On Blaming Restaurants For Everything and Building a Real Estate Casino for Condo Kings

Hello from between gigs on a tour stop somewhere in California. What did I miss? Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson not seeking re-election. Wow. It’s almost like a decade of broken promises while presiding over a housing crisis and an opioid crisis resulting in a growing tide of discontent and the rise of a progressive alternative (as witnessed in the Jean Swanson campaign) was some sort of warning sign to the guy. But whatever you say, he was no failure. Geoff Berner expands:

Mayor Gregor Robertson was not a failure. With the help of a vastly expanded public relations department, he and Vision Vancouver repeatedly, successfully fooled sufficient numbers of people, especially the press, into thinking he had no power to stop the housing crisis, as he ruthlessly enacted policies to fuel it. He successfully ran the city as a real estate casino for condo kings. He is a Winner. Fuck that guy, and all his friends.

Indeed. It’s almost like he did us a favour in a weird way. Why Gregor Robertson won’t run again, and why it’s good for Vancouver.

“Robertson’s departure is a reminder that, especially in a city like ours dealing with an out-of-control affordability crisis, the political centre cannot hold. Neoliberal parties, even those with some progressive positions on social and environmental issues, cannot deliver the politics we need—and they risk opening the door to resurgent right-wing and xenophobic forces cynically exploiting people’s fears and anger. With municipal elections just over nine months away, Vancouver needs a political revolution more than ever.”

And of course, good satire always taps into what we were all already thinking: Vancouver mayor won’t run for re-election because he can no longer afford to live in Vancouver.

Addendum: Low-income Downtown Eastside and Chinatown residents: Mayor Gregor, your lies cost lives!

The high price of Vancouver’s working class romanticism. I know they are talking about craft beer but crafted living sounds like it’s a place where old ladies do scrapbooking.

Condo marketers, too, are making use of local symbols to make new developments feel authentic and at home in former working-class neighbourhoods. Developer Rize Alliance hired Rennie Marketing to publicize its Mount Pleasant condo tower, and the results attempt to capture the neighbourhood’s alternative spirit: ads are hand-drawn, the name of the tower is the Independent and a video highlights Mount Pleasant’s “crafted living” of park meet-ups, cool restaurants and characters like florists, fishmongers and skaters.

It’s time to start considering the idea of Legacy Businesses.

Vancouver Magazine wakes up again of the day: There’s a Shortage of Foodservice Employees in Vancouver.

“They are hosting a forum to discuss the current industry climate, strategies to improve recruitment and retention and what restaurateurs can do to satisfy the growing and changing needs of their employees”. Um, have housing and pay them more? You need a forum to come to this conclusion?

Meanwhile, B.C. Liberals had ‘pretty good’ record on housing, Rich Coleman says. This is the guy who engineered the current crisis. He also said “A single person on social assistance in British Columbia gets double the annual income of a person in the Third World”. It would be easy to write it off as tone-deaf but this is all by design. He actually thinks if teens start saving now they could have enough for a down payment.

The walkback on proportional representation begins. Note that Horgan uses same language Trudeau did: John Horgan says next year’s electoral reform referendum likely B.C.’s last attempt. And the media are happy to jump on the bandwagon.

As is the comfortable and well-ensconced old guard establishment revelling in their fear-mongering campaign about the bogeyman of democratic proportional representation: ‘It’s a bad system’: unlikely political allies fight proportional representation. You think the system that brought us Harper with 33% of the vote is a good system? The system that elected Trump, who lost the popular vote by 2.9 million, is a good system? Tieleman is a miserable, pasty, white, washed-up centrist flunky only out for himself. Pete Fry expands:

We are witnessing the birth of BC’s first SuperPAC. As the CBC author alludes and expanding on an interview I had with the Georgia Straight’s Carlito Pablo last month regarding BC’s new campaign finance reform laws (Bill 15) There are no limits on contributions or spending by Third Parties in BC.

Suzuki jumps the shark: CBC under fire for documentary that says first humans to colonize New World sailed from Europe.

You’re either nude or not nude: Complaint about “excessive nudity” in change rooms.

Bonus: World’s Richest Man Treated Like Saint for Donating 0.03% of Wealth.

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