BHF Proud History, Bright Future

I’m so excited to see the Burnaby Hospital Foundation – Proud History, Bright Future broadcast in support of the redevelopment of the Burnaby Hospital and presented by the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society. An amazing effort put together by the Burnaby Hospital Foundation staff and team, raising $135,000 towards the redevelopment!

The time has come to transform this aging hospital to a world-class facility equipped to serve generations to come and outfitted with state of the art medical equipment to match the incredible talents of its’ medical staff.

We’re [a] world class team in a bit of an ancient hospital. One of our big innovations is developing daycare surgery for total joint replacements. People were staying 4 days before and now they’re going home the same day…We are a leader in total joint innovation. ~ Dr. Tim Kostamo

The Burnaby Hospital Redevelopment is committed to:

  • Modernise our health care network
  • Build capacity
  • Improve timely access to patient-centred care

Burnaby like the rest of the Lower Mainland is going through major growth. We know there’s going to be a million more people living in the region within the next 20 years or so. It’s important that we meet those needs. ~ Mayor Mike Hurley

If you want to be part of the big effort being made by so many in the community so the residents get the hospital they deserve, please donate at Get your 50/50 raffle tickets at

I think that any hospital in any community is a pillar of that community. It’s where you go when you’re sick, it’s where you go to have joy when somebody has a baby. It’s a part of everybody’s lives, we don’t always want to go there but it’s nice to know that when you do need the hospital that you have a great hospital with great people, and that’s what Burnaby General is. ~ Doug Petti

New Community Platform Launched – Burnaby Connect & Engage

I’m proud to announce the launch of a new community platform – Burnaby Connect & Engage!

This community platform is aimed at providing residents, neighbours and/or Burnaby enthusiasts a place to collaborate in our goal to enhance life in this beautiful city through connection and community engagement!

A community resource Burnaby has is the Burnaby Hospital which has recently received the green light on a massive redevelopment plan. Thus the Burnaby Connect & Engage community has the opportunity to help build awareness of the Burnaby Hospital Foundation, and this amazing chance to build first class, state-of-the-art facilities in their backyard! Thus Burnaby Connect & Engage will be directing any fundraising or awareness campaigns towards Burnaby Hospital Foundation.

#GivingTuesday 2019 & Burnaby Hospital Foundation

On this #GivingTuesday, I wanted to share a bit of personal news…I have recently joined the @BurnabyHospitalFoundation board of trustees!!

Our family has been blessed with good health so far and no, no one is in the hospital as the photo suggests, but as you may know our little ones are no stranger to extended hospital stays and 2am emergency room visits.


I’ve come to recognize the absolute privilege of our access to healthcare, and moreso the crucial role the hospital foundation plays in improving patient experience and outcomes. The amount of dedication and support from our community that goes into this shared resource is astounding, and if you are curious to know just a little bit more about the Burnaby Hospital Foundation please let me know.

A big thank you goes out to the foundation staff as I get up to speed, and to my friend Russ Aunger for his consideration & encouragement which started this whole journey!

Coming off of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday highs – this may be a time to reflect on what message we are sharing with our friends and loved ones. All I can hope for is that you contemplate #GivingTuesday even if just for a moment, and if you choose to share this message and/or donate, I thank you immensely.

Much love and gratitude

Donate – I’ve made a giving group if you’d like to join together with me, you will receive your personal tax receipt immediately and 100% of your donation (less credit card processing fee) goes directly to the Burnaby Hospital Foundation, nowhere else! @ Burnaby Hospital Foundation

Recycle, Reduce, Redecorate.

Ikea will buy back your used furniture for store credit, I love this idea!!

Time to handle some obligatory objections…

#1 They’ll only give you pennies on the dollar:
– Of course they will, this is your used furniture we’re talking about!
– Ikea is obviously aiming at those of us who were going to chuck our old furniture in the dumpster. For those of you who were already going to thrift, hand-down or donate – do that! This is not a better or mandatory option – this is just giving consumers more reasons to think before they dump, and maybe even help #maketheworldabetterplace

#2 Now you have to lug your butt (and furniture) all the way back to Ikea:
– Let’s face it, if you were going to toss that old dresser then you were going to have to lug it out of your room and down to the dump. And if you planned to replace it, a trip back to Ikea was already in store for your future. Why not do it and also earn little store credit!

So let’s pass this info along and help our fellow consumer earn a little buck while not completely trashing the planet as we style our homes!

Eat well. Live well.

Wow, I am suitably impressed with the new Canada Food Guide.

Goodbye Meat and Dairy, this may shock lots of folks out there, but Meat and Dairy aren’t members of the official food groups anymore. How can this be? Where will I get my protein from? Actually the new Canada Food Guide shows a preference for plant based proteins.

I don’t see any mention of fermented foods, probiotics or gut health, but hey, we all gotta start somewhere.

Kudos to you Canada (sorry Meat and Diary Industry – it’s the second blow to you since the recent NAFTA tariffs)





Tents – Setting Up A Future

Through micro-enterprise, the Vancouver Downtown Eastside Street Market is creating opportunities for individuals to live with purpose, participate in their communities, and earn income in a meaningful way to combat the cycle of poverty.

This micro-documentary hopes to shed light and awareness into an area the National Post calls “Vancouver’s ‘gulag’. Headlines like “Canada’s poorest neighbourhood refuses to get better despite $1M a day in social spending” continue to dominate the narrative and further isolate, perpetuating the stimga of the Downtown Eastside.

Economic Drivers of Real Estate in Vancouver – DELOITTE


Real estate market overview and current challenges

October, 2016
Stepping into 2017

Come join me as we learn from Jennifer Podmore-Russell of Deloitte, and her take on where is Vancouver’s real estate marketing heading as we step into 2017. This presentation brought to us courtesy of Wealthminds!

Click here for the full presentation.

I’ve also highlighted below some notable changes in our market which may affect you! Give us a call at (604) 629-7515 or fill out the form below if you’d like to learn more.

Changes in the market – BC’s Foreign Buyer Property Transfer Tax

On July 25, 2016, the BC government introduced legislative changes directed at BC’s residential housing market. The key changes include the introduction of an additional 15% property transfer tax (PTT), effective August 2, 2016, on transfers of residential properties within the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) to foreign entities or taxable trustees

Government Responses – Preventative Measures for a “Healthy, Competitive and Stable Housing Market”

Legislation release on October 3, 2016 included a “Mortgage rate stress test” for all insured borrowers and closing loopholes for the Principal Residence Exemption.

How to Have a Conversation About Charity With Your Child


Having a conversation about giving with a child may seem a little awkward, but it is beneficial in the long run. It helps them become mindful of important issues and active members of the community. Research also shows that talking to children about charity has a greater impact on them than role modelling alone.

Though it may seem challenging, having a chat about charity is simpler that you think!

Chimp’s Executive Assistant (and parent) Ali Ah-Yu has this type of conversation with her son whenever she can. Here are some of her tips on how to have this kind of chat.

Make it Relatable

There’s always the question of how to start a conversation about giving back and what particular issues to talk about. However, the conversation can be simple, and it certainly does not have to be done all at the same time.

Talking about experiences that occur daily and encouraging kids to think about how they differ for others is a great and organic way to get the conversation started. Kids often think and act in their own self-interest. Framing questions with this in mind can give us more insight, as parents, into their personal definition of being charitable.

When Ali has this conversation with her son, she often starts by having them both reflect on his personal experiences and what it might look like for those who do not share the same realities. They then think about what he can do as an individual to help.

Talking about solutions can come from simpler terms as well. Rather than talking about what specific charity to support, it’s good to talk about what actions he can take to create a solution (e.g. “I want to help hungry children by volunteering my time” etc.).

Make it Engaging

Giving kids the freedom and power to make choices about charitable giving is a great way to keep them engaged and excited.

Ali does this in a fun way, incorporating a special allowance that her son can use as a way to donate to the different charities (a “charity allowance). Ali encourages this by guiding him to the different charities that reflect his interests. Chimp is a great platform and resource for this.

“I created a Giving Group on his behalf, so he can choose to give to whatever Canadian charity he wants. The platform also allows you to send a message to the charities you donate to. I encourage him to write to these charities. Doing this not only gets him involved with the entire process of donating, but I feel it makes him more connected to the charity as well.”

There are other great ways to encourage children to think charitably. Having resources like books that talk about giving back is a great way to get them engaged. The Giving Book by Ellen Shabin is a great book that encourages children to think about giving by asking what it means to them. Ali uses this book to complement her conversations with her son.

Celebrate Their Success

It’s important to celebrate and applaud children’s successes with them. Not only does this reinforce their behavior to give, but it also leads to happiness. Research shows that children and toddlers as young as the age of two exhibit greater happiness when giving to others than receiving themselves.

Having a simple yet meaningful conversation about giving back is important for the growth and development of children. By infusing these types of chats into everyday life, we can contribute to shaping these individuals to be the best they can be.

Read the original article and more at

Exploring Passive House – Vancouver Island

The grandparents' living area on the ground floor opens onto a spacious patio. Each floor has a large overhang to give protection from the summer sun, when itÕs high in the sky. In the winter, when rays come at a lower angle, they are unimpeded by overhangs. Photograph By Derek Ford

The grandparents’ living area on the ground floor opens onto a spacious patio. Each floor has a large overhang to give protection from the summer sun, when itÕs high in the sky. In the winter, when rays come at a lower angle, they are unimpeded by overhangs. Photograph By Derek Ford

More than a thousand people have toured this home and they weren’t there because it was on an interior-design list or part of a fundraising effort. Hundreds of people — mostly government officials and building and industry professionals — have beaten a path to its vault-like door because they wanted to see how this building “performs” and precisely how it was constructed.

They were curious to check out Vancouver Island’s first house built to the International Passive House Standard, a level of energy efficiency said to offer unsurpassed thermal comfort and indoor air quality, with minimal operating costs.

“A lot of people talk about their houses in terms of passive heating — the term is thrown around very loosely, and they usually mean they receive solar gain through south-facing windows,” said co-owner Rob Bernhardt.

But this 3,800-square-foot house is the real deal, certified and built to a standard based on detailed scientific criteria and “functional efficiency” relating to a strict definition of kilowatt hours per square metres.

Simply put, this house consumes 90 per cent less heating-and-cooling energy than a typical house of the same size.

It took eight months to build and cost $200 a square foot including landscaping, which is astronomically cheap for a custom house, said Rob.

“And we aim to do better next time.”

The wall assembly features a two-by-eight wood-frame structural wall with plywood sheathing on the exterior, while the interior is sheathed in OSB board with the cavity filled with dense-pack cellulose insulation. Photograph By Derek Ford

The wall assembly features a two-by-eight wood-frame structural wall with plywood sheathing on the exterior, while the interior is sheathed in OSB board with the cavity filled with dense-pack cellulose insulation. Photograph By Derek Ford

He and his son Mark Bernhardt, who owns Bernhardt Contracting, researched the project together and Mark built it.

“It is a standard that is very popular in Europe and starting to become more common in North America,” said Mark, adding the European Union has decided that by 2020, all new buildings should be built at this level of efficiency.

It is a standard that is achievable today at a very affordable price, he said.

The total cost of this home was only three to four per cent higher than a traditional build — roughly $40,000 of the $750,000 total — and this expense was offset immediately in part because the house didn’t need a furnace or air conditioner, and heating bills are phenomenally low.

Since it was completed in 2013, heating bills have ranged from $160 to $210 per year. There are no expensive mechanical systems to maintain and they don’t even have a fireplace, as the house is so warm. (Interestingly they have no televisions either: “That’s yesterday’s technology,” said Mark.)

Continue reading →

We Did It! #SuttonWildfireRelief


Sutton REALTORS® across Canada came together to show our commitment to community and donated a total of $52,428 for the #SuttonWildfireRelief and the Canadian Red Cross.

We personally want to thank all the Sutton REALTORS® who joined in on the #SuttonWildfireRelief campaign in support of our Fort McMurray colleagues and neighbours. Fort McMurray residents are now gearing up for phase 1 of the re-entry plan, scheduled to start on June 1st.

Your donations have helped provide accommodations, food, water and supplies to the Fort McMurray evacuees. More than 80,000 Albertans were forced to leave their homes in the largest fire-related evacuation in the province’s history.

But the work doesn’t stop here… Beyond meeting the immediate needs of evacuees, your donation will help those affected by this disaster not only today, but also in the weeks, months and even years ahead as they work to rebuild their lives.