by Sean Orr | Cheque your head: Conservatives gave Duffy more money than just $90,000 cheque, senator claims. The worst part about this scandal is not that it proves rampant nepotism at the highest level, but that it affirms our detachment from the political process. I wish I could be outraged by this…
The Canada Line: Canada now dominates World Bank corruption list, thanks to SNC-Lavalin. We’re really batting above our average!
Related: Taking the Canadian flag off our backpacks. I never had one on in the first place. I prefer to use a suitcase.
Police tackle caught on camera concerns witness. “What she captured on her camera’s video recorder sickened her and left her with serious questions about how police deal with agitated individuals”. Well, nothing tarnishes the reputation of the police better than the police.
Anti-density protests in Vancouver rooted in hypocrisy. And here I was about to agree with Mason until this unqualified statement: “People whine about affordability on the one hand and then rally against new housing initiatives that would help ease those cost pressures”. Until you can prove that condos are not just investment vehicles for the upper middle class I suggest you stfu.
Are women-only SkyTrain cars the answer to sexual harassment on transit? To answer this, I shall point you towards the urban morphology of pre-modern Islamic cities and cloistering of public space along gender lines. To wit, “religious law and decisions concerning the built environment are simultaneously a response to and record of inhabitants’ common social needs, values, and beliefs, in addition to a collection of prescriptive codes contributing to authorities’ regulation of the built environment”. - Simon O’Meara.
Quote of the week: “It looks like something they would build in Canada”. Banksy on One World Trade.
The Cambie, that beacon of good taste, decided it was a good idea to hold a Pimps and Hoes Halloween party not just a few blocks away from where 60 prostitutes disappeared. Stay classy!
by Sean Orr | Jon Ferry, who apparently doesn’t believe in global warming, touts the benefits of global warming, which he doesn’t believe in. No one talks about good warming news. He doesn’t mention all the free jellyfish we’re going to get from our highly acidic oceans. FREE JELLYS!
Nobody likes a rat: Mike Duffy claims Harper told him to repay expense money. But daddy, you said I could go to the foreign country all expenses paid. You said I could claim that house I didn’t live in. I’m telling mommy!
Maybe Timmy’s should take the reins. Tim Hortons key to our nationhood, not monarchy, say younger Canadians in poll. My country ’tis of doughnuts. [facepalm]
Angry commuter wants a refund for Tuesday’s SkyTrain shutdown. I want a refund for three decades of bad service. Oh wait, I never pay for the Skytrain, so never you mind.
New drug called Bath Salts rears its ugly head. New? No wonder you people are losing both the war on drugs and the war on newspapers. From Wikipedia: “Synthetic cathinones such as mephedrone which are chemically similar to cathinone, naturally found in the plant Catha edulis (khat), were first synthesised in the 1910s”.
Vancouver police arrest man at gas station and uncover ‘gasoline scheme’. It is unknown wether or not the man goes by the name of Mad Max.
Twilight of the Pundits. “In the age of Twitter, have journalists become too dependent on quote-for-rent academic pundits”? Who are these so-called “journalists” that you speak of?
No suspension for Frans Nielsen headshot on Kesler, because Kesler dove. Kesler’s next promotional adventure should be to make a smooth tasting kolsch called Keslerbier. Keslerbier- It goes down easy.
by Sean Orr | Premier makes pouty face: Christy Clark says she’s “not happy” with executive bonuses at BC Ferries. Not as unhappy as she would be if she was the leader of the opposition and the NDP was in charge. She’d be nailing them to the stake in the name of “reducing government excess”. Christy? More like Hypocritsty. Get it? Sorry, that was terrible.
Speaking of excess: Tsawwassen ferry terminal sale to Kinder Morgan recommended. And I counter-propose a massive, amusement park slide greased up with fresh bitumen that spans the Georgia Strait. Wheeee!
Chilliwack family wary after dog is brutally beaten, dumped on driveway when it escapes yard. Yeah, “wary” is a good word for it.
Remember the 2.9 million dollar McDonalds coffee lawsuit? It turns out there was more to the story.
Don’t make liquor laws too lax: Vancouver police. “Police concerned changes could lead to binge drinking, greater social problems and more trouble for law enforcement officers”. Yeah, because shutting down the liquor stores during the Stanley Cup playoffs worked out pretty well for you guys, eh?
I went to Edmonton and all I got was an oil spill: Another Canadian train derails, enflaming controversy over dangers of transporting crude. Yeah, I mean, the environment and stuff, but the real tragedy here is that because of the detour my my band had to forego the waterslides at the West Edmonton Mall.
Also, on our drive we saw Naheed Nenshi campaigning right next to where the Bow River breached. Smart guy. Why Didn’t Calgary Elect Larry Heather for Mayor.
Meanwhile, our guitarist, who had to sell his Kanye ticket to go on tour, still gets to see Kanye: The truth about Kanye West’s Vancouver concert cancellation. Oh man, that totally ruins my vision of a scared but exhilarated meth-head trying to find somewhere to stash a massive tour bus somewhere in Ballard, WA.
by Sean Orr | Throw me a frickin’ bone speech: Seven of the dumbest things said during the Throne Speech. “Canadians work hard to make ends meet, and every dollar counts”. Bloody logical positivists!
Spam from the Throne: Stephen Harper’s social media staffer oughta be reported for Twitter abuse. You know you’ve really screwed up when Brent Butt is outraged.
First among equals: If Elizabeth May was prime minister, this would be today’s throne speech. You had me at Runnymede.
Public service announcement: Way to cheat Translink’s Compass card system discovered. “There will continue to be some areas where fare evasion may be possible”. Well, at least they’re making it fun for us!
Problem homeowners could be forced to sell.”More than 11-hundred complaints over a five year period”. Wow, that really puts my neighbour’s penchant for rhinoceros impressions into perspective.
Sexy Halloween costumes are okay, now let’s stop mocking them! Featuring such subversive, radical feminist theory as “and, omg wtf yolo, women actually take this opportunity and run with it? I can’t see anything wrong with it.”
Cliche of the week: Fight over stolen bong ends in stabbing at Langley elementary school.
Local yelp review of the week year: Deedee does The Diamond: ”This place sucks more dicks than a machine designed with the sole intended purpose of sucking the most dicks possible in the shortest amount of time”. Don’t hold back or anything.
by Sean Orr | Rafe Mair: Finding truth takes work. I feel your pain bro. “The difficulty faced by bloggers and others who present their journalism exclusively online is that they’re hard to find. Unlike in the 18th century, most people don’t want to work at just getting the news. Just as in the world of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Whatever is easily available trumps the harder to get”. Welcome to Tea & Two Slices (now available on papyrus).
Meanwhile, Keith “Breaking Bad Spoiler” Baldrey misses the entire point.
“We’re not against bike lanes, but…”: Kitsilano Beach bike route plan draws fire from critics. These so called critics are bravely and nobly taking up the mantle of protecting…two picnic tables. ”Kelsey, who is promoting a petition against the bike route, said many regular users of Kits Beach, including volleyball and basketball players, knew nothing about the plan.” As usual, people complain about lack of consultation after the consultation process. Fold your arms, stamp your feet, and appeal to emotion. Thanks for playing, Kitsilano!
I guess it could be worse. We could live in Toronto.
Just in case there’s even the slightest bit of ambiguity left, no transit for you. The Referendum: A Turning Point for the Region. “This thing is designed to divide us.”
A brief history of Vancouver gentrification: The drama of urban development. “We crowded into SFU Woodwards past hipsters in skinny jeans and vagrants with skinny legs…” I stopped reading after that opening sentence, which made the whole story about as useful as discussing the cultural conundrum of hippies with a totally wasted Jack Kerouac.
Related: Looking for Hipster Randy! “Randy is an outgoing, mature individual who’s the life of the party. He’s charming, witty, and creative. Some of his interests could include indie music, blogging, and movies. He’s stylish and shops at unconventional places such as vintage stores and thrift shops. He’s into independent culture and prides himself on this. His hobbies could include blogging, attending concerts, and watching movies. If you are professional and responsible and see yourself playing this role or even better if this is you, we encourage you to apply.” Oh, fuck it. Where’s my resumé?
Straight Surrey man gets savagely beaten twice ‘for being gay’. This appeared on my Facebook stream with the caption “hilarious”. Suffice to say, this is about as funny as a hole in the head.
Slightly funnier: Rogers bill ruins credit rating of man who doesn’t have Rogers account. “It’s almost like they’re playing a video game with people and they could care less about the consequences.”
Leaf it to Charles for a new VAG design. I have my money on a giant spirit bear design.
by Sean Orr | I think they look more like the Petro-Can logo: Hockey Canada officially unveils Olympic jersey design despite murmurings that it calls to mind Nazi Germany. Well, Hitler had a big part in defining the aesthetic of the modern Olympics (the torch, for example), so perhaps it’s only fitting. What’s more outrageous is that they the NHL is sending pro-athletes to a country where it is now illegal to be gay, leaving every attempt made by the You Can Play Project a complete contradiction.
Petro Can’t: Pensioners will suffer if Canada’s oil is not shipped to world markets. In other news, this journalist has never heard of the word divestment.
Related: Building a Butter Pipeline.
Mann up: Bridge tolls: One for all and all for one? “It doesn’t make sense” to have tolls on some bridges and not others, said Delta Mayor Lois Jackson Tuesday. This person is a Mayor? I seem to remember running for MLA in the same riding as the Port Mann Bridge and saying things like “Peak oil” and “we can’t afford this”. But oh no, you people had to have your (not so) little bridge. And every time someone takes the bus in Vancouver, they are helping to pay for it, so don’t act like the financial burden is placed solely on those south of the Fraser.
Planners see problems with bridge proposed to replace Massey Tunnel. Can we just go back to the Oregon Trail days and have it so you have to ford the river yourself?
A tale of two Surreys: Mega-hotel project unveiled as residents of low-rent trailer park live without electricity down the road. Oh weird! So boosterism is only good for those doing the boosting? Who knew?
Efforts to house Vancouver’s homeless barely keep up with influx. So when Gregor Roberston said he was going to end homelessness, what he really meant was that he was going to keep it at the exact same level.
Vancouver retail rents cheap compared to New York’s record costs. Then why is everything so bloody expensive?
by Sean Orr | Canada won’t fund abortion in cases of war rape, child marriage. “There are plenty of measures that can be taken and Muskoka demonstrated that and we’ll follow it in a consistent way with Muskoka.” So, as in the case of Muskoka, we can fund things like pudding cups, or band-aids with Canadian flags on them, because Muskoka. “Harper has said he does not want to re-open the divisive debate.” Or, as Oilers assistant coach Keith Acton so succinctly put it it the other night while visiting Vancouver…
Regarding the other divisive debate that Harper doesn’t want to re-open: Downtown Eastside crack kits working, says health chief. “But the report does not recommend what drug activists have requested for many years: a legal facility where crack smokers can smoke their drugs”. So harm reduction works. It’s just the we don’t want it to work too well.
In fact, Cutbacks to healthcare on Downtown Eastside. Remember that the next time you read a Postmedia Op-Ed describing the DTES as a “wasteland”.
Meanwhile, lost in Conservative clucking over heroin is a serious spike in prescription painkiller deaths. “Moralistic instance of single-minded ideology run amok” … “The neophyte minister may want to reset her public image”. Looks like we got a winner!
Speaking of winners: The cost of being a Canucks fan. Funny how the story doesn’t mention the extreme emotional and psychological costs.
Why Christy Clark’s bridge to Delta threatens the Agricultural Land Reserve. In the article, Richmond Councillor Harold Steves characterized what was happening as the “Richmondization of Delta”.
Related: Province tells transit riders where to get off. Also related: A fifth of transit riders fail to tap out in Compass card test. Also also related: New Westminster council to consider asking province to deter trucks from using Patullo. Gosh. How exhausting.
It happened in Yaletown: Woman arrested after accident sends 9-year-old cyclist to hospital. As a crowd of bystanders rushed to lift the other car off of the kid, she went home to chill at her “False Creek area” home? Wow.
by Sean Orr | Everybody knows what’s best for you: Ottawa overrules health officials on Vancouver heroin replacement study. So, it turns out that polarizing politicians know more about addiction than, you know, fucking doctors. And again, the ghost of Cory Monteith is invoked as an argument against harm reduction? Please.
Blurred Vision: Has Vancouver’s ruling party lost touch with its base?. Hey, isn’t that a Robin Thicke song? “Separated bike lanes, high-density spot rezonings, higher amenity fees from developers, low-income rental initiatives, transit-oriented redevelopments, urban farming, food carts or even retooling the building code for seniors, Vision Vancouver has worked hard to implement an ambitious agenda”. So we elected them to do stuff and now that they’re doing stuff we’re mad?
The horrors of charitable capitalism: How the Vancouver mayor’s BFF Joel Solomon is changing the way people do business:
It is the second-last day of summer and 150 small enterprise leaders and venture capitalists have gathered at the windswept beach retreat for the 18th annual Social Venture Institute (SVI), which is like sleep-away camp for grown ups who want to change the world through business, charities, and non-profits…
Sounds like a nightmare.
How green is “greenest city’s” pension plan? City of Vancouver staff recommends council action on city investments. Turns out it’s lightly green…sort of an olive colour really. Also, how great is the name Carrie Saxifrage?
Only in Yaletown: Wild cat tied up on supercar while owners wine and dine.
Yaletown 2: Concord Pacific and Concert Properties reveal big plans for two False Creek developments. And, if the artist’s rendering is anything to go by, they will be the only buildings with electricity in the entire downtown core. So that will be a huge selling point, I imagine.
Food for thought: Former transit boss says lifetime passes are like ‘being given Willy Wonka’s golden ticket’. “At least one current lifetime pass holder says it’s time to put the brakes on the gravy bus”. Man, those metaphors are so mixed I don’t know whether I’m hungry or furious. “What a bunch of jam tarts” he said. STOP.
Meanwhile, Transit rider says he’s had enough of Translink’s free rides. “I am so fed up with hearing with seeing [sic] so many people getting onto the bus without paying when I have to pay all the time and many of us have to pay all the time.” he says, adding, ‘But I am so bad at talking that talking that you will ignore my argument and you are ignoring my argument all the time”. So…yeah.
Completely not suspicious fire of the day: Fire breaks out in Downtown Eastside building. You can smell the insurance money from here.
Info czar warns of obstructive tactics. Hmm, maybe perhaps…like this: Stephen Harper’s office bans journalist from trip after he asked question of prime minister. That’s OK. Just pretend you’re Harris from the Post.
MLA Moira Stillwell doesn’t get it: Don’t encourage dumb permanent decisions. Please. Well, at least electing her as MLA isn’t permanent. Now that would be dumb.
Sacrilege: Wayne Gretzky statue vandalized in Brantford. WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?
Thank you: ‘Gentrification’ is a Linguistic Weapon Hurting Us All: “Used pejoratively to describe the process by which urban neighborhoods in particular experience changes in economic and demographic make-up, the term has become something of a rhetorical spear, the go-to weapon in ideological combat over control of what are perceived to be contested city blocks and parcels.”
Bonus: Brand new love. RIP Super Socco.
Poor soldiers: Severely disabled vets take financial hit under new system. Damn those anti-military liberals in Ottawa.
‘Pipeline or rail, the oil will flow’ say Alberta oil industry and Canada’s government. That sounds like something Daniel Plainview would say.
Big Pot: Conservatives launching billion-dollar free market in medical marijuana. And like most of Canada’s free markets (think cell-phone providers), this will be anything but “free”.
You will get hop-ons: Transit forum seeks options for low-income riders. “If people are unable to pay, but need to get on transit, that’s not fare evasion—that’s denial of essential services”. I’m so going to use that line.
Watch: Lawsuit alleges U.S. guards discriminate against Canadians. Not news to anyone in a band.
The worst part about Vancity Buzz just got a wee bit worse: Vancouver Models: Heidi Gwaii. Oh what, no headdress?
by Sean Orr | I like to imagine this is the reaction in the Province offices every time Jon Ferry publishes an article: The Jon Ferry eco-challenge: Live without oil, I dare you. This kind of absolutist thinking, while hilarious and super easy to pick apart, is what environmentalists need to address. They need to stress that it’s not perfection that is the ultimate goal, it’s progress. You know, baby steps.
Unintentionally depressing article of the day: City councillor Adriane Carr takes aim at Vancouver’s rental incentives. “Earlier this year, Carr tried to find out if any new rental homes produced under STIR actually rent for $975 a month. This figure was cited by city staff to council on February 12, 2013, as the affordable rental cost for an average single person in Vancouver”. My god.
Meanwhile, Housing allowances show MLAs’ rich sense of entitlement. A grand ain’t enough? That sounds like a James Bond film. “So why do Stilwell and her government think a disabled British Columbian should be able to find accommodation for $375 a month?
Told you so of the day: Golden Ears Bridge losing up to $45 million each year. Yeah, weird…so building the biggest bridge in the world in one of the world’s most expensive cities during peak oil was a mistake? Bring back the Albion Ferry!
New Vancouver civic party vows fewer bike lanes, more democracy. I’ll let Gordon Price take this one: “Whenever someone opposing bike lanes says something like ‘I’m a cyclist too,’ it’s a bit like ‘Some of my best friends are Black.’”
20 bar employees file labour complaints over alleged bilked pay. If only guilt was established on double-negatives alone: “We have never heard nothing from the labour board that we had complaints, me or my accountant.” Case closed.
The 2nd annual Canuck headshot awards. “Luongo looks ravaged by the rigours of living. Lack looks like he just realized the whole world is made of candy”. Why is sports writing always so much better than the rest of the news?
by Sean Orr | Jon Ferry: Stunning verdict in deadly crash shows you can drive badly in B.C. — if you have a good excuse. That is not how justice works, Jon Ferry. Are you five years old? If someone gets off on a murder charge, that doesn’t mean you can go out murdering people if you have a good excuse. Just sayin’.
What the actual fuck: Native Canadian women sold on U.S. ships, researcher says. What fucking year is it? 1889? Jesus Christ. Can we make Truth and Reconciliation Week 365 days long?
Vancouver Not Vanderhoof: $535 million “urban resort” to house new downtown Vancouver casino. Before you get your knickers in a twist, it’s not really a new casino. It’s the new home of the old one, and I guess it does kind of look like a Bose Stereo system…
Pretty vacant: Five condo building complex proposed for Southeast False Creek. I am a huge fan of berms.
Marpole Position: Marpole taking protest to City Hall. “We’re not against densification, but we want planned growth and for someone to approach us and say, ‘What’s your input?’” Uh, they did. Only 318 people filled out the questionnaire. That’s your fault, not City Hall’s.
Lift Your Skinny Fists: Godspeed You! Black Emperor Respond to Polaris Win, Decry “Corporate Banners and Culture Overlords”. I’d be more upset If GY!BE didn’t say anything. It’s kind of their job, really, and they said it themselves – “Sorry to be such bores”. I think we’re all capable of celebrating Canadian Music while aspiring to make it more relevant. Bonus: Russell Brand Marlon Brando did it first.
1000 bicycles collection (surrey). “The vortex where stolen bikes go has been reversed! SPEW FORTH VELOCIPEDE! TAKE BACK THE STREET”! – David “I’ve been ghostwriting Tea & Two Slices for two years” Mattatal.
Sharks shell-Lack Canucks’ backup in 5-0 pre-season win. You guys couldn’t wait until the regular season to drop that gem?
In defense of poop: Best letter to editor Tyee has ever received?
by Sean Orr | Two Chefs, One Camera? Vancouver restaurant owner allegedly had secret camera in bathroom ‘filming people doing their stuff’. Maybe he was just trying to get a Bosomworth. Oh, that’s awful. I am awful. Not as awful as this guy, but still…
Well this is weird: a group full of try-hard DTES ideologues disintegrates into infighting? Who would have ever thought? Open letter to the DNC from 5 Excluded members, and CCAP protests DNC. Oh god, The Excluded Five? Seriously? Sounds like someone really wants to be the Squamish Five.
When stigmas attack: Mayor and Police Chief further stigmatize people with mental health issues. “People afflicted with a mental illness are no more likely to be a danger to others than a person deemed mentally healthy”, bringing to mind the oft repeated adage that Granville Strip on a Friday night is far more terrifying than a poor person screaming at his/herself.
The case against having emotional ties to infrastructure: Destroying George Massey Tunnel would have my father turning over in his grave, says Doug Massey.
What referendum? TransLink: A Rat’s Nest Of Redundancy. But if we deny transit funding, then “the tax room is available for more road expansion needed to handle the growth transit would otherwise serve” – Gordon Price: Road pricing, the Referendum and the Future of the Region.
To sell pipeline, PM will need to face First Nations somewhere other than court. And if that doesn’t work, trains.
Why wasn’t I picked: Capture Photography Festival.