by Sean Orr | Debate over sexist Clark coverage ramps up. Well, for some, when comes down to it, Dix are always going to be better.
I’ve got a huge election: NDP candidate uses dog jackets as campaign signs; have the ‘dog wars’ just begun?. “His Liberal opponent, former mayor Sam Sullivan, says the idea makes sense in Vancouver-False Creek riding”. And the glib, obsequious response from Sullivan is what we’ve come to expect. “We had to go with Chai tea and biscotti,” he said. “That just shows you how different this riding is.” Ugh, sometimes I physically wretch when reading the news, so for those of you who call my attitude “flippant”, just remember that the above quote caused me great physical distress.
When they say “foreign investment” they are just saying that for most British Columbians, investment is a foreign concept. Empty Condos and foreign investors: Sign of the times or synonyms for racism? Yeah, but for a publication like The Mainlander, the only thing worse than empty condos are condos with people in them.
Editorial: Open port crucial to healthy economy. You mean drugs? Oh, coal! “Mayor Gregor Robertson’s recent call for a $3-billion subway line to UBC shows he understands the need for money to maintain and expand services in Vancouver”. Oh, I see. Because we used to ship coal, we should continue to. Except that we long ago realized that if we kept burning coal a giant fucking black cloud would form and threaten the health of millions.
School shooter in video game targets Port Moody Secondary (video). Instead of banning it they should make it required curriculum. This is a generation raised on Grand Theft Auto. They generally do not walk around stealing cars at gunpoint. If every kid had the chance to virtually shoot-up their school, perhaps they would never find the need to actually do it.
Fur flies as Real Housewives of Vancouver star’s store vandalized by animal activists. Protest as spectacle. How long before they start casting The Real Anarchists of Vancouver? [ed. note: we just secured the TM]
Vancouver ranked 52nd best Canadian city, worse than Mississauga, Winnipeg. I once accidentally found myself in Mississauga. Let me tell you, this headline is a huge dis.
You go to art show? Enormous Fictions.
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!
by Sean Orr | I saved Latin. What did you ever do? Chinese signs in Richmond ‘way out of hand’, says delegation appealing for more English. This is the same thing as moving to Southern California and complaining about all the Spanish everywhere. There is only one bi-lingual province in Canada and it’s called New Brunswick.
Fewer people sleeping on Vancouver streets, homeless count finds. Oh good! They’ve either all died or found a place to live!
World needs a steep learning curve on brewing controversy. Yup, tea. It’s what Baby Boomers are now talking about when they admonish Generation Y for not growing up.
And speaking of brewing, the group of First Nations youths nearing Ottawa are being almost completely ignored by Big Media: The Quest for Unity.
The sword of Damocles: BC Has Plenty of Room to Raise Taxes. In other words: damned if you do, damned if you don’t. “Next time someone says we can’t, here are debunking facts”. Go ahead and bookmark this story in preparation of The Prov/Sun running a loop of anti-tax editorials between now until the election.
GreenNDP vote-splitting a ‘non-issue’. More people don’t vote at all than vote for the Greens, Liberals, and NDP combined.
Snakehead of the Year: That Dragon’s Not Breathing Fire. Oh, weird. Hockey is totally sexist?
Bwahaha! Cyclists should pay for their own pumps. To all the sweet, archaic, predictable curmudgeons — we salute you!
Huge balls: Stephen Woodworth, Anti-Abortion MP, Shouted Down By Protester Dressed As Vagina. I love the hushed voices in the video: “Uh yeah…so maybe we should pack this up”. Haha. That’s best idea you’ve ever had!
by Sean Orr | Borderline offensive: The CBSA and reality television. To be fair, I’d be totally paranoid and constantly on guard if I had to work next to the United States everyday. “As usual, however, the human lives which accompany that desperately needed labour has now proven itself inconvenient”.
Doug Christie: The Unauthorized Obituary. “Free speech is the one thing you have to give to your worst enemy if you want to keep it for yourself,” The Tyee quotes Christie, adding, ”It’s a fine sentiment, of course, but one Christie did not practice”. I don’t usually like to speak ill of the dead,. but good riddance, sir.
Jon Ferry’s ideas still messed up: Harm reduction just keeps addicts enslaved. News flash: so does jail.
Liquefaction: Climate Change, NDP economics and the Tunnel. “This means no expansion of oilsands, no new pipelines (like Keystone and Northern Gateway) and no expansion of coal mines and coal ports.” Because man, when that shit runs out we are fucked!
The politics of hockey and the hockey of politics: The centre position is looking decidedly lame and the defence is as lefty as most of the voters in this province.
People are finally listening to me! Vancouver’s last remaining porn theatre gets new lease on life.
Nobody is listening to me! Main Street condos on the radar of Mount Pleasant residents. The home of Vancouver’s first skyscraper, the former “busiest intersection in BC” and future home of a rapid transit line to UBC (next door to a brand new community centre and a brand new brewery) says no to a 9 story building. First Rize, then The Poodle…I am really starting to hate Mount Pleasant. I mean, what exactly do they have against density around major transit hubs? Isn’t that sort of the plan? It’s not like they are mowing down all those heritage homes in the Tea Swamp. It’s a former used car dealership!
The Poorhouse: Food banks may compound the very problems they should be solving.
by Sean Orr | Keep it rolling: B.C. Premier Christy Clark criticized for joke about her ex-husband. At this point, Adrian Dix’s best tactic would be to show a 3 hour live special of just Christy Clark saying stupid shit. Someone should ask her how she stays current.
Christy Clark brushes off criticism from Kevin Falcon about wood building. We could probably build the world’s tallest building out of the contracts that the BC Liberals have awarded their friends. And I’m sure Bob Rennie could market the shit out of it. You can see it now: “Come live at The Paper Trail, the world’s most exciting experiment in sustainable architecture!”
Speaking of sustainable: Bill 8 – Mass Virtual Privatization of BC’s forests. There’s nothing British about B.C. anymore. We’re basically just Columbia now.
Underground railway: People not happy about proposed coal expansion project. I’ve said it before: the big oil and gas corps will keep ramrodding us with projects and one of them is bound to sneak through unnoticed. Think Kitimat LNG, Kinder Morgan, Enbridge, FannyBay, and so on. “They say it’s bad for the environment and their health”. Pfft! Who are these people and what do they know about “the environment” and “their health”? That’s for us to decide!
Does UBC president Stephen Toope want a subway or not? How about a transit tunnel like they have in Seattle?
Skytrain for Surrey: Debunking myths: LRT will bring mid-rises, SkyTrain will bring towers.
What inner city? Inner city schools funding to collapse.
Regulate me: ‘They treated me like a drug rat in a lab,’ says woman who spent time at Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre. Hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it.
Potentially fun city? City mulls over regulating the underground. More bureaucratic nonsense?
by Sean Orr | A new headache for the Clark government. So remember, there was the Porchgate scandal that Glenn Clark resigned over (he was later acquitted), something about Fast Ferries, and then Casinogate. The Liberals have clocked in with Ethnicgate, the BC Rail Scandal, Campbell arrested in Maui for DUI, the HST debacle, the lowballing of the deficit, the worst child poverty rate in Canada, the ICBC scandal, The Gateway Project, ripped up health contracts, BC Place leaky cables, the Canada Line fiasco, the Convention Centre boondoggle, the scheme to deny John Doyle another term, the Boessenkool affair, a bankrupt Translink, and a corrupt B.C Ferries. And McInnes says it’s not scandal-plagued?
Meanwhile, a political party without scandals.
Chavezgate: Harper’s response to the death of Hugo Chavez was both arrogant and baseless. But Stompin’ Tom, well…he sang about hockey so…
Andrew Cash and the NDP Caucus Sing “Bud the Spud” in a tribute to Stompin’ Tom Connors. I guess that’s kind of cute.
Sorry, but I told you so: Trucks plugging up Pattullo Bridge; Surrey mayor not happy. Tolling bridges is the new burning bridges.
‘This is the wrong placement for a homeless shelter’. That’s the exact same thing as saying the DTES is the wrong place for a fancy restaurant.
by Sean Orr | Hypocrisy abounds! Jon Ferry: Unaffordable megaprojects like the Broadway SkyTrain line must wait until economy is back on track. Oh, you mean like the convention centre expansion, the Enbridge Pipeline, and the entire Winter Olympics?
Next few days will tell if Christy Clark can survive her rebellious caucus. “Even a crash landing that produced a few survivors would be better than the plane slamming into the mountain with all lives lost”. Let’s roll.
Or just grab a parachute and jump: Why I Quit the BC Liberals. Short version: wheeeeee!
Shane Simpson offered clearest view on where NDP is headed on addressing poverty. In other words, they’re trying to restore some sort of semblance to our social safety net before the neo-liberal experiment hacked it to pieces while trying to ameliorate those very same neo-liberals in the media.
The reverse classism of the Pidgin protestors: “See the rich! 5¢”.
Rank and file: Lowest ranked school result of incomplete scores. These kids don’t have computers? No wonder the Fraser Institute hates them. Even I hate them.
Cyclists give off more carbon dioxide than drivers, Washington state legislator argues in defending tax on bikes. Cue the belly-aching talk radio hosts firing up the bridge and tunnelers stuck in traffic.
Peter Ladner’s broken legs: Mountain Crowding – what ever happened to R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Wait, so there are douchebags that ski? Weird.
Craigslist: Reality show casting “Real Hipsters of Vancouver”. No one who signs up for this is a real hipster unless they’re trying to be ironic.
by Sean Orr | Quick win: Clark apologizes for ethnic vote strategy. The only reason her party is bummed is because of the leak. I doubt they would be offended if it had worked. Anyway, it allows for things like: “Ms. Clark’s government has been dogged by controversy, fed in part by a pipeline of embarrassing leaks as her party counts down to the May 14 election still well behind in the polls”. I see what you did there!
(Related) Tweet of the day comes to us via BC Ferrys:
We’re taking steps to re-engage with our ethnic passengers. #bcpoli
— BCFerrys (@BCFerrys) March 1, 2013
And speaking of Ferrys, here’s Province columnist Jon Ferry sounding so reasonable that you almost want to buy him a beer: Is Pink Shirt Day doing more harm than good in battling bullying? Almost.
Amid child-porn comment controversy, U of C announces Flanagan’s retirement. This man is beyond defense. In trying to establish that the government has no business in the bedrooms of its citizens, only the most depraved person would offer up a criminal taboo as an exemplar of their argument. Personally, I’m convinced that there should be an entire congress of appointed officials between our sheets. But that’s just me. Think of the cuddling opportunities!
Trump Tower Vancouver update: site “not cursed”. Thanks for that, Vancouver Observer. Can you guys come up with a list of non-cursed places for us to invest in? That would be great. Thanks again.
$38 million listing featured ‘fake mansion’. Fake mansions for a fake city with fake steam clocks and fake daughters of fake Chinese buyers. Makes perfect sense to me.
Japandroids Win Canucks Entrance Song Honors. Wow, we did something right!
RIP: The day Otis Music died.
by Sean Orr | Emperor Palpatine’s New Clothes, or Stephen Harper’s New Plane. Whatever, man. If I was Stephen I would order Bombardier to make me an entire squadron of X-wing fighters. You laugh, but…
B.C. minister accused of misleading bidders on development. Sorry, but I stopped reading at “A CBC News investigation has uncovered serious allegations against the B.C. government”. That’s good enough for me.
How Cannes inspired Molson’s latest campaign. Or rather, how misogynistic neo-liberal jingoism and the shallow appeal to patriotism inspired Molson’s latest campaign. Also, two girls almost kissing underwater? Time re-think Rethink.
Speaking of misogyny and shitty beer: Woman sexually assaulted while waiting for bus in Granville Strip area. In the words of the great Gordon Ramsay, shut it down.
Montreal’s version of Vancouver’s much hated liquor inspectors: Joe Beef Takes Quebec Language Watchdog Woes Public Following Pasta Flap. Mmm, pasta flap.
Vancouver realtor says one-quarter of all sales in the city are to foreign buyers: NY Times. Yeah? Well, that’s not what they say to us!
Bonus: Click that hood.
by Sean Orr | Still blaming fancy restaurants: Moving on up: Gentrification in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. You are only mad at Sean Heather is because he is successful.
Social mix has displaced low-income people at Woodward’s. While it might look like a massive condo boom, when you take into account the arrival of The Taylor Building, Abbott Place, Van Horne, the Koret Lofts, Railtown Studios, Bowman Lofts, The Edge, Paris Place, Espana – and so on – it’s a 20 year picture of slow and steady encroachment. I’m not trying to discount their report. I just think the truth is a bit more nuanced.
As it is here: Pidgin protesters offer new twist on Vancouver NIMBYism. The truth is, without protests Woodwards would have never been built in the first place. In other words, this is what democracy looks like.
And yet no one has yet been as eloquent as Pidgin on the subject:
When choosing this location we knew that there would be a stark contrast between what is outside and inside. Rather than this being viewed as a negative we believe it starts a conversation, one that is overdue. Our patrons come from the DTES and all over the city, some of [whom] have never taken a step in Pigeon Park. This venue is on the divide between the east and west of the city and can serve as an opportunity to bring a more integrated community, where we can better understand each other’s viewpoints and struggles
COPE’s by-law elimination suggestion would cause “chaos”, ex-cop says. I don’t get it, copper. Which one is it? Is the DTES a crazy warzone or is it a social experiment that you are heavily invested in? Is it an open-drug market or a tight-knit community? If these people have nowhere to go, where are you moving them to?
Tweet of the day on Sam Sullivan winning the BC Liberal nomination for False Creek c/o David Schreck:
— David Schreck (@StrategicThghts) February 21, 2013
FOI the record: PavCo tries to blacklist inconvenient sleuth.
B.C. agency to handle crack-shack, party-house complaints. Really? So while you announced a fire-sale on public assets, more civil servants laid off, and spending slashed, you have an agency devoted to people who are having parties?
Yeah, but what do we really need? Canada needs a good closer.
by Sean Orr | Hey, remember when India lost its shit when the story of its gang rape victim made international headlines? Report alleges RCMP officers gang-raped B.C. woman, calls for action [sound of crickets], and then they have the nerve to question the estimated number of missing aboriginal women? Are the Mounties trying to get disbanded? If so, I would recommend that they just walk around playgrounds pepper spraying little kids in the face.
Alternatively, they could strap on snowboards and try to bust some weed smokers on the slopes of Whistler: Canada’s War on Pot Just Got Weirder.
Bob Rennie is Awesome: Life in the Village pays off for local webzine editor. I think he made the “arrangement” pretty obvious, but it’s still good for a parody twitter account.
Tweet of the day c/o Steve Burgess:
Park, 5th Avenue Cinemas sold. We’re so close to eliminating the scourge of subtitles & Gauloises from our city. globaltvbc.com/cineplex+set+t…
— Steve Burgess (@steveburgess1) February 15, 2013
Meanwhile, the Facebook post of the day comes from Matt Snakes: “There’s Star Trek burlesque at the Wise Hall tonight. Which is interesting because Star Trek is the best thing ever and burlesque is the worst thing ever.”
Can we please institute a Logan’s Run type policy? I turn 35 in a couple of months, so I’ll be the first volunteer. Living longer may be a curse to baby boomers if the later years are filled with pain and sickness. Oh my god, I hate old people so much.
Real estate speculation as art: Cube living.
by Sean Orr | Double down: BC Prosperity Fund and conflicting data on LNG. How are we supposed to trust this government to plan our future when they can’t even keep their own cabinet ministers, let alone run Translink or BC Ferries. Ah fuck it, make daddy a winner!
Dear Christy: A Valentine’s Day gift for the Ayn Rand doofus in your life. I would be more fitting if it was a gilded piece of pipeline, but still…
Report card shows Vancouver exceeding housing targets, on track to meet homelessness goals. I get it. I used to like marking my own exams, too.
And what about the Rainier?
I guess they have their hands full with NIMBY nonsense like this: The City of Vancouver: Stop a funeral home from moving into 450 W 2nd Ave. Can you believe it?
It’s a good thing that we can laugh at ourselves: What Vancouver needs is a dog park for cats. Good idea. And we shall call it Cat Chilling Park.
Where’s Whalley: Could Surrey become Vancouver’s version of Brooklyn? Nope. But hey, don’t let me get in the way of your boosterism and real estate speculation. I mean, somebody has to pay those costly printing bills, right?
Clearing the brush. When speculation turns to arson.
I mean, it’s not like they would fake Chinese investors for TV news. Vancouver real-estate firm admits faking investor for TV news. Oh. Never mind.
I’ll just leave you with this: Warning or not, Grammy Awards features plenty of ‘puffy genitals’. Because Happy Valentine’s Day.
by Sean Orr | Hey, maybe we should name the controversial Main Street poodle “Ted”? Why TED Is a Massive, Money-Soaked Orgy of Self-Congratulatory Futurism. Yup, and that’s exactly why TED is absolutely perfect for Vancouver.
What do you get when you there are massive cuts to Employment Insurance and the Canada Assistance Plan, massive cuts to welfare, de-institutionalization and cuts to mental health, a frozen minimum wage, a patchwork housing system of crumbling hotels, a failed Olympic housing legacy, decades of economic divestment, decades of institutionalized racism and mistreatment of First Nations, the removal of street car lines, the removal of the Japanese during the war, and a policy of social containment? You get the blame put on fancy restaurants. Behold: Gentrification Atrocity in the DTES.
The Tweet of the Day via Bob Mackin
Fun Fact: Preem Clark’s first B.C. #FamilyDay holiday coincides with Sarah Palin’s 49th birthday. #bcpoli
— Bob Mackin (@bobmackin) February 11, 2013
Asylum of the times: Harper vows ‘high-risk’ law to keep criminally insane locked up. Yeah, I mean…imagine if they had locked me up for longer than a month? The world would be such a better place…
Sino the times: Vancouver residents sense rise in anti-Chinese sentiment in Canada. Perhaps it’s time for a Cultural Sensitivity Advisory Board for Chinatown.
News to nobody in the DTES: Woman claims Surrey Memorial mistreated her until tests proved she wasn’t on drugs.
Vancouver’s ‘No Fun City’ reputation a misnomer. “Yes, such iconic hangouts as the Waldorf Hotel and smaller theatres may be sadly closing their doors, but look beyond the neon signs downtown and you’ll find such gems as the Commodore Ballroom, the Vogue and Orpheum theatres, Celebrities and BC Place lit up and buzzing just a few blocks apart”. Yeah, you just have to look a little closer to find all of those hidden, super secret gems. “This month alone we’re spoilt for choice with Dine Out Vancouver, free ice-skating in Robson Square, the Chinese New Year parade, and B.C.’s first Family Day”. Who writes this stuff? Maybe it’s time we did a better job of defining fun. If only there was a website that made a weekly list of cool things to do…