City launches new online look for YYF Penticton Airport website and social media channels


YYF gets a new online look



While traffic heading into and out of YYF may be quiet now, the City of Penticton is hoping their newly launched website and social media will help bring a little buzz for future travel.

As part of ongoing efforts to support economic recovery, the website aims at shining a spotlight on the crucial services provided at Penticton Airport (YYF) and future options for travels while provincial health orders dissuade non-essential travel.

“I think the restrictions are in place now for a very good reason and we really want to position ourselves as a community to be ready when the restrictions are lifted as a community to be back in action as soon as possible,” Anthony Haddad, general manager of community services for the City of Penticton said.

“It’s a great resource for finding everything out about the airport, what’s going on, the activities and how people can access the airport.

Development for the website has been in the works over the past six months, costing an estimated $15,000-$18,000.

“Penticton Airport is the gateway to the South Okanagan, providing a vital connection for residents, visitors and businesses,” said Carly Lewis, economic development manager, in a press release.

“By demonstrating the many advantages to flying into or out of YYF, we aim to build the profile of Penticton Airport as the airport of choice for future travel, while ensuring YYF continues to be on the radar for commercial carriers in the years to come.”

Commercial airlines currently serving YYF include Air Canada Express, Pacific Coastal Airlines and WestJet Encore, with direct flights available to Vancouver, Calgary and, coming on June 24, a direct flight to Edmonton.

“It’s going to open up some addition traffic for the demand that is there from Alberta,” Haddad said. “We fully expect additional travel to occur, not only from visitor perspective but the business advantage of being located in Penticton.”

The new website,, is owned and operated by the City of Penticton, as an Economic Development department initiative. Messaging will promote YYF advantages including affordable parking ($3/day), quick access to the airport from anywhere in Penticton, direct flights to three destinations, and a newly renovated, accessible terminal.

“As a key transportation hub within the region, we see the Penticton airport getting strong and stronger into the future and look forward to seeing the community utilizing the airport,” Haddad added.

The website features interactive arrival and departure aircraft updates, details about parking and transportation, and timely information regarding health and safety requirements, security and baggage, pet travel, accessibility and more. In addition, there are resources and dedicated pages for the aviation community.

Alongside the scheduled commercial airline operations, the Penticton Airport is a base for BC Wildfire Service, PEP Air & Civil Air Search and Rescue, renowned flight training schools, flight tours and charters, and general aviation enthusiasts, including the Penticton Flying Club.

The airport is located in the traditional territory of the SnPink’tn (Penticton Indian Band), and is owned and operated by Transport Canada.

Anyone who is interested in the airport, and ongoing happenings, can follow the City’s new social media feeds @yyfpenticton.

“It was 80 years ago when the first aircraft touched down at Penticton Airport. The airport has long been an essential part of our community, and we’re so grateful for all the economic and social benefits it provides,” Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said in a press release.

“We should be very proud of YYF and continue to support the airport, ensuring it’s part of our local fabric for decades to come.”

What Is a Second Mortgage and How Does It Work?

If you’re a homeowner looking to unlock the equity you’ve built up in your home, you might have heard about second mortgages. But, amid a wealth of other options, it’s difficult to know whether it’s the right choice for you. So, let’s see exactly what a second mortgage is, how it works and what the pros and cons are.

What Is a Second Mortgage?

A second mortgage is more or less what it sounds like. As a homeowner with a standard mortgage, you build up equity over time — equity being the portion of the home you own by paying off the original mortgage each month. With a second mortgage, you can take that equity and spend it elsewhere. In fact, it can be spent on pretty much anything you like.

Home Equity: The Basics

Before delving into second mortgages, it’s worth covering the basics of equity. With each mortgage payment you make, you’ll pay interest, but also principal. As you pay principal, the equity you own increases and the more home you own.

Your equity can also grow in other ways. If you’ve made upgrades to your home or the local market is particularly strong, your equity will increase with your home’s assessed value. In the same way, it can also drop if the opposite is true.

With a second mortgage, the more equity you have, the larger the loan you can qualify for.

How Does a Second Mortgage Work?

Normally, the equity you have in your home is tied up, but a second mortgage essentially unlocks it. However, lenders won’t typically allow you to use all of your equity. The amount available is generally calculated by looking at how much equity you have, the amount you still owe on your first mortgage, and your home’s assessed value. In most cases, lenders will ensure that you still have at least 20% of the value of your home left in equity.

After successful application, your lender may offer a lump-sum payment or monthly installments. Either way, you’ll be required to pay back the loan each month. This adds a second monthly payment on top of your regular mortgage payments. If you fail to make the payments on your second mortgage, the equity you’ve built up in your home will be used as collateral.

Do I Qualify for a Second Mortgage?

To qualify for a second mortgage, you’ll need to have built up enough equity, have a credit score of at least 620 and a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of less than 43%. It’s possible to obtain a second mortgage from your current lender, though they will typically offer higher interest rates than if you applied with a different lender.

Second Mortgage vs. Refinancing

There’s a big difference between taking out a second mortgage and refinancing an existing one. With a second mortgage, you’re adding a new monthly payment on top of the existing one. However, when you refinance a mortgage, you cash out your equity and renegotiate the terms of the loan with the same lender. As such, you only pay one monthly payment when you choose to refinance.

Lenders offering a second mortgage typically take on more risk than lenders who are refinancing an existing mortgage. This is because with a second mortgage, if you fail to make payments and your home goes into foreclosure, the original lender takes priority. The second lender only gets paid after the first has been fully repaid.

As a result, interest charges on a second mortgage are generally much higher than on a refinanced mortgage.

Pros & Cons of Getting a Second Mortgage


The main advantages of taking out a second mortgage include:

  • Large loan amount: if you’ve been paying off your first mortgage for many years, you will have built up a lot of equity. In some cases, lenders will allow you to use up to 90% of your equity. This is typically a far larger amount than any other type of loan.
  • No restrictions on use: you can use the loan for anything you want, from investments to home repairs and anything in between.
  • Lower interest rates: compared to credit cards and many other personal loans, a second mortgage typically offers lower rates. This makes it a good choice for paying off large credit card debts.


However, there are a few disadvantages too:

  • Additional monthly payment: with two mortgage payments to make each month, this can strain your finances, potentially leading to missed payments.
  • Higher interest rates: compared to refinancing your mortgage, you’ll pay more in interest with a second mortgage.

All in all, a second mortgage can be a great option, working especially well for investments.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be deemed as legal, financial or investment advice or solicitation of any kind. Before purchasing real estate or insurance, always consult with a licensed attorney, financial advisor, insurance agent and real estate broker.


What Household Items Can and Can’t Be Recycled


We all want to do our part to help the planet. And we know that recycling helps reduce waste and redirects non-biodegradable items from already full landfills. But with so many different products and materials out there, it can be tricky to know what can and cannot be recycled. 

While restrictions and recycling capabilities will vary in different regions, there are some common rules when it comes to recycling. We’ve broken down your standard household recycling by category to help you sort it all out. This list of what to recycle and what to dispose of elsewhere will help you make the right recycling choices. 


There are a lot of different kinds of paper out there. And because paper is so widely used, recycling as much paper as possible is important. While most paper can be ground back down into pulp and remade into new paper products, some types of paper can’t go in your recycling bin. Here are the details:

DO Recycle These Paper Products Whenever Possible

Computer paper, notepaper, magazines, newspapers, flyers, phonebooks, mail, plain gift wrap and greeting cards (no embellishments), paper bags, cereal and snack boxes, cardboard boxes (shipping, moving, packing, etc.)

Do NOT Recycle These Paper Items

Food soiled paper products including napkins, tissues, paper towels, paper plates, pizza and take-out boxes. Shredded paper, wax or parchment paper, plastic or foil-coated cardboard (freezer or microwave safe packaging), take-out beverage cups, foil or glitter gift wrap, books.


Household food and drink containers made of aluminum, steel and tin are almost all recyclable. This includes pop cans, food cans, clean aluminum foil as well as aluminum pie plates. In most areas, empty aerosol cans are also recyclable but remember to remove the plastic lid. Always clean food containers before putting them in the bin, so food waste does not contaminate other recycling.

You can’t put larger household metals such as toys, pots and pans, utensils and baking sheets in the recycling. And construction materials must always be disposed of safely at an approved facility.


When it comes to glass, a pretty safe rule is if it holds food, it’s recyclable. This includes glass jars that contain spreads and condiments, soft drink and beer bottles, as well as wine and liquor bottles.

Most other types of glass do not go in the recycling bin. Glass and ceramic dinnerware and baking dishes, drinking glasses, vases and mirrors vases should go to the donation center or carefully thrown away if broken. Lightbulbs do not go in regular recycling, but they can be recycled at an appropriate recycling facility.


Here’s where things start to get a little more confusing. There are a LOT of different plastics out there and none of them are good for the planet. And unfortunately, not all of them are recyclable. Generally, all plastic beverage bottles and any plastic food containers with lids are recyclable. To further break down which plastics can and cannot go in the bin, verify what is accepted in your area.

Most plastics will have a recycling symbol and a number on them that lets you know what kind of plastic the item is made of. Plastics with a #1 or #2 on them are almost always recyclable, while plastics #3 – #6 may not be accepted in all areas. Plastic #7 is one of the most challenging plastics to recycle and has only recently been added to some recycling centers.

These Items NEVER Go in the Recycling Bin

Then there are some items that you think should go in the bin, but they are never recyclable. And it turns out that not putting non-recyclable items in the recycling bin is just as important as putting the right things in. Some non-recyclables can actually taint the good recycling and redirect a whole batch of recycling to the landfill.

Plastic bags often require special collection and processing equipment that most areas don’t offer. And they pose a big problem when people put them in the recycling as they take extra work to remove. Plastic cutlery and plastic straws are also not recyclable though many people think they are.  And no polystyrene (Styrofoam) containers are recyclable. It’s best to avoid these products if possible.

Doing your part to help reduce waste and improve recycling practices saves the planet and saves time and money for your city or municipality. For more information on what can and can’t be recycled, please refer to the guidelines in your area.


RDOS receives grant for protecting drinking water sources


Mission of protecting water

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has $25,000 in new grant funding that will be spent on improving source water protection in the region.

The funding comes from the Okanagan Basin Water Board through its Water Conservation and Quality Improvement grant program.

Source water protection is aimed at delivering clean, safe and reliable drinking water. Since protecting water drinking water is difficult when information about locations and sources is not readily available, and knowledge about potential contaminants is spotty, programs like this are designed to fill those knowledge gaps.

The RDOS is working with Associated Environmental, Interior Health, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to develop a geographic information system-capable file that will identify each supply well or surface water intake and their delineated Drinking Water Protection Area.

The layers of data will be stored on the RDOS GIS system and provincial databases.

“This grant is an opportunity to improve knowledge needed for the successful implementation of water conservation and water quality programs,” says RDOS board chair Karla Kozakevich.

“Providing easier access to information about where the areas are for protecting drinking water sources are beneficial when considering new builds or agricultural discharge applications.”

Once finalized, data will be available to help:

  • Drinking water providers complete more source protection planning and better handle emergency responses;
  • Homeowners, business owners, municipalities that are applying or registering for waste discharges better understand where drinking water sources are located relative to their plans;
  • Regulators such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and Ministry of Agriculture to review discharge applications or respond to complaints; and
  • Planners developing various watershed-scale plans for flood and drought.

Learn about the spring wines of the South Okanagan through a virtual tasting inspired by sunny forecasts


Virtual spring wine tasting

With recent provincial health recommendations asking residents to stay close to home and restrict non-essential travel, many in the Okanagan and beyond might be missing the opportunity to sip and savour the sunshine at South Okanagan wineries.

But Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country is working hard to bring that experience into homes from afar, through its podcast series and ongoing virtual tastings.

This Tuesday April 27 at 7 p.m., join the second of their seven-episode live virtual tasting series with Moss Scheurkogel of the Vinstitute, focusing on the perfect wine for spring and summer: Rosé.

Scheurkogel will explain methods that local winemakers use to produce the beloved beverage, and feature rosés from Bartier Bros. and Culmina Family Estate Winery. He will also delve into some other similar styles, like the sparkling Zinfandel from Covert Farms Family Estate Winery.

Follow along for free on Facebook Live here April 27 at 7 p.m. To taste along with Scheurkogel, source the featured wines listed here locally or order direct from the wineries — and check out his list of suggested food pairings to make your at-home tasting experience complete.

Second company will begin making e-scooters available for use later today


2nd e-scooter rollout today

More electric scooters are coming to a neighbourhood near you.

Hours after city council gave final reading to bylaws allowing e-scooters on city roadways, Lime announced it was dropping 500 rentals into the city.

Later today, a second company, Roll will begin its e-scooter rental program.

It’s unclear just how many they will be making available at the outset.

Active transportation co-cordinator Matt Worona says companies permitted by the city to offer e-scooters are able to deploy them within certain levels, and change the fleet size as they go.

“There is some flexibility,” he says.

“If companies see use, they will expand. Start slow, and ramping up if they see demand.”

Worona says he doesn’t expect the city will be permitting any new companies at least for the next few weeks.

As far as service goes, he says operators have been left to decide on their own which areas they will make the scooters available.

They are encouraged to experiment, try new neighbourhoods and see if there’s uptake.

Where the city is involved is how the service is offered.

“We have overarching guidelines as to how the service has to perform in those areas. They have to make sure the sidewalks are clear, thinking about improper riding, education.

“Those are the things we really care about.”

There have already been some conflicts and complaints, particularly pertaining to sidewalks. Worona took to social media to address one concern about a blocked sidewalk.

“Absolutely we covered proper parking with operators and proper education for riders. These were dropped off by riders in the last few hours and are improperly parked. The operator has been notified,” he posted.

In terms of liability, Worona says operators have insured the city within their own proof of insurance. However, if users are on the road, similar to a bicycle, liability, if you’re at fault, is yours.

And, while there is little financial gain for the city, Worona says the program provides more than profit.

“The value we are seeing is building out more transportation options that link into things such as our transit system. Options are low carbon and allow for a larger audience for our existing bike network.

“It’s doing a lot of the things we are trying to encourage as a city.”

BC growers optimistic about bringing in ‘essential’ farm workers


Farms optimistic this year

As British Columbia rolls out new travel restrictions, the president of the BC Cherry Association says his members are feeling more optimistic about hiring temporary foreign workers when compared to last year.

Sukhpal Bal says the B.C. government’s quarantine program for agriculture temporary foreign workers has been a big boon. “It’s very positive that the B.C. government has been continuing the quarantine (facility) in Richmond.”

“These seasonal workers are so vital to our farming communities and play an integral role in preserving our province’s food supply,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture.

“Extending our quarantine program will provide peace of mind to workers, employers and communities that we are doing everything possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I know some of these workers leave their homes to come to B.C. year after year, many returning to the same farms where they have developed close relationships, and we are grateful for their help in growing and harvesting food for British Columbians.”

Bal is also hopeful that pickers from Ontario and Quebec, who typically come to the Okanagan to help with harvest, will also be granted ‘essential’ status so they will be allowed to cross provincial borders in the event of further travel restrictions.

“We’re getting email inquiries from people who want to come out. We’re hoping they can travel this way, farmworkers are on the essential side.”

General manager at BC Fruit Growers’ Association Glen Lucas agrees, “90 to 95 per cent of workers are arriving as expected.”

Halting commercial flights to and from sun destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean has been an obstacle but the industry has adapted by adding charter flights. But that comes with an added cost.

“Charters are more than double the cost,” says Bal.

Local employment ads for farmworkers indicate some farmers are still hoping to attract local or at least domestic workers but both Bal and Lucas say the charter flights are working so far.

Having lived through one growing season with COVID-19, both Bal and Lucas say the industry has learned and adapted.

“Going through the challenges we did last year, we are a bit more prepared for this year,” Bal says.

2021 Changes to Your Anti-Money Laundering Obligations

On June 1, 2021, big changes are coming to real estate practice and your anti-money laundering obligations. The Financial Transactions & Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) has introduced regulatory amendments that will come into effect on June 1 and create new or change existing obligations for all reporting entities (REs), including real estate brokerages. BCREA will support brokerages and REALTORS® through these changes and ensure you have the tools and resources you need to continue meeting your FINTRAC obligations.

Additionally, the Land Owner Transparency Registry (LOTR) becomes publicly searchable on April 30, 2021, and guidance from the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC) on how to use LOTR in real estate practice is coming soon. BCREA will support brokerages and Realtors in adapting their practice in accordance to the RECBC guidance once it’s available. In the meantime, Realtors can prepare by familiarizing themselves with LOTR and the new public search tool. Watch this page for more updates on the RECBC guidance and using LOTR when working with buyers and sellers.

BCREA has created this landing page so that Realtors and brokers have access to the resources and information they need to implement the June 1 FINTRAC changes and use LOTR in their real estate practice.   

FINTRAC Changes: What to Expect

The June 1 FINTRAC amendments that will create new or change existing obligations for all REs, including real estate brokerages, include:

While BCREA has been working tirelessly to determine how these changes will impact real estate practice, the real estate sector is still awaiting additional sector-specific guidance from FINTRAC. BCREA will add this guidance, as well as resources from the Canadian Real Estate Association, to this landing page as soon as they are available and develop additional guidance as needed.

BCREA will also host a Community of Practice session for managing brokers on the coming FINTRAC changes on May 19 (register here) and a webinar for all Realtors on June 2. We will create videos, podcast episodes and blog posts; update and offer our Mastering Compliance anti-money laundering training program again this fall; and host our first-ever anti-money laundering symposium later this year. Watch this page for updates on these events and resources!

LOTR Search

As we work with RECBC to understand how the LOTR public search tool can be used in real estate practice, we will prepare Realtors to use the tool by sharing information and resources from the Land Survey Titles Authority (LTSA), who is responsible for developing and operating LOTR. We will also host a Community of Practice session on April 21 on using the LOTR public search function (register here).

If you’re not familiar with LOTR or the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA), we have also created a number of resources on LOTR, found in the resources section below.



LOTR Search

To subscribe to receive BCREA publications such as this one, or to update your email address or current subscriptions, click here.

5 Easy Ways to Get Good Feng Shui at Home

Portable indoor fountain for good Feng Shui in Your Home concept. Portable indoor small tabletop fountain. Spiritual mind and soul balance concept. Green plants in flower pot on background.

You’ve probably already rearranged the furniture, redecorated and painted your home till now. Or at the very least, you’ve thought about it. If you’re looking for the next improvement to make your home an even better place to live, learn, work and play, perhaps it’s time to give it some good energy.

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that believes we must be in harmony with nature and our environment in order to live our best life. It might sound confusing, but these five simple steps will help you get good feng shui at home.

How Do You Feng Shui at Home?

The practice of feng shui involves arranging our interior spaces to create balance and harmony with the natural world. There are many different aspects of feng shui, and to understand them all fully would require extensive study.

But there are a few principles that you can easily incorporate into your home. The way you position the furniture, the colors you use and what you keep (or don’t keep) in a space can all improve the energy in that room.

Don’t Keep What You Don’t Love

It turns out Marie Kondo was onto something. The “spark joy” method of decluttering your home is actually in line with good feng shui. Consider that every object in your home is a vessel of energy, some good and some bad. To eliminate negative energy from your home, you should eliminate those objects with negative energy.

If an item makes you happy or helps make life easier, it has positive energy. Broken or unused items and those that are linked to bad memories have negative energy. So, let go of anything that reminds you of a bad time in your life and keep those pretty things that make you smile.

Good Feng Shui Starts at the Front Door

Your front door is not only the first thing people see when they come to visit, it’s also how energy enters your home. Known as the “mouth of qi,” your front door is believed to be the portal for all life force energy according to feng shui principles.

To invite good energy into your home, make sure the porch and foyer are brightly lit and the area is free of clutter. And never place a mirror facing the front door. A mirror facing the door will reflect good energy and push it back out of the house.

Get More Sleep by Applying Feng Shui in the Bedroom

Good feng shui is also essential in the bedroom since it’s where we rest, recharge and heal. There are a few key practices to ensure your bedroom has a positive energy flow. Most importantly, you want to place your bed in the command position – the spot furthest from the door but not directly across from it. This allows you to see the door and puts you in the best position to handle whatever comes into your life.

You should also remove any items that you keep under the bed. While it may be tough to lose this valuable storage space, items under your bed trap bad energy where it can affect you most. You want the space to be open to allow good qi to flow.

Improve Your Career with Feng Shui in the Office

Who doesn’t need more positive energy at work? Applying feng shui principles to your office space can help draw successful energy in. Like with the bedroom, start by placing your desk in the command position. Having your desk in this location puts you in control of your career and allows you to see all available opportunities.

Add live plants to encourage growth in your career. This is one time when faux plants won’t cut it. Living plants symbolize the wood element, which promotes growth, strength and new beginnings. For even more positive energy, place a plant in the far-left corner of the room to activate the wealth corner of the space.

Get Good Feng Shui All Around the House

Feng shui is all about letting positive energy in and allowing it to flow through your house. To ensure your home is bright and welcoming, always keep the windows clean. To encourage energy flow, always keep interior doors open and ensure they are functioning properly. Lastly, eliminate obstacles that block any pathway in your home. If you have to walk around a piece of furniture, it’s also blocking the energy flow.

You could spend years learning all the intricacies of feng shui. But these simple ways to create good feng shui at home will set you on the right path.


BCREA Supports Housing Funding for Middle-Income Families, Encourages Additional Supply-Side Action

Vancouver, BC – April 19, 2021. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) welcomes the province’s recent announcement that $2 billion in development financing will be committed to the HousingHub program to help create affordable housing choices for middle-income families.

“With home prices having risen over the last decade and that trend continuing, we know securing housing – whether through ownership or rental – is not easy,” says BCREA CEO Darlene Hyde. “This type of action, which focuses on adding supply to meet overwhelming housing demand, is a meaningful step in the right direction.  But of course, there’s more work to be done.”

Housing prices in BC have risen 52 percent since 2012, and these costs are often passed on to home buyers and tenants. While there are many factors – like interest rates – which affect housing prices, one of the biggest factors is the limited housing supply relative to the demand.

BCREA encourages the province to continue to focus on supply-side measures in order to create more housing options for the people of BC. These measures might include, but are not limited to, reducing public hearing times in the development approvals process, as well as leveraging transportation funding to encourage gentle densification.

“There isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to housing affordability,” adds Hyde. “But there is a clear way forward and that is evidence-based policy focused on creating more housing options for British Columbians. We are pleased to see the government’s action with the HousingHub commitment and we look forward to working with the government on future action.”