Christy Clark is on the run. Chased by TV cameras that catch only her retreating back, the British Columbia premier is making her escape through the kitchen of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver while reporters bounce futile questions off her phalanx of handlers, questions about a new poll with some bad numbers. Not for the first or last time, a Canadian politician is running from Angus Reid.

Some weeks before the opening of the new Fairmont Pacific Rim, two people happened to be standing on the sidewalk, looking up at the façade. Wrapped around a corner of the downtown Vancouver skyscraper are letters forming a long sentence that’s repeated on floors five to 22 of the 48-storey structure: “lying on top of a building the clouds looked no nearer than when i was lying on the street.”