How New Westminster Lost the Capital

By his Excellency James Douglas, Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of British Columbia, Vice-Admiral of the same, &c.

Whereas Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to decide that the Capital of British Columbia shall be styled the city of New Westminster.
Now, therefore, I, James Douglas, do hereby declare and proclaim that the town heretofore called and known as Queensborough, and sometimes as Queenborough, in the Colony of British Columbia, shall from henceforth be called and known as New Westminster, and shall be so described in all legal processes and official documents.
Issued under the Public Seal of the said Colony, at Victoria, Vancouver’s Island, this Twentieth day of July 1859, in the Twenty-third year of Her Magesty’s Reign.

James Douglas. (L.S.)

By command of his Excellency,
William A. G. Young,
Acting Colonial Secretary.

God Save the Queen!

With that proclamation New Westminster was the capital city of the Colony of British Columbia.

At least, for a few years. In the mid-1860s, the Colony of Vancouver Island was deeply in debt to the Bank of British Columbia. On May 31, 1866, the Bank refused any further loans to the Colony. The Assembly passed a vote of non-confidence in its Governor, James Douglas.

Before that, the Colony of Vancouver Island’s Assembly was toying with the idea of a federation with the Colony of British Columbia, where the two would be separate but equal partners. As the economic depression got worse, they dropped this idea in favour of a legislative union. Amor de Cosmos, in January 1865, introduced resolutions that called for the immediate and unconditional union of Vancouver Island with British Columbia, even going so far as to resigning his seat and standing for re-election as a test of the public support. He and Victoria representative Leonard McClure (who also resigned his seat) won handily, and a union was a certainty.

At the same time, Frederick Seymour, Governor of the Colony of British Columbia was happy with this outcome. “We shall be in a position to dictate our own terms,” he wrote. In a despatch to Edward Cardwell, Colonial Secretary, Seymour argued that British Columbia was prosperous (it actually wasn’t), and that to strengthen British authority, power, and influence in the Pacific, having one civic authority would be the way to go. He proposed that the laws of British Columbia be extended over Vancouver Island, that only the consent of the Legislative Council of British Columbia was needed, and the Governor of British Columbia could proclaim the union himself.

Amazingly, nearly all of his suggestions were taken, and British Parliament rushed a bill through that united the two colonies into one Colony of British Columbia on 6 August 1866.

Now, Seymour was the Governor of the united colonies. It was his right to select a site for the colony. Victoria was the capital of the Colony of Vancouver Island and New Westminster was the capital of the Colony of British Columbia. Instead of making the choice for himself, Seymour handed it over to the newly formed Legislative Council. He was expecting that New Westminster would be named the capital, as the government was made up mostly British Columbians and not Vancouver Islanders (five out of five of the Executive Council, six of nine in the Legislative Council, and five of the nine popularly elected members).

He didn’t know about Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken, though. Dr. Helmcken had been Speaker of the House of Assembly in Victoria for a decade, and had become an able parliamentarian. He ignored a suggestion from Seymour that New Westminster be selected as the capital. And after prompting of Sir James Douglas, introduced a motion to select Victoria.

After nine and a half hours of debate, the vote stood 13 to 8 in favour of Victoria becoming the capital of the Colony of British Columbia.

But remember that proclamation by James Douglas that established New Westminster as the capital city of the Colony of British Columbia? What about that?

Seymour remembered it, and raised it as an issue with the Colonial Secretary before officially proclaiming Victoria as the capital, which kind of pissed off people in Victoria, while also showing his favouritism towards New Westminster (which, he once wrote, is “in my opinion the most respectable, manly and enterprising little community with which I have ever been aquainted.”)

The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos replied to Seymour’s despatch, who seemedrelatively perturbed that the matter hadn’t been settled:

I have to acknowledge your Despatch No. 87 of the 13th of July last, from which I learn that you are not yet prepared to recommend the adoption either of Victoria or of New Westminster as the Capital of British Columbia.

I leave the determination of this question still in your hands merely desiring that it may not be long delayed.

I take the opportunity of forwarding to you various documents which may affect your judgment, but which I have not hitherto sent to you because I was expecting from you a definite recommendation on the subject to which they related.

As the second paragraph of your Despatch contains something like an appeal to me for an expression of opinion, I think it requisite to say that the establishment of New Westminster as the Capital of British Columbia did not in my opinion involve any pledge on the part of the Government that the site of that Capital shall never be moved. It is of course always undesirable to disappoint natural expectations, and much consideration may be due to those who are so disappointed. But every land-purchaser in New Westminster or any other locality must be considered to buy his land, subject to the possible changes which the varying political or Commercial interests of the whole community may from time to time render necessary.

I will add that although I do not prescribe to you the choice of one or the other Capital, you will be at liberty, in case you should decide in favor of Victoria to quote the authority of the Home Government in support of that course.

The “exuberantly free press” of the time weighed in, as the British Colonist (a Victoria newspaper and precursor to today’s Times Colonist) called the Fraser River a “stream of liquid mud” and New Westminster a “pimple on the face of creation.”

And then, in the second session of the Legislative Council in 1868, they decided to end the controversy once and for all. Captain William Hales Franklyn was the magistrate for Nanaimo, and Nanaimo much preferred New Westminster over Victoria, Nanaimo’s “cruel step-mother”. William Cox, a Gold Commissioner and supporter of Victoria, was sitting next to Franklyn during the debate. Franklyn had a carefully prepared speech that started off by comparing the future of New Westminster on the Fraser with the present prosperity of Calcutta on the Hooghly. Cox managed to shuffle Franklyn’s papers three times, causing Franklyn to read the introduction over and over again. Then Franklyn put his spectacles down on the table, and Cox popped out the lenses!

Helmcken (a Victoria supporter) moved a recess of half an hour to restore order, and when the House reassembled and Franklyn began speaking again, rose to object on the grounds that Franklyn was making a second speech!

Astonishingly the objection stood, and the vote cast, and Victoria was capital.

The date of removal of New Westminster as capital? May 25, the day after May Day, which was normally a day of celebration in New Westminster. Another slap in the face from Victoria.


British Columbia: Papers Relative to the Affairs of British Columbia [Google Books]

Colonial Despatches, Buckingham & Chandos to Seymour

Frederick Seymour: Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Ormsby, Margaret A., British Columbia: A History, 1958.

Buy vs. Rent: New Westminster Townhouse Edition

“Should I buy or should I rent” articles are all the rage these days. The New York Times has their rent vs. buy calculator, a professor at McMaster University assigns a “rent vs buy” task to his students, and Mr. Money Moustache had a good rant that focused on Toronto and Ottawa.

That last article kicked off a Twitter discussion between me and a couple of other New Westies. Twitter, being a 140-character medium, is ill-suited for prolonged discussion, so I decided to write a blog post about renting vs buying in New Westminster.

And here it is!

The Setup and Assumptions

I’m going to be starting off with a townhouse, since that’s what I live in and am most familiar with. Specifically, a two-bedroom one-bathroom townhouse, preferably two levels, and roughly 900 square feet. It should be close to transit and shopping. Both the renter and owner will have to purchase insurance to cover contents loss and other liabilities. Any utilities will not be included, because I am assuming that what the renter pays for, say, internet access, the owner will pay the same rate.

If the renter ends up spending less money per month than the owner, any extra money will go into a savings fund that earns interest. Same deal if the owner ends up spending less money than the renter.

Both renter and owner will be staying in their unit for 25 years. When renters move it’s likely they’ll end up paying more rent than what the standard increase would be, but when owners move they have to pay all kinds of fees and taxes. I don’t want to get into all of that mess, so I’m keeping it simple.

Thus the numbers I will be looking at are, for the renter:

  • rent
  • renters insurance
  • return on savings investment

And for the owner:

  • mortgage
  • strata owner insurance
  • property tax
  • strata fees
  • property value
  • return on savings investment

I am making the following assumptions on how these numbers change over time:

  • rent increases at 3.5% per year. British Columbia has a maximum allowable rent increase, and this is the average increase over the past 11 years.
  • insurance premiums for both the renter and the owner increase at 2.5% per year. Over the past 20 years the inflation rate in Canada has been about 2%, but I bumped this up a tad.
  • the mortgage is fixed at 5% over 25 years. While this might seem high in today’s world of 1.49% 18-month mortgages, the historical mortgage rate is actually rather high (as high as 21% in 1981!).
  • the down payment on the mortgage will be 5%.
  • property tax stays fixed. I based this assumption on one thing: Twitter. I asked and had a few answers saying that it’s either gone up a very small amount or gone down a bit, so I averaged this out to “no raise in property tax”. I don’t really understand mil rates enough to argue why this is the case, though.
  • strata fees stay fixed. I have no idea how accurate this is, but I know that stratas can and do raise and lower the fees, and can occasionally levy special assessments to repair common property. I’m assuming that the strata knows what they’re doing and is putting money into a Contingency Reserve to fund repairs so levies are not necessary.
  • savings return is 6.5%. I’m pulling this from the Canadian Couch Potato Tangerine Investment Funds Model Portfolio, specifically the Equity Growth fund, which has a 6.5% 20-year annualized return. No taxes will be charged on any interest gains, as this fund is available as a Tax Free Investment Fund.
  • annual property value increases by 1% per year. This is probably going to be my most controversial assumption, but most of the uproar about housing prices skyrocketing in Metro Vancouver have been focused on single-family detached homes. They’ve been going up like crazy. Condos and townhouses? Not so much. In fact, condo values were flat for a few years before 2014, when they were up about two per cent in 2015. And if you load up that page, scroll down to the chart near the bottom, and load up New Westminster, you’ll see that a representative three-bedroom townhouse went down in value by 4.8% between 2014 and 2015.

What does the renter pay?

Now, I live in a housing co-op, and they typically have lower housing charges than market rental rate. However, my housing co-op entered a financial agreement with the [Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation]) such that our housing charges are pegged to the average market rate for similar units in the area. That means I can use my numbers as representative for the rental market rate for our area. For a 2br 1ba townhouse in 2015, that’s $1210 per month.

To get an insurance value, I went to TD Insurance and got a quote for fairly basic insurance. I set the building type as “Townhouse/Row house”, the exterior as “Aluminum/vinyl/stucco/metal”, and set my contents replacement value at $75,000. Electric baseboard heating, with no fireplace or stove. One smoke detector and no alarm system. With all of this the quote for renters insurance came out to $853 per year. That’s actually nearly twice what I’m actually paying, but we’ll go with it to make comparisons with the owner fair.

Over 25 years, the renter will have paid a total of $630,583.45.

What does the owner pay?

I managed to find a fairly good match for a townhouse for sale. If you don’t want to load that up, it’s a 900 square foot 2-bedroom 1-bathroom townhouse in downtown New West for $322,000. The monthly strata fees are $255 per month. At a 5% downpayment and a 5% 25-year mortgage, that gives a monthly mortgage payment of $1779 (go do the calculation yourself with a $305,900 mortgage).

I got an insurance quote in exactly the same way as for the renter, with the same numbers (plugging in 1999 for the building build year), and I got an annual cost of $954 per year, $100 more than for a renter. That strikes me as really odd. I should mention that even though the property I’m looking at has a gas fireplace, I did not include that in the insurance quote (doing so didn’t change the quote, though).

The property tax on this townhouse is about $1800 – in 2014 it was $1810.62 and in 2015 it was $1778.54. I got these numbers from the City of New Westminster Property Inquiry site.

Over 25 years, the owner will have paid $715,760.

What does the renter gain?

With the above numbers, the renter pays less per month than the owner does until 2033. As the renter deposits this money monthly and gets the above rate of return, at the end of the 25 years the renter will have $440,359.87

What does the owner gain?

The townhouse continues to gain value, and at the end of the 25 years the townhouse will be worth $412,943.10.

From 2033 to 2040 the owner pays less per month than the renter, and deposited monthly, this money grows to a total of $39,561.99.

Who wins?

With the above assumption, the renter wins.

The renter has paid out $630,583.45 while having final assets worth $440,359.87. This leads them to a net loss of $190,223.58.

The owner has paid out $715,760 while having final assets worth $452,505.09. This leads them to a net loss of $263,254.91.

But do they really?

Well, yes and no. After 25 years the renter will need to continue to pay rent. After 25 years the owner stops paying a mortgage, freeing up nearly $1800 per month. Of course, the renter is sitting on $440k, so they could just write a cheque for that amount and buy an equivalent unit to what the owner has, which would leave the ex-renter with $27,416, which is pretty close to the cash that the owner has ($39,561).

The renter does have an advantage with liquid assets. A sudden job loss or emergency expense is easier to handle if you have some cash put aside, which is what the renter would have. Tying up you wealth in illiquid housing makes it a little more difficult (although mortgage payment protection or job loss insurance is available for a pretty small fee).

And the owner has an advantage in that they can do whatever they want with the unit (to a limit, since it’s not a detached house). New flooring? Go for it. Bathroom remodel? Go for it. You can’t do that in most rentals.

The take-away is this: for a modest townhouse in New Westminster, it doesn’t really matter if you rent or buy. The renter ended up “losing” less money than the owner did, but they both ended up in the same place in the end.

I guess it depends on who you want to throw your money at: a landlord or a bank.

One more thing…

If you want to challenge my assumptions and use numbers of your own, I’ve made my rent vs buy spreadsheet public to view. Feel free to copy it to your own spreadsheet and fiddle with the numbers. Here are some tips:

  • the percentage increases for rent, insurance, house value, and investments are located in cells C30 through C33.
  • change the values in row 2 (where applicable) and the changes should propagate through the entire document.
  • the cells you want to pay the most attention to are K28 and N28. These are the amounts “lost” by the owner and by the renter, respectively.

If you find an error in there, please do let me know and I’ll fix it right away. There’s a hairy formula for calculating the investment amount (columns N and O) that I’m pretty sure I got right, but it could be wrong. The numbers end up looking right, though.

New Westminster’s Pride Crosswalk

You might remember a few days ago I wrote a little something about [Priding up New West’s streets]. Check this out:

We did it, New West!

Let’s Pride Up New Westminster’s Streets

New Westminster has a great LGBTQ Pride scene, led by (obviously) New West Pride. 2015 Pride Week is coming August 8th to 15th, capped with a huge street party on Columbia Street on the 15th.

New Westminster is putting in curb extensions around town, with the most-recent being installed at Fourth Street and Carnarvon Street.

So what do these two have to do with each other? In a discussion regarding these curb extensions, City Councillor Patrick Johnstone said, “I actually hoped there’d be a paint treatment on the slope as well to make the crossing more visible from below.” He’s right, it’s difficult to see the crosswalk when you’re driving up Fourth Street. And while he’s probably thinking of an X marking (like in Figure 7.46), I’m thinking we can do that and go one step further: Pride crosswalks.

They’re getting pretty common these days (Vancouver, Victoria, Philadelphia for example). To help celebrate Pride in New West, let’s make one (or two!) happen in our little city.

Fourth and Carnarvon would be a great place for a four-way Pride crosswalk (similar to Victoria’s). It would definitely make the intersection more visible to drivers, and provide a nice focal point for a pair of relatively quiet streets downtown.

But I think the perfect place for a permanent Pride crosswalk in New West would be the pedestrian-controlled crossing at Columbia Street and Church Street. One, it would brighten up and bring back a little life to that end of downtown. Two, it’s right outside of The Heritage Grill, which has supported the gay community for a number of years, right outside the Steam1 gay bath house, and steps from The Met Bar & Grill, which is also highly supportive of Pride.

So come on New Westminster, let’s gay up our city a bit!

Living Car-free in New Westminster

Since moving to New Westminster from the USA in January 2010, we have not owned a car. “We” is me, my wife, and our now-six year old daughter, who was ten months old when we moved back. We’ve grown up as a family without owning a personal vehicle, and it hasn’t hindered our lives.

How? My wife and I are members of modo, Vancouver’s best (in my opinion) car-sharing option. When we signed up, modo (then The Car Co-op) had two or three cars in New West. Now they have eleven, and we’ve driven all of them.

We use modo for not-quite-daily trips, such as grocery shopping, visiting friends in other cities that are tough to reach by transit, or vacationing. I’ve even used it twice to get home when the SkyTrain had major delays in the evening! modo doesn’t restrict what we do with the vehicle (well, no loose pets, no off-roading) or how far we go, so we’ve used them to go on trips to Clearwater and Tofino, and many places in between. modo even has cargo vans, so when we needed to pick up a new table in Langley, not owning a car was no deterrent.

When our daughter was younger it was a little tougher, as she required a full car seat. We would either go as a family on the bus, with the car seat, to the car, or one of us would go pick up the car first, then bring it home and put the car seat in. Now that our daughter is in a booster seat it’s easier.

With modo we’re freed up from time obligations such as maintenance — they handle that. With modo we’re freed up from monetary obligations such as gas and tolls — every car has a gas card, and every car is equipped with a Treo chip for the Port Mann Bridge. If we clean the car, we get reimbursed. There are a lot of other perks for modo members too.

So what about daily trips? That’s easy: feet and transit. We walk quite a bit.

That’s a map of everywhere I walked in New West in 2014 (sorry Queensborough). Luckily New Westminster is very walkable. To walk to school takes 15 minutes. The nearest grocery store (shockingly not a Save-On Foods) is 10 minutes. The nearest park is 5 minutes, as is the nearest curling club.

And for further-flung trips, we take transit. My wife and I both work in Vancouver, so the vast majority of the time we take the bus and SkyTrain in. New West is fairly well-served with buses, and we have four routes within a ten-minute walking radius, two on streets that border our property. Getting to a SkyTrain station is no problem either, with five to choose from.

So what about the cost of all this? It’s widely said that the cost of owning a car in Metro Vancouver will cost you about $9,000 a year (this varies depending on what type of vehicle you drive, obviously). Our bus passes cost $124 a month (and we get a tax credit for them), and we spend about $50 a year on FareSaver tickets for our daughter, an annual cost of about $3000. With modo you only pay when you use a car, so driving less means paying less (or driving not at all means paying nothing!). Our usage goes from very little to very much. Last month was probably the most we’ve ever spent on modo, with our total bill coming in at about $900. Our average bill is about $300 though, which adds another $3600 to our transportation costs.

That comes to annual transportation costs for our family of about $6600 — let’s be generous and round that up to $7000. That’s a savings of $2000.

And keep in mind that the $9000/year is for one car. In 2009 the average number of light vehicles per household in BC was 1.43, so the average household is actually paying about $13000 for vehicle-based transportation.

Is giving up owning a car for everybody? No. You need to have the right attitude, first and foremost. You need access to decent public transit, and I’m of the firm opinion that you still need access to a vehicle of some sort. New Westminster has decent public transit, and with modo there’s easy access to a wide range of vehicles.

Is giving up owning a second car for everybody? Yes, I think so. I believe that the overwhelming majority of two-car households can easily do away with their second car and replace it with a carsharing option. Is it worth paying insurance on that second car that rarely gets used? And how about the time you spend having it maintained? Wouldn’t it be great to just do away with those costs?

So give it a try. New Westminster is a great city for walking, a great city for transit, and a great city to try out carsharing.

Where Is Christy Clark?

Cast your mind back to August 4, 2014. News came out of a dam breach at Mount Polley mine. millions of cubic metres of water and tailings pond slurry was released into Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek, and Quesnel Lake. It’s considered one of Canada’s biggest environmental disasters.

BC Premier Christy Clark’s response?

Radio silence.

She eventually flew to Likely (the nearest town affected by the spill) a week later.

Now, Vancouver just had its transit referendum get shot down, leaving the future of transit in doubt. Not a word from Christy Clark on how people are to get around Vancouver over the next ten years.

But that’s not that bad. What’s bad is BC’s wildfires: 178 burning across the province. Metro Vancouver is blanketed in smoke and particulates. Port Hardy and the Squamish Lilooet Regional District are under states of emergency. And worst of all, a tree faller fighting a wildfire on the Sunshine Coast was killed on Sunday.

And where is Christy Clark?

On vacation.

I’d like to use a quote from the Calgary Herald, where they were talking about how Alberta should be thankful that Christy Clark isn’t their premier:

I remember in Psychology 101 that the prof explained it was much meaner to appear indifferent to someone than it was to express criticism. The lack of engagement is more hurtful than it is to put forth a complaint, whether the supposed shortcoming is legitimate or not.

While they were talking about Clark’s missing leadership on the Northern Gateway pipeline, the sentiment holds here. Clark is indifferent and aloof towards British Columbia when it’s in crisis, and that’s what hurts most of all.

…we have to be grateful we have a straight-talking premier like Redford instead of some cloak-and-dagger flake like Clark.

Update: while writing this Christy Clark finally tweeted.

What Now for TransLink?

So the Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite went down in a ball of flames. What now for TransLink? Their CEO said that the upgrades laid out in the Mayors’ Council plan still need to be done, and they’ll get done.

So where is TransLink going to find the money without any new funding sources? After all, by law any new funding source proposals need to be supported by a majority of electors in the region.

I have two ideas.

First: reduce service in municipalities based on their ‘no’ vote proportion. We’re going to mark on a curve here, so Bowen Island Municipality gets no service cuts, as they had the lowest ‘no’ vote proportion at 38.08%. Of the larger cities, Vancouver has its service cut by 12.73% (50.81% voted no, and 50.81 – 38.08 = 12.73), New Westminster gets cut by 16.47%, Surrey by 27.46%, the City of Langley by 34.21%, Richmond by 34.31%, and Langley Township by 36.89%.

Overall, the region should get its service cut by 23.6%. I’m going to use Jordan Bateman math here and say that 23.6% of TransLink’s $1.5 billion budget is about $350 million per year, which is more than enough to fund the Mayors’ Council plans.

(Of course it doesn’t really work that way as cutting 1% of service doesn’t necessarily correspond to saving 1% of budget, but we’re using Jordan Bateman math here — it doesn’t have to be right to make the news.)

My second idea is to abandon the Pattullo Bridge. No, I’m not saying turn it over to the province. I’m saying remove it from TransLink’s jurisdiction altogether by tearing it down and not replacing it. No more $100 million repairs, no more costly studies on what to replace it with, no more South-of-the-Fraser drivers complaining about yet another toll on a bridge. Bring it down and leave it down.

If you really want a car crossing there, buy back the Albion Ferries and bring back the K de K ferry linking Brownsville and New Westminster.

Problem solved. You’re welcome.

Eight Thoughts on the Transit Referendum Results

  1. Welp.

  2. Thanks Christy Clark for your stunning display of leadership.

  3. Congrats to the ‘no’ side for winning! But the joke’s on you: nobody wins.

  4. Hello to higher property taxes!

  5. Property near SkyTrain stations just got more valuable.

  6. Time to buy stock in Metro Vancouver road-building companies, car dealerships, and auto mechanics.

  7. Chilliwack people? Hey how do you like that smog that we keep blowing your way? HAVE FUN NOW, SUCKERS!

  8. I’m still glad I voted ‘yes’, and would proudly do so again.

Fun With Statistics, by Michael Smyth

In his most-recent column, Michael Smyth paints TransLink in a negative light, pointing to “surprises” such as Ian Jarvis’s compensation boost, increased administration costs, and Transit Police going over budget. This plays right into his “holy shit TransLink is wasteful” story that people of his ilk eat up with a spoon (just check the comments for good examples).

But you know what? It’s really easy to cherry-pick statistics to suit your narrative like Mr. Smyth has done. Of course he’s never going to mention anything that makes TransLink look good, because that would be balanced and is contrary to anything he stands for.

So let’s try using the same 2014 report he used, and now we can make TransLink look good.

For example, he’s right in that Transit Police cost more in 2014 than in 2013, with expenses up by $3.7 million, or 12.2 per cent. What he doesn’t mention is that this is because of a collective agreement signing going retroactive to 2011, along with filling vacant positions. The agreement will actually result in annual savings of $800,000 because they’ve eliminated some benefits. Of course, Mr. Smyth completely fails to mention this.

TransLink had budgeted $1.506 billion for expenses in 2014, but actually spent $1.427 billion, which is 3.9% under budget. Of course, Mr. Smyth completely fails to mention this.

Corporate expenses were 10.3 per cent under budget. Bus operating expenses were 1.2 per cent under budget. Roads and bridges were 24.2 per cent under budget. Of course, Mr. Smyth completely fails to mention this.

TransLink’s revenues were up 10.2 per cent over 2013, and TransLink brought in $26.9 million more than it spent in 2014. Of course, Mr. Smyth completely fails to mention this.

See Mr. Smyth? I can cherry-pick numbers too, and pluck statistics to suit my narrative. And as the saying goes, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Justin Trudeau, King of the Flip-Flop

On December 3, 2014, Canada’s Parliament voted on the following:

That, in the opinion of the House, (a) the next federal election should be the last conducted under the current first-past-the-post electoral system which has repeatedly delivered a majority of seats to parties supported by a minority of voters, or under any other winner-take-all electoral system; and (b) a form of mixed-member proportional representation would be the best electoral system for Canada.

Justin Trudeau voted no on that.

On June 16, 2015, a mere six months later, Justin Trudeau stated “the 2015 election will be the last federal election using first-past-the-post.”

I hereby dub Justin Trudeau as King of the Flip-Flop.