2015: The Scam Reviewed

by Zbigniew

As 2015 draws to a close, the New Year is being heralded by the chorus of chainsaws and bulldozers -regularly punctuated by shouts of “RACISM” Blue skies and sunshine, sure, but it’s pretty chilly in the long shadows of residential towers and supply-side solutions. Feeling the cold? Well, you can always warm up with a dish named for the greediest man in town. Or, work harder.

In 2015 news of Our Scam made its way to some new and exotic lands, including Belize, Croatia, Cyprus, Macau SAR, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, and Senegal. Also, China.

The most popular posts of 2015:

My personal favourite, virtually ignored, was Sphere of Influence, wherein an attempt was made to define the extent of Vancouver socio-poleconomic influence through the use of FM radio transmissions.

The most “clicked” media in 2015:

Pedestrian AccidentsCrashes Involving Pedestrians, 2009-2013, Insurance Corporation of BC

Ski and Knife FightRod Filbrandt, Tar Paper Town

Bruce Stewart: Dollarton Pleasure Faire, 1972

Bruce Stewart: Dollarton Pleasure Faire, 1972


Beyond “scamcouver” and “gregor robertson and/or bob rennie plus colourful adjective,” some of the more interesting search terms driving traffic to this downbeat blog included the following:

  • “astoria rent cheque”
  • “maplewood flats squatters”
  • “2968 mathers crescent west Vancouver”
  • “’lotusland’ branding strategy”
  • “why is vancouver so fucked up”
  • “why is north vancouver so lame”
  • “west vancouver people are stuck up”
  • “developer nick bosa is an asshole”

Some of the comments left here in 2015:

“Do you think bjarke is on coke or meth?”

-Jenables, on Bjarke Ingels in Gesamtarbeits Scheiße

“Wanting? More like ‘Lacking’”

-kasimirkish, on the Mayor’s canto-pop star Wanting Qu in The Cringe: Love Birds

“Oh man, this is painful to watch. It’s almost hard to tell if it’s a parody or not. I thought university was supposed to be fun. Where’s the ultimate frisbee and alcohol poisoning?”

-Mark, on squeaky-clean kids and the transit referendum in The Cringe: Plebiscite Hell

“[I]t’s also pretty hilariously entertaining to think these city planners and staff take their jobs so seriously, yet are so consistently bad at what they do.”

-Jennifer, in Sub-Area Monopoly


“Good job, Vision! Now you can bump up the ‘new parks created’ number on your next re-election brochure.”

-Fred Victer, in The View from Here

Alas, Fred was not totally satisfied with my efforts, as noted n the response to At the Margins: “There are plenty of things to critique about public transit and land policy in Greater Vancouver; your cutting but pleasing writing style is underemployed in this case.” Fred, your critique, nestled in praise, is much appreciated.

Scammer of the Year

To be eligible for “Scammer of the Year,” candidates must have been character assassinated in this blog’s “Scammer” category at some point over the course of the preceding 52 weeks. Candidates are judged for their ability to present themselves as stalwart citizens while simultaneously deforming the local psychogeography for their personal enrichment; extra points are awarded for douchey behavior. The winner will be notified of their victory by poison pen letter, which will be accompanied by the cash prize comprised of whatever Canadian Tire money I happened to have pinned to my refrigerator. A likeness of the winner will be installed in a future “Strip Mall of Shame” –although the development permit is still awaiting City Hall approval.

The candidates for the forth annual Scammer of the Year award are:

  1. For unashamedly and with a straight face promoting a complete pile of steaming shit as a “complete work of art” in a northern European accent, Bjarke Ingels.
  2. For camping out for four nights in the midst of the Welfare Challeneng in order to purchase a $36,000 bottle of scotch, and for appearing in a Uwe Boll film, Delta Group factotum Bruce Langereis.
  3. For watering lawns in the midst of a drought and a ban on such activity, the University of British Columbia.

And the winner is … Bjarke Ingels.

Green Growth Leaders Paneldebat med erhvervsledere

The Last Word


2015 in an image: international capital, local capital, and the front.

Wishing you better in 2016,