On Throwing Shade and It Being So Much Easier to Blame Everything on Foreigners

Tea & Two Slices is a long-running news round-up by NEEDS frontman and veteran restaurant dishwasher Sean Orr, who lives and works in Gastown. He is very aware of his privilege, so there’s really no need to remind him of it.

Unlimited Growth Increases the Divide: Dan Fumano: Kennedy Stewart’s ‘magic moment’ to build like it’s 1979. I voted for OneCity but it’s clear they are just Vision Lite:

Christine Boyle, OneCity’s first elected councillor, has said that she also supports what she calls a ‘progressive property tax’ on high-value residences.

‘But we didn’t campaign on a rent freeze, and there were further-left folks who criticized us for that,’ said Boyle. ‘What OneCity was really trying to talk about was a long-term comprehensive housing strategy. … The way I understand it, a rent freeze is kind of a short-term solution. The rent freeze is not the hill I’m going to die on’.”

It’s not the hill that anyone is going to die on. It’s one in a number of short term and long term policies to address the crisis. Among these are banning renovictions, a mansion tax, and fighting for vacancy control. This has third-way triangulation and privilege written all over it. The voters want a rent freeze and this quote just comes across as “we’re more reasonable than those scary leftists”.

Indeed, Reimer is taking credit and throwing shade at the same time:

It sounds like the incoming Council will be pleasantly surprised to find out that all the wants on their housing shopping list in this article are already well underway, and no doubt staff will be relieved that all the mountains they’ve been moving will still find a supportive majority on Council.

One concerning thing is Stewart’s assertion that the last decade involved “slam dunk” decisions. Hopefully it’s a misquote as it would display an appallingly low understanding of coalition policy making and he’s going to need a lot of skill at precisely that to make this term work.

COPE mayoral candidate Patrick Condon takes on Stewart’s supplyism: So Kennedy Stewart Truly Loves ‘The Growth Side of Things’.

It seems Stewart clings to a belief that should have been more deeply probed and challenged during the campaign — that city hall can leverage private investment to solve the housing crisis. It’s a faith in the market, and growth, that Stewart inherits from Vision. And it has a name: neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism thrives on crises like these. It’s what Naomi Klein calls the Shock Doctrine. Our affordability crisis is no different. It is deeply rooted in policy that turned housing into a commodity:

Are we addicted to debt?

Although Canada was ruled by market-friendly conservatives under Brian Mulroney in the 1980s, it was the Liberals, elected in 1993 under Chrétien, who made the greatest strides in transforming the Canadian state—shifting it towards neoliberalism and near-permanent austerity. Fiscal policy was defanged, now used to drastically reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio, while monetary policy assumed the role of stimulating the economy, albeit within a strict inflation-targeting mandate.

With interest rates down from their 1980s highs, the state out of the housing game, and new policies from the CMHC, including increased mortgage protection and significantly lower down-payment requirements (from 20% down to 5%), the stage was set for the start of a long housing boom.

Booooooring. It’s way easier to blame foreigners: Kennedy Stewart and new Vancouver council must counter public ignorance about factors driving up housing prices.

The polling company failed to ask about other important factors. These include sustained low interest rates, quantitivate easing by the central bank, the millennial household formation rate, the transfer of equity from baby boomers to younger generations, B.C.’s strong economy, and the rising cost of construction.

What sensible housing analyst believes that shadow flipping is the third-biggest contributor to high housing prices? It’s absurd.

But this widespread belief is likely a factor in why nobody of Chinese ancestry was elected to council—something that clearly concerns Stewart.

Melody Ma expands: The real solution to Vancouver’s #CouncilSoWhite

One way to get people out to vote is by reaching out to them, but politicians and their operatives are arguably failing on this most basic task. Take for example, the current proportional representation referendum, a Get Out The Vote campaign that aims to mobilize voters on a particular position. The appointed pro proportional representation campaign, Vote PR BC, has done little to no direct outreach to ethnic groups despite their budget of half a million dollars. If ethnic groups are deliberately ignored by the political class on a vote about something as fundamental as our electoral system, then how can they engage in the ongoing political process come election time?

Yeah, about that: Just 0.7 per cent of referendum ballots returned so far. Jesus. Looks like we’re all getting meat lovers again.

All this at a time when Macleans – that bastion of reactionary conservatism, fear and rage – publishes a cover of reactionary white men and refers to them as the “resistance”. The only thing the people in this photo have resisted are climate science, gay rights, comprehensive sexual education and denouncing white supremacists. Oh, and good tailors:

Fixed:

Surprised they didn’t put Clement on the cover: Conservative MP Tony Clement resigns Commons duties over sexting scandal. That’s for trying to shut down Insite, you ignorant piece of shit.

Meanwhile: Someone is putting up ‘It’s okay to be white’ signs around New Westminster. Dear white people: you aren’t the victim.

Bonus: There’s Nothing Virtuous About Finding Common Ground.

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