents would be especially prone to lost votes on the basis of critical misconceptions about their candidacy.

  • With Sarah Blyth, it was the idea that she would, now and forever, be identified with issues judged too  ‘uncomfortable’ for mainstream voters — such as the stigmas of drug addiction, homelessness, and life on the downtown east side.
  • For Adrian Crook, it’s the broken nomination process and infighting that drove this former NPA member out of the party, and into the housing fracas where he has somehow been saddled with a reputation for being a developer shill (quoth the Twitterverse: “Nevermoar!”).
  • Then there’s Françoise Raunet, former BC Green MLA candidate in a ‘damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t” bind — stay close to the Greens despite the lack of nomination, or disassociate herself from a party oft-accused of…not being very green?
  • Lastly, Taqdir (Taq) Kaur Bhandal, a virtual unknown at the age of 27, and pushing for ‘intersectional diversity’ — a still-obscure term, itself prone to misconception, and thus possibly too risky for some voters.

Yet, all four candidates are knowledgeable about the issues, strongly opinionated, high in energy and, to borrow the words of one, deadly serious.

So, onto the question.

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