TEA & TWO SLICES: On Hiring From Within And The Anti-Gentrification Front (Splitters)

    March 21, 2013.

    by Sean Orr | The great vindication? Study finds number of neighbourhood’s social housing units actually on the rise. “These residents won’t be eating at Pidgin or drinking IPAs across the street at Bitter or at whatever new boite turns up nearby. But they aren’t leaving the historic area either, according to the report, despite the upward trajectory of their neighbourhood’s price point”. This has been my entire point all along. Yes, change is happening, but unless you’re a wide-eyed anarcho-syndicalist who is unable or refuses to see nuances in capitalism – that projects like 60 West Cordova and independent restaurants like L’Abattoir (who in turn hire grumpy bloggers like me) can be sensitive to demographic concerns – then the debate is purely, uselessly academic.

    So how do the “Marxists” respond? Well, they first held a meeting (rough video facsimile at the top), wherein they decided that the City lied! City skews numbers to hide loss of low income housing – 430 units lost in the last year.

    The city report, which is in fact only a slideshow presentation for a public relations campaign, suggests that the number of low-income singles housing in the downtown core has increased…However, Ward’s Tyee article fails to take into account that the same slideshow also states that out of the 4,482 low-income SRO units in 2012, only 24% of the units rent at welfare rate… The problem is that the city’s SRA By-law literally does not count these units as losses in the affordable housing stock, regardless of what price they climb to.

    Ok. Fair enough. But what does a restaurant have to do with that? Raise the bloody welfare rates now and the point is moot.

    But how do the self-styled class warriors respond? They steal the little sandwich-board sign from out front of Save On Meats. Because that’s how the Russian Revolution started, am I right?

    Related: saying you will hire from within the community sure sounds good, but it doesn’t always work: Businesses strain to retain Downtown Eastside workers. “Just like the neighbourhood residents, they’re figuring out how to succeed in their own way.”

    Meanwhile, did you know that a middling pizzeria is responsible for the wholesale displacement of Quebecois squeegee kids and patchouli-covered trust-fund hippies on Commercial Drive? Yup. Pizzeria allegedly vandalized by Vancouver anti-gentrification group. Would it be too predictable of me to now form an Anti “Anti Gentrification Front” Front?

    And check out these fucking gentrifiers: Introducing the Brewed Awakening feature tap at Pat’s Pub & Brewhouse.

    Sorry, but Canada was never the No. 1 place to live. I don’t know if it was on purpose, but I love how the first word there is sorry. So Canadian!

    Bonus: Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge: a thoroughfare of song.

    #ScoutThis

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    Tea & Two Slices A cup of tea, a couple of slices of toast, and Sean Orr…

    Sean Orr started writing letters to the editor after he dropped out of Geography at UBC, although the two are unrelated. Shortly after that, this thing called blogging was invented and he started writing for Beyond Robson until Andrew Morrison came to him with Scout. Aside from being good at stirring things up, Sean is a photographer, a musician (frontman in the hardcore-punk band Needs), and a resident of Gastown, where he is employed as a dishwasher at L’Abattoir.
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