After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Wes Regan

Wes Regan is the Director of Simon Fraser University's Community Economic Development Programs. Wes has worked in local government, post-secondary and the non-profit sector in public policy, sustainable community economic development and community engagement since 2009. He was the incorporating Executive Director of the Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association, Canada's first Social Innovation BIA and as a past Federal Candidate he serves on the Green Party of Canada's Federal Shadow Cabinet as the Party Critic for Urban Affairs and Housing. His thoughts on urban affairs, economic development, public policy and Canadian politics have appeared in the National Observer and Vancouver Observer, the Georgia Straight, the Province and other publications. Wes has provided commentary and analysis on radio and televised news broadcasts and speaks regularly in the U.S. and Canada on these and other issues.

He holds degrees in geography and urban geography from Langara College and Simon Fraser University where he also completed the SFU Certificate for CED Professionals before becoming an instructor, and eventually Director of the program. Wes is scheduled to defend his Graduate Thesis in Urban Studies at SFU in November of 2016. His thesis is titled Density and Diversity: Examining the impacts of mixed-use real estate development on the retail culture of Vancouver's Main Street 2007-2016 

DTES Local Area Plan pleases, and enrages, everyone

As the saga of our several community plans continues to unfold in Vancouver the DTES Plan proves to be perhaps the most complex and innovative, but surprisingly not the most controversial.

Vancouver's inner city gets creative with economic development

With the federal government focused squarely on resource extraction and export Canada's urban centres like Vancouver have been forced to adjust and get creative.

Privilege and empathy: The welfare food challenge confronts us with taboos and truisms

British Columbians from all walks of life are showing their support for an increase in welfare rates by eating no more than $26 worth of groceries over the next seven days.

Will taxes be the death of small businesses in Vancouver?

Vacant storefronts plague some areas of Vancouver, current tax policies play a major role argue local businesses

Tax hike on touring musicians a horrible idea for Canadian business

New tax will make musicians avoid Canadian stops on their tour and impoverish the cultural scene, critics say.

Licia Corbella, ask anyone in Calgary where to score a cowboy hat and boots...

The recent assault on Vancouver by Licia Corbella is knee jerk reductionism. But we Canadians love taking pot shots at each other's cities don't we?

Gentrification: Fight the system, not your neighbours

A recent op-ed piece by Sid Chow Tan, long-time Downtown Eastside (DTES) activist, captured nicely the current false dichotomy of self-interested gentrifying businesses vs. attention-loving, if...

Demonizing DTES restaurants the wrong place for activists to focus their energy

While poverty activists' concerns are valid, working to bring jobs and business to the Downtown Eastside is the surest way to alleviate poverty.

Vancouver’s Business Improvement Areas, they just aren’t what they used to be…

A big overview of Business Improvement Associations (BIAs) and their role in Vancouver's communities.

Saving heritage in the DTES by playing with it

Vancouver's architecture tells us the story of our city, the myth, meanings and power of place. It’s a story that is right here in front of us yet too often unseen and unexplored.