On Laundering Billions and Laughing at Developers’ Opposition to Rent Control

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.

Let me put on my surprise hat for a second here: Developers oppose proposed rent controls as City of Vancouver considers motion to protect tenants. It may be disguised as “science”, but it’s really just a threat. This argument must be put to rest. Manitoba and Ontario have stronger rent control and rentals didn’t stall. So don’t be fooled. We got into this mess because of a failure of policy, not some existential foreign threat or the constraints of our geography. We did this, and we can undo it.

Wow, it’s almost like they are scared! Vacancy control could be ‘death knell’ for 12,000 new rental units: survey. Lol, “survey”. May I remind you that the UDI are the foot soldiers of neoliberalism.

Would if I could: Vancouver city council breaks for the night after 57 speakers chime in on renovictions. Greens and Mayor want to focus on giving tenants better advocacy tools rather than put teeth into their weak laws. The best advocates can’t stop renovictions. The law needs to be changed. Please don’t deflect.

Secret police study finds crime networks could have laundered over $1B through Vancouver homes in 2016. Is that a lot of money? I don’t even know anymore…

Vancouver would be cooler if: London ‘Steals’ San Francisco Cultural Anti-Displacement Idea. “CAST is a nonprofit real estate development and holding company that helps arts groups secure space through long-term below-market leases and a lease-to-own model funded by philanthropy and other sources. It has raised $36 million to support a handful of projects since 2013”. Sounds nice, but it’s still just a market solution to a market problem.

Ex-commissioner Roslyn Cassells says river otter should be permitted to stay in Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Comrade Otter is a logical progression vis-a-vis the internal contradictions of late market capitalism. Together with Gritty, the Surrey peacocks, the badger that wrecked Paul Ryan’s car and yes, Canuck the Crow, they make up a sort of atavistic totem that we can use to represent the eventual overthrow of the elites. And it’s entirely predictable that Vancouver would be split between “Team Otter” and “Team Koi”, the latter ostensibly defending a luxury imported colonial construct over an indigenous creature.

Liberals propose generous “Eat Shit and Die” bill to striking Canada Post union. Funny that a non-essential service gets ordered back to work as though it was somehow, um, essential. The Liberals say there are a million packages backlogged. In any given December, postal workers process close to 30 million packages. The Liberals call this a crisis, postal workers call it a Monday.

Related event: Vancouver: Solidarity with Postal Workers & the Right to Strike.

Silver lining? Voting period for electoral reform referendum extended due to postal strike.

Notoriously Nazi-friendly Twitter bans local TERF Meghan Murphy but the VPL is all like, “let’s hear what she has to say”: Trans advocates criticize Vancouver Public Library for welcoming controversial speaker:

The library is meant to be a safe space for folks to gather, organize, connect to literature and resources. In 2018 Its meant to be a safe place for folks, and serves as a much needed 3rd space especially in urban settings. Historically the VPL has been pretty good with their intentions and actions around the LGBT2QA+ community. Thats why its come as a huge disappointment to hear that they are defending the event at this time. They need to hear why this can’t take place.

Trans women R women.

Two spirit people were here before white opinions of gender.

Terf discourse is literal violence.

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of repercussion or freedom to all platforms.

RIP Harry Leslie Smith:

“Today’s housing crisis mirrors the trouble families like mine endured before the welfare state because the young, poorly paid and unemployed cannot find decent, affordable accomodation. Brexit happened because too many people feel that they have been left behind when it comes to wages and a decent standard of living, and they were fooled into thinking that the cure was leaving the EU and did not understand that only trade unionism and progressive governments can provide the environment for a better standard of living. . . Over my lifetime, I’ve seen too many bubbles burst that were inflated by the greed of some but whose cost was always borne by those who could least afford it. Like those in the Great Depression, the ordinary people of today are made to pay for the malfeasance and greed of our bankers and hedge-fund managers who caused the 2007-2008 banking fiasco. It’s why democracy and our civil society are so grievously threatened by populism, which feeds off legitimate grievances but produces small-mindedness and hate. Yet while populism builds its political army of resentment, mainstream politicans appear to be as ossified as the Ancien Regime of France in the eighteenth century in their response to it. We must fight back against these malevolent forces with the same passion as my generation attacked and defeated Nazism.”

– Harry Leslie Smith, Don’t Let My Past Be Your Future: A Call to Arms (London: Constable, 2017).

Bonus: ‘I’m Broke and Mostly Friendless, and I’ve Wasted My Whole Life’.

There is 1 comment

  1. Interesting take on the koi-otter interface. An alternative view – the one I have – is that the koi are left-wingers entirely dependent on others for food, protection, and shelter, while the otter is the right-wing ruthless elite that eats what it kills, preys on the weak, and by nature evades any attempts to restrict its freedom.

    By the way, what is wrong to a “market solution to a market problem?” Is your preference a non-market solution? A non-market solution usually means government money, which is mostly funded by lower and middle-class taxpayers. The “market solution” you refer to is funded by philanthropy, which is mostly from the wealthy elite making themselves feel good. Which is better? I know which I prefer.

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