‘The Affordability Puzzle: Who has the Answers?’ Indeed! (Regrettably, it’s not MacPhail or Rennie, and we’re not so sure about Munro and Eby) Vancouver Sun panel 7 pm June 21.

With all due respect, it is with regret that we say Harold Munro Editor-in-Chief at the Vancouver Sun, is getting bad advice from someone. This online event at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 21 (sign up here), asks the question, “The Affordability Puzzle: Who has the Answers?” (https://vancouversun.com/business/real-estate/live-qa-bc-housing-affordability)

It is not entirely clear if Mr. Munro is expecting the four panelists themselves to have the answers. Or is it that he doesn’t expect them to have the answers, but maybe they can introduce someone who does.

Having been observing and involved in civic affairs through three civic election cycles, we can assure you it is not David Eby, Joy MacPhail, or Bob Rennie. Or if they know the answers, they are not telling. Eby, while right on some things since he became housing minister, is probably getting bad advice from the current NDP Chief of Staff Geoff Meggs, who jumped over to Victoria after years with Vision Vancouver on Vancouver City Council, propped up by literally millions of dollars of developer and union donations. Rennie has had far too much air play for far too long as a mouthpiece of the development industry, and is part of the problem in creating the housing affordability problems in the Metro Vancouver region today. And as for MacPhail, presumably she is planning to promote the problematic 2021 report “Opening doors: unlocking housing supply for affordability” (Final report of the Canada-British Columbia Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability), which seems to be the guide for current NDP policy (and David Eby), decision-makers are clearly listening too much to the wrong people. That report is highly flawed in its selection of experts, data and sources, and verges on being offensive. Co-moderator Dan Fumano, unfortunately, has not been involved in civic affairs reporting for long enough, is often biased in his opinion columns, and lacks the bigger context. We hope that a future panel will provide the public and decision makers with a more balanced choice of speakers. We hope that co-moderator Stu McNish will balance out Fumano’s biases.

Added comment: Here is a recommended Twitter thread on this topic of panelists and alternative panel members.


At the very least, this panel may be worth watching as a counterpoint for a more meaningful discussion in the future. We encourage people to participate and send in their questions on this important topic. If Mr. Munro would like some suggestions on future panelists on this topic, we’d like to make suggestions.


Below is the text of the letter from Vancouver Sun chief editor Harold Munro.

Dear Reader,

Those who own homes, aspiring homeowners and renters all have a stake in B.C.’s housing crisis.

A debate rages over how to build our way to affordability. What is the role of governments, developers, and non-profits? Can our cities attain affordability through increased density while maintaining liveable neighbourhoods?

The Vancouver Sun is bringing together four key players in the housing affordability discussion for a live event next Tuesday, June 21, at 7 p.m.  

You will be able to go online at vancouversun.com to watch and submit questions to the moderated panel we are calling, The Affordability Puzzle: Who has the Answers?

The four panelists are:

 B.C. Housing Minister David Eby, who has hinted in recent months at possible provincial legislation to limit municipal government powers over housing development to excelerate (sp) construction of new homes.

 Bob Rennie, founder and executive director of rennie group, a real estate marketing and information services firm that has been around for more than 46 years.

• Joy MacPhail, a former deputy premier and Opposition leader, who held also other cabinet posts in New Democratic governments, and more recently served as chair of the Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability.

• Bernd Christmas, president and CEO of Nch’kay Development Corp., the economic development arm of the Squamish Nation that is involved in several major real-estate projects, including Senakw in Vancouver.

Postmedia city columnist Dan Fumano will pose questions to the panel along with Stuart McNish. McNish will be familiar to frequenters of vancouversun.com as host of the weekly video interview series Conversations That Matter.

If you’d like to join the discussion, click HERE to have a link to the event sent to your inbox.

Kind regards,
Harold Munro
Vancouver Sun | The Province

One thought on “‘The Affordability Puzzle: Who has the Answers?’ Indeed! (Regrettably, it’s not MacPhail or Rennie, and we’re not so sure about Munro and Eby) Vancouver Sun panel 7 pm June 21.

  1. Thank you for this. The bias in favour of massive development is daunting. Your timely, well informed and targeted emails are exceptionally helpful and encouraging for the many opponents of the blind development craze. Please know that your generous work is deeply appreciated.


    Jocelyn Beairsto

    Sent from my iPhone


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