by Sean Orr | Pete McMartin in the Vancouver Sun: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is a ghetto made by outsiders. Did he not watch the video that accompanied his own article? Also, what the hell is a “stumblebum”, derisive anti-FDR slang from the 1930s? “Studies show scattered social housing sites are the healthiest alternative for at-risk populations”. Yeah, but studies also show that not showing the studies that don’t show what you are trying to show lead to the general public never trusting the media. Again, no mention of frozen welfare rates. No mention of the cancellation of the Canada Assistance Plan in ’93. Yet he does have some fairly nuanced points, especially regarding the scourge of NIMBYism. What usually fails in the decentralization argument is an awareness that the DTES fought for its own survival when governments and businesses had abandoned it and that the groups that acted as a band-aid in the interim are not the enemy.
Not nuanced: Money wasted on Vancouver’s DTES. Short version: ex-cop and “security expert” writes a dumb column in the 24hrs newspaper without reading any of the studies that show housing the homeless is less expensive than the status-quo. “The open-air drug bazaar in the East Hastings area that has been prevalent for the past 15 or 20 years didn’t exist when the Vancouver Police Department had control of the streets”. Not true. It seems the role of the police in the author’s eyes looks less like the one that allowed Robert Pickton to flourish and more like this: Heroic NYPD Officer Pursues Knaves on Horseback, Rescues Fair Maiden.
Meanwhile, Young tenants energize Chinatown. Hmm, I wonder if there might possibly be a synonym here for “energize”…
Check Out Vancouver’s Clever Response to Other Cities’ Mean Homeless ‘Repellents’. No thanks. Homes, not benches.
Another day, another Yellow Scare article: Why Vancouver housing is unaffordable and what to do about it. Because no white suburbanite has ever bought and flipped a house, ever. Right?
Related: Mortgages Aren’t Debt, Nearly Half Of Canadians Say. A terrifying prospect.
We’ve even turned it into a fun game: Shelley Fralic: New reality show aims to save Vancouver heritage homes. A great idea for sure, but will it be able to compete with The Real Manbuns of Vancouver?
Regarding the Tsilhqot’in Nation decisionThe claims are just. But the Supreme Court ruling means chaos. “There are British Columbians who will say, ‘Hooray!’ These are the sort who believe that money comes from banks and food comes from supermarkets and don’t understand what pays for health care”. Wrong. We know that our food comes from the land that we stole and that health care comes from governments, not outside corporate interests. As The Tyee writes: “Canada’s timber and petroleum alone have been valued at $33 trillion, yet for some reason the second most wealthy country in the world after Saudi Arabia cannot afford postal delivery, the CBC or teachers”. It’s about ending corporate giveaways, not all resource extraction ever. As Ian Mulgrew comments, “as long as the government negotiates in good faith and is willing to cut a reasonable cheque, any mine, industrial development or pipeline can proceed”.
Supreme Court Of Canada: Wal-Mart Must Pay For Closing Unionized Store. Wow, it’s almost like the justice system is working or something. Too bad the same can’t be said for south of the border.
While I tend to shy away from nationalism, this guy makes me pretty proud to be Canadian: Rob Ford gets into heated confrontation with topless jogger on Canada Day.
The only Vancouver Observer article I have ever actually read and enjoyed: I got a book contract! And I bet you can, too.
by Sean Orr | Peter MacKay’s emails to staff: Moms change diapers, Dads form leaders. Women everywhere would be outraged, that is if they weren’t so busy running around changing diapers and making home-cooked meals…
Related: Are you suffering from Rushing Woman’s Syndrome? Yes, The Province newspaper just pathologized the modern mother. It is a sickness, ladies, and you need psychological help (and no, it has nothing to do with sustaining a a lifestyle of conspicuous consumption). Related tweet:
Service notice: All our “Queen” vessels are busy raising their offspring. Expect delays.
— BCFerrys (@BCFerrys) June 24, 2014
Eureka! Participants with mental illness, addictions thrive after being given apartments: five-year national study. They needed five years to come to that conclusion? “The findings mean residents should not be afraid of social housing mixed into neighbourhoods throughout the city”. The findings also revealed that residents should not be total NIMBY assholes who only ever look out for their best interests and harbour irrational fears about the value of their property.
Railtown: On Track to Gentrify? Wherein Vancouver Magazine reveals itself to be a recently divorced 55 year old man in a leased Porsche sadly cruising the DTES after being passed over for the role of Captain Obvious…
Legalized marijuana in Washington state could hurt B.C.’s multibillion-dollar pot economy. Our mainstream media finally figures it out four years after Douglas Haddow did.
“You can be rich too, you just gotta believe really hard”: S**t Harper Did Punks Tories With Action Plan Parody Website.
Smoked bannock and mirrors: City of Vancouver formally declares city is on unceded Aboriginal territory. “Coun. Andrea Reimer of Vision Vancouver introduced the motion and said she isn’t concerned about possible legal ramifications of declaring the city is on unceded territory because Vancouver is not involved in treaty negotiations and has no such authority over land”. Which is to say the move is about as impactful as declaring Vancouver a unicorn-friendly sanctuary.
More good news that I’m too cynical to properly enjoy: Supreme Court expands land-title rights in unanimous ruling. “If the Aboriginal group does not consent to the use, the government’s only recourse is to establish that the proposed incursion on the land is justified”. Justified, eh? So…like, a pipeline?
Vancity Buzz tries its hand at Columbusing with potentially terrifying consequences: 8 Must-try Dive Bars in Vancouver. Jackalope a dive bar? They just opened a couple of months ago and serve kale eggs benedict, craft beer, and Belgian waffles. What’s wrong with you? Try West Bar, Grand Union, Funky Winkerbeans, The Savoy, Balmoral, or The Empress. Or don’t. Actually, please don’t.
Canada Scraps Work Permit Requirements for Touring Musicians. Now if we can only get the USA to reciprocate.
by Sean Orr | Oil spill clean-up ship hit sandbar en route to government news conference in Vancouver. What the article doesn’t mention is that the ship accidentally spilled 36 megatons of unrefined irony.
Postmedia Gets Away With Running Unmarked Oil Advertorials. I’d hardly say they got away with it. It made it onto Tea & Two Slices after all! “Readers expect news organizations to maintain their first loyalty to citizens…” Well, there’s your first mistake right there.
A relationship cut short in B.C. with one fell swoop by Enbridge. The author makes it seem like the Haisla and Enbridge were walking down the aisle in holy matrimony until some jerk stood up and yelled “Yo, I fucked the bride! Hahaha!”
Why Are BC’s Natural Resource Officers Buying Bulletproof Vests? Especially when what they really need are leaflet-proof vests.
The Problem Isn’t Vancouver’s Astronomical Housing Costs— It’s the People Who Buy Them. I only glanced through this Op-Ed because I first “Command-F” searched it for mentions of CMHC, mortgage, wages, and welfare and found no matches. Also, the author is dreaming if be thinks Amazon will pay all its Vancouver employees 100k.
A premium on logic: Unhappy hour comes to B.C. pubs that must now raise prices. Ah yes, the old bureaucratic cash grab under the guise of public safety. As if hipsters and winos aren’t just going to drink in the alley behind the bar instead…
Quote of the week from Nicholas Ellan:
Tonight the City of Vancouver held its first annual Awards of Excellence. Two “Freedom of the City” awards for special achievement were presented: one to Judy Graves for her tireless and selfless work as a housing advocate for Vancouver’s homeless; and one to Jim Pattison, for being rich as fuck.
I love that this is a thing: Grouse Grind: Mountaintop resort profits from a trail paid for by Metro Vancouver taxpayers.
by Sean Orr | Deceit on the half-shell: B.C. taxpayers on the hook for iTunes downloads, oysters and Hooters. Who uses iTunes anyway? Typical elitist. Why cant she just download tracks illegally like everyone else?
All that money for shellfish, and nothing for teachers? What B.C. Public School Classrooms Look Like Without Stuff Bought By Teachers.
Remember that this teacher’s strike is really Christy’s strike: Premier Christy Clark involved in BCTF strike strategy. Meanwhile, Hodor Supports B.C. Teachers.
And with that I will reward you with The 14 Best Hodor Quotes From “Game Of Thrones”.
Meanwhile, Public funding of private schools is a smart policy. I literally can’t even right now.
United We Can bottle depot moves, street vending increases. “The recent relocation of the United We Can bottle depot was expected to reduce congestion and street vending on the block where the depot was located (…) instead, the depot’s move has been followed by an increase in street vending and other illegal activity…” Oh, weird. So…if people can’t supplement their criminally low income from Welfare by legitimate means they’ll do so by illegal means? OK, has anyone involved in this process ever taken, like, one sociology class? Did they not see that coming? I mean, when will you learn?
NPA caucus is expelling school trustees Ken Denike, Sophia Woo. Woo! Shame on them for saying a proposed board policy designed to address the bullying of children based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity would hurt real estate prices.
But then again, shame on The Globe and Mail for saying it would help real estate prices: How rainbow flags on Vancouver schools would boost real estate.
If you think co-opting the oppression of any marginalized group to fuel economic self-interest you might need a primer: Gender Diversity 101.
Speaking of marginalized: Aboriginals “(cannot) claim to have ancestors who were the ‘first’ people,” says letter to the editor that ran twice. Yeah, I mean, clearly, Australopithecus were the first people…
Related: A Tribe Called Red Accused Of Racism Over ‘Caucasians’ T-Shirt. Oh, I see their talking about…duhm duhm duuuuh, reverse racism!
Set up to fail: Police watchdog team turning on their master — is the IIO already doomed?. Who investigates the people who investigate the investigators? “Rosenthal explained that as a young lawyer he quickly gravitated toward white-collar crime and ‘holding the most powerful to account.’” The picture they ran with the story is the wrong one. It should be this one.
World Cup of Losers: Fight breaks out during a World Cup game. That headline should read: Granville Street breaks out during a World Cup game. Hmm, maybe they should have watched the game at a weed dispensary instead.
by Sean Orr | The power of positive negative thinking: Why are so many Vancouver-area yoga studios closing their doors? Or, have we reached peak yoga? Is this a truer economic barometer than the housing market? Should we all get into child’s pose now? Omm….
Coming to a neighbourhood near you: Anti-homeless ‘spikes’ cause controversy in Montreal. Perhaps all our out-of-work yogis can start teaching the homeless the ancient yogic art of lying on a bed of nails.
Listen to this: Reality Check – The Homeless Sanctuary That Is Vancouver — in which Bruce Allen of CKNW embarrasses himself with feverish malice for the city’s less fortunate. Vancouver has a drug problem, Bruce, but blaming addicts and the homeless (the real victims of the drug war) is asinine. Ignoring frozen welfare rates, the lack of a national housing plan, the cost of living, renovictions, residential school abuse, and the myriad other reasons as to why someone might become or remain homeless in Vancouver is reckless, feckless, and the kind of thing that leads to violence.
— shaunmclean (@shaunmclean) June 6, 2014
Meanwhile, Real Housewives of Vancouver star Mary Zilba doesn’t think Tuesday’s shooting is related to the recent East Van shooting of Mia Deakin – the daughter of one of her fellow Real Housewives of Vancouver cast members. But she did say that the latter was related to gang activity, and that has opened her up to a defamation lawsuit, about which nobody will ever give a shit.
Are you happy that average Canadians only start working for themselves on June 10? Hmm, interesting question you’ve posed there, corporate newspaper! Maybe a more appropriate one would read as follows: are you happy that most corporate CEOs start working for themselves on January 29th?
B.C. group pitches $10-billion ‘environmentally responsible’ refinery. Does this just expose the contradictions inherent in green capitalism, or is it the result of massive public pressure and a step in the right direction? (Asking rhetorical questions makes me sound smart).
B.C. lawyers vote against TWU law school. Question: if lawyers are the scum of the earth, what does that make Christian lawyers?
Even the wolves are on island time, man: B.C.’s Island wolves are way more laid back than ‘big buggers’ on the grizzly-competing mainland.
Glove it or leave it: Burnaby cat burglar stealing gloves.
Honour Bound: Culver City Salads Goes Solar.
Women warned to steer clear of gangsters after Real Housewives of Vancouver star’s daughter injured in drive-by. Yeah, ok, but maybe stop making them so damn desirable. I mean, did you see the guy’s hair and the size of his wristwatch? I mean, woof! There’s probably something about the logic of late-stage capitalism here, but Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangster (except for the part when they shoot you).
The oracles at the Vancouver Sun can see the future and there’s absolutely nothing to worry about: Opinion: Pipeline fear factor is inappropriate. Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pipeline. Elsewhere in the same paper? Leaking natural gas wells spew methane, report warns.
There is absolutely no chance that “a wind-driven plume fire, if the gas hits an ignition source, would kill everyone within 1.6 kilometres and severe third-degree burns will be experienced for up to 3.5 kilometres”: Lions Bay council opposes LNG tankers.
I Asked You, Tyee Reader, Is My Generation Screwed?. I’ll let Paul Krugman answer that one (via Pricetags):
Well, think about global warming from the point of view of someone who grew up taking Ayn Rand seriously, believing that the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest is always good and that government is always the problem, never the solution. Along come some scientists declaring that unrestricted pursuit of self-interest will destroy the world, and that government intervention is the only answer. It doesn’t matter how market-friendly you make the proposed intervention; this is a direct challenge to the libertarian worldview. And the natural reaction is denial — angry denial. Read or watch any extended debate over climate policy and you’ll be struck by the venom, the sheer rage, of the denialists.
Related? Post-Hipster — A New Brand of (Tr)illegitimate Hu$tle. He forgot about #normcore.
Everything is going to be alright (sic): Vancouver Boomers Sitting on $163 Billion of Mortgage Free Property. Supply side economics will save us all!
I don’t know what this is, but it sounds interesting: American Federation of Musicians in NYC fines the entire Vancouver Executive Board 50K each.
by Sean Orr | The writing on the wall: Police raid house in East Vancouver, with guns drawn, on pretext of anti-pipeline graffiti. Right…it was about the graffiti and not monitoring spying on activists. Hide your “particular coloured” baseball caps, black knapsacks, black hoodies, and dark jeans, folks.
The new sex work legislation explained. So many more Q’s than A’s. Will the criminalization of clients make sex work more dangerous? Will escorts pull a Heidi Fleiss and expose all the politicians who use their services? And what will happen to the Georgia Straight’s adult classifieds section now that advertising sexual services is illegal?
What happens when you shut-down an underground safe-injection site? Vancouver Police issue warning after seven heroin overdoses today in DTES. Related: Judge grants injunction allowing doctors to prescribe heroin to group of Vancouver addicts.
Vancouver’s NPA keeping its mayoral candidate’s name secret for two more weeks. We will know who the new candidate is when the smoke from the ballots turns white.
Everyone’s a critic. It’s called Twitter. Nobody’s a critic: Who holds journalists to account in Canada In the words of a wise man named Cartman, “I’m doing the best I can…”
For example, look at how the CBC uses moral relativism and sinophobia in this headline: Marine areas better protected by China than Canada, report finds. But hey, at least we’re better than India, right?
Everyone’s talking about the weather: The Canadian Government has Forbidden Meteorologists to Discuss Climate Change. Speaking of hurricanes: Hurricanes With Female Names Kill More People, Study Finds. #yesallwomen
Tar sands and the patriarchy are irrelevant: calling for a new campus activism. In other words: “The way you talk about broad sociopolitical issues is distracting from bullshit gimmicky party events at our particular educational institution, so shut up until you can do it in a way that I like” – Reid Blakely.
World’s first off-leash cat park to open in Vancouver. When satire hurts. Like when it actually physically hurts.
This has got to be the third most popular post of all-time on Vancouver is Awesome: This is the best stop sign in the Lower Mainland. Period.
by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!
CELEBRATE | A parklet is such a clever (and adorable) concept. It’s a tiny green space (roughly the size of two street side parking spaces) that transforms a street into a gathering place. What an ingenious way to repurpose little slabs of concrete and increase connectedness and community at the same time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see these pop up at regular intervals around the city? If you’re curious about how a park the size of a few parking spaces feels, looks, and impacts a community, head to 21st & Main where The French Quarter Parklet will officially launch this Friday. “Occupying two street side parking spaces just west of Main Street on 21st Avenue, Mount Pleasant’s newest public space will provide a destination for passersby to rest, relax and ruminate while enjoying the sites and sounds of the vibrant neighbourhood…Key features include timber planters and benches” And here’s the extra awesome bit: it’s located right beside a chocolate shop. Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France sponsored the development of the Parklet and will play a big role in Friday’s celebration. To wit, Anne-Genevieve Poitras, the shop’s owner and chocolatiere, has planned an offering of French sweets to compliment the day. Expect gelato, organic cotton candy, chocolates and Liege waffles. I can imagine it now: a sun-dappled afternoon, a good book, and a fresh (chocolate dipped?) waffle on a beautifully designed bench in pint-sized Mount Pleasant park. Vancouver can be pretty great. Congratulations to all involved in making this project come to life.
Friday, June 6 | 3-9pm | 198 East 21st Ave | DETAILS
RIDE | Velopalooza is a two week-long community-run bike fun fest that goes down from June 5th to the 22nd. With close to 70 events (rides, tours and meet-ups) planned, this is a good time to get your bike out of hibernation and back on the road. This week you can participate in the Logan’s Run Scavenger Hunt, a DIY Soundbike Ride, something called Soft Serve Sunday (presented by East Van Bike Polo), or just take an easy seawall cycle.
June 5 – 22 | Various times and locations | Free | DETAILS
MAKER FAIRE | Mini Maker Faire hits the PNE Forum this weekend. A cross between a science fair, a community fair, and a farmer’s market, Maker Faire will have everything from tiny houses and Lego to Makerbrarians and all manner of robots. This is an event that celebrates our power to make, remake, and create things, so clear your schedule, snap up a few tickets and roll up your sleeves for a fun day of exhibits, demonstrations, performances, and displays. Whether its pyrotechnics or food growing or something in between, you’ll be sure to find something within that inspires!
June 7 + 8 | 10am-6pm | PNE Forum (2901 E Hastings St) | $15 | DETAILS
FASHION | Lauren and Lyndsey from local clothing company Hey Jude are opening a summer boutique pop-up this week. This team really knows what they’re doing when it comes to curating seasonal selections of ‘on trend’ clothing and accessories. Veterans of the vintage pop-up scene in Vancouver, their style hits the intersection of classic and contemporary, structured and bohemian. Expect to see silks and cottons, pastels, metallic and monochromatic neutrals, as well as one-of-a-kind accessories and jewelry pieces. Good news, boys: this time around Hey Jude will also have menswear on offer.
Now – Sunday, June 8 | 11-7pm Daily | 196 Kingsway (@ 10th Ave) | DETAILS
PAUSE | Sunday is World Oceans Day and there are a multitude of ways to consider something that covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contains 97 percent of the planet’s water. Most obviously, you can take some time out to connect with nature by heading to a beach and touching base with the real, salty thing, but you could also take a trip to the Aquarium where Dr. Peter Ross (the Aquarium’s director of the new Ocean Pollution Research Program) and Dr. Hans Schreier (professor in the Faculty of Land & Food Systems at the University of British Columbia) will talk about how we can protect our oceans (and particularly our marine mammals) from urban water pollution. Finally, consider an hour-long workshop at The Homeseader’s Emporium where there will be a homemade green-cleaning workshop that will instruct participants on how to make simple, ocean-safe cleaners for the kitchen, laundry, and bathroom. This workshop will include demos and visual aids of various recipes, complete with hands-on testing and evaluation.
LECTURE | Sun, June 8 | 6:30pm | Vancouver Aquarium | $10.50 | DETAILS
WORKSHOP | Sun, June 8 | 5:30pm | Homesteader’s Emporium | $10 | DETAILS
WILD | Although the city and people of Vancouver demonstrate a respect for (and connection to) nature that is at the core of our civic identity, we also know that this city, like any city, has dramatically altered the natural environment around it. The Museum of Vancouver is currently showing Rewilding Vancouver, an exhibition that does its best – using everything from taxidermy specimens and clever dioramas to video installations and soundscapes – to get us thinking about ways in which we shape nature and the ways in which nature shapes us. As programming to support this exhibition, the MOV is hosting an edible plant workshop this weekend. As explained by the Urban Herb School (leading the walk), “Through a combination of ancient, largely forgotten knowledge and more recent scientific discoveries, uncover the nutritional and medicinal properties of the oft-ignored plants that grow all around us: whether through the cracks in the pavement or in our parks.” Learn to identify herbs and edible plants in the Vanier Park area and take that knowledge and apply it to the parks, back alleys and green spaces around your own neighbourhoods.
Sun, June 8 | 3pm talk, 4pm walk | MOV, 1100 Chestnut | $22 | DETAILS
ITALIAN DAY | Italian Day takes over Commercial Drive this Sunday. Hooray for car free street parties! There are few things more intoxicatingly ‘Vancouver’ than a little sunshine on your face as you walk up the middle of The Drive through a gentle haze of incense, weed, and curbside barbecue smoke while you take in community group tables, food booths and live music. Add to all of that more than a few options for a good cup of coffee, a display of classic cars and the occasional impromptu bocce game and you have a solidly inspired Sunday. Celebrate everything ‘Made in Italy,’ from inventions to food. “Italy’s unmatched sense of style will be the centrepiece at this year’s event” so expect a focus on that distinctive Italian flare. Festival organizers will install a large, walk-through museum exhibit to show off some of the most profound Italian inventions (items such as the piano, radio, telephone, bicycle, eyeglasses, and – most important of all – the coffee machine). Remember to leave the car at home, as driving hereabouts will be impossible.
Sun, June 8 | 12pm-8pm | Commercial Drive (Venables to Grandview) | Free | DETAILS
GO INDIE | Music Waste is on! The annual independent art, music and comedy festival will spread across numerous city blocks to bring you close to 100 bands playing at a variety of venues – all within reasonable walking distances from one another. This year’s line-up could keep anyone solidly busy from Thursday afternoon straight through to Sunday night with short breaks for food and sleep. A series of comedy gigs, art exhibits, and performance art compliment the main event. The gigs and happenings are so numerous and so good that it’s pointless to try to narrow them down (do, however, note that Sean Orr and NEEDS play the Cobalt on Thursday night). Skip over to the Waste website for a look at the schedule and to customize your own must-see shortlist. And get this: full festival passes are only $15!
June 5-8 | Various times and venues | $15 | DETAILS
CULTURE | In The House Festival brings arts and cultural performances into the living rooms and backyards of East Vancouver homes, and not in the way you’d think (ie. not on the flatscreen). They organize Vancouver artists and performers to put on intimate live shows in multiple private residences (porches, backyards, garages, kitchens, living rooms) in the Victoria Drive and Napier area. 2014 is the 11th year of this community-driven (and hosted) event. Ticket prices range from single show tickets for adults priced at $15 to a four show pass ($50), or a full weekend pass for $95.
June 6-8 | Various times and locations around Napier & Victoria | $various | DETAILS
EAT LOCAL | Grab locally grown produce from good people at your neighbourhood farmer’s market while you still can. You won’t want to look back and wish that you had made it to more markets!
Main Street Thornton Park | Wednesday | 3pm–7pm | Main Street Station at Terminal | DETAILS
Oak Street | Wednesdays | 3-7pm | Oak and 49th | DETAILS
Yaletown | May 29 | 2-6pm | Mainland between Davie & Helmcken DETAILS
Trout Lake | May 31 | 9am-2pm | North Parking Lot, John Hendry Park | DETAILS
West End | May 31 | 9am-2pm | 1100 Block of Comox (across from Nelson Park) | DETAILS
Kits | June 1 | 10am-2pm | 2690 Larch @ 10th | DETAILS
Main Street | June 4 | 3pm-7pm | 1100 Block Main (Thornton Park) | DETAILS
Lonsdale Quay | Saturdays | 10am-3pm | East Plaza 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Van | DETAILS
Ambleside | Sundays | 10am-3pm | 1500 Bellevue (between 15th & 16th), West Van | DETAILS
Check the Globe & Mail every Thursday for our Special Weekend Edition of the Scout List
Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.
by Sean Orr | Hedge your bets: Vancouver: Superstar city or just a safe haven for global investors? Some people might say that we supersuck.
Besides, it’s all about to come crashing down, right? 45,000 Chinese millionaires left hanging as Canada ends wealth-based immigration scheme. This is a really important topic but the article’s author appears to compare Chinese immigrants to an invasive species and I honestly couldn’t keep reading with a straight face after this gem: “…just as your rage-kettle was reaching starting to whistle.” So I moved on to reading stories that matter…
Vancouver Reality Show Seeks ‘Ultra Rich Asian Girls’. I wonder if it will look anything like this: Extremely Wealthy Father and Son.
The flip side: Sanctuary City from Below: dismantling the colonial city of Vancouver. “A city that cannot even provide the most basic human need of housing and shelter to its residents is, arguably by definition, not a city of sanctuary.”
Apologists wanted: Will Vancouver Ever Be Affordable? ”Perhaps we’d care less if we didn’t care so much…” That’s a pretty absurd little piece of solipsism. Stop telling everyone that your rent is high and maybe your rent will go down? “Now, a third of Vancouverites do spend more than the recommended 30 percent of income on housing. (And almost half of renters do.) But that’s because incomes are lower…” Eureka! Because nobody ever talks about fair wages when they talk about affordability.
Canadian Forces spent virtually all of 2013 watching Idle No More protesters. “It sounds like a lot of effort and work to keep track of a group just because they hoist a banner somewhere…” Maybe that effort could be redirected to, oh…I don’t know, missing and murdered aboriginal women?
by Sean Orr | The Province newspaper weighs in on the Isla Vista shooting and misses the point: We all should fight women-hating losers. “Most men aren’t rapists, respect women and are turned off by such talk…” The point is, the shooter wasn’t a loser by society’s shallow standards. He was good looking and owned a BMW, and all his life he had been led to believe that this combo was the secret to “acquiring” women.
Related: ”The problem is that our society makes every murder/rape/harassment a special case perpetrated by a single deranged individual. The enemy is not one man; it’s ALL MEN.” - Chris Eng.
Engage tha muthafuckin’ base, yo: To win, Stephen Harper needs to bring in a new abortion law. Is this reverse psychology? Or is Alex Tsakumis totally just winging it?
Breaking: Stephen Harper starts angst-ridden screamo band! Stephen Harper prone to fits of rage and growing increasingly isolated. Now he knows what BC feels like. Now he knows what Bart Simpson feels like?
Neo-post-colonialism: Turks and Caicos premier talks tourism with Stephen Harper. “Canada needs a Hawaii…” Yeah, just without all that messy American-style imperialism.
I saw this little nugget buried in The Province the other day: Feds relax rules on how BC politicians can spend $2.76 billion of gas tax money. Cool, now local politicians can’t complain about anything ever again! Except, of course, housing the homeless and whatnot, but who cares about that?! Subway to UBC!
But also this: Who’s Lobbying in Surrey? “Vancouver, the biggest city in the province, has been silent on the concept of a lobbyist registry…” We don’t even get to see the visitor sign-in sheets.
I blame the Fraser Institute (as per usual): Letter from B.C. teacher to Christy Clark goes viral. I don’t think The Sun really understands what “going viral” means yet but that’s ok. It’s a very good letter. Also, I’m guessing Hamish Clark’s class doesn’t look like this.
Gambier as a gambit: Government sets logging sights on ‘precious jewel’ of BC forests. Of course, it would probably be the side that you can’t see from the Sea to Sky. In that case it would end up looking like one of those adorable shorn nape undercuts that the girls are loving so much nowadays. So current!
NIMBY Narc: East Vancouver neighbourhood plastered with posters imploring woman to ‘stop selling weed to our kids’. Man, that’s nothing! I once bought weed off a baby.
“Upworthy” creeping into local headlines: They installed $10,000 pillars but now the City of Burnaby wants them gone. Yeah, and what happens next will blow your mind! Good thing I have Downworthy installed on my browser.
by Sean Orr | I, for one, will not be celebrating Canada Day this year: Campground booze bans supported by most Canadians. What the article doesn’t say is that when polling companies use the words “most Canadians”, they really mean a lot of old curmudgeons who neither camp nor screen their calls to avoid having to talk to pollsters.
Related: Rex Murphy: Check your bigotry. Ah yes, the old reverse racism card. “You will find its most feverish exemplars in the very citadels of reason, the modern-day university campus.” Too bad he can’t cite a single one. “What part of the great DNA chain, specifically, houses the gene for white privilege?” It’s not DNA, Rex, but history. Remember the Residential Schools, the Head Tax, the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Internment, and the Highway of Tears? It seems as though Rex Murphy is living in a vacuum.
See also: Louis C.K. ”If you’re white and you don’t admit that it’s great, you’re an asshole.” I mean, if there’s a Buzzfeed list on white privilege, you probably don’t need a National Post editorial to counter it. And don’t even get me started on “colourblindness“…
White privilege is never being duped into being a Temporary Foreign Worker: Film company accused of foreign worker fraud, extortion.
White privilege means there will never be a covenant against you owning a house: B.C. property titles bear reminders of a time when race-based covenants kept neighbourhoods white. Yeah, but when you write a story about racism, it’s probably best that you omit unverifiable generalities such as “…in a market where most of the home-buying is done by Asians…”
“We have to admit that some of this blame on ‘foreign ownership’ overlaps with xenophobic and racist language”: Vancouver Foreign Buyers- Driving Speculation and Unaffordability? For me, white privilege is my spell-check not understanding the word “unaffordability”.
Let’s call it globalism: Real Estate goes Global. “When price-to-income or price-to-rent ratios get out of whack, it’s often a sign of a housing bubble. But the story in Vancouver is more interesting…” And by interesting they mean utterly depressing: “What hedge cities offer is social and political stability, and, in the case of Vancouver, it also offers long-term protection against climate change…” Oh, cool! I had no idea that we were immune.
Why do school teachers believe they deserve free parking? Maybe they should start charging parents for extra curricular activities instead of volunteering their time. Then we’ll see who’s really entitled.
Coupland does it again: Vancouver artist Douglas Coupland wants people to stick chewing gum on giant sculpture of his head. Sounds quirky and original, right? Wrong. Local artists Drew Shaffer and Chris von Szombathy did almost the exact same thing two years ago at Catalog Gallery.
by Sean Orr | From middle path to middle finger: Canada’s ‘Middle-Path’ Foreign Policy Days Are ‘Gone’. Yeah? No shit. Canada as a peacekeeping nation is a myth. But I guess it’s at least comforting to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
NDP Broke Rules On Taxpayer-Funded Activities. I guess that makes the NDP a real party now? Welcome to the club, guys!
RIP, peace: No Enbridge might have been the last peaceful Northern Gateway protest. Well, if what is happening in Australia is any indication: Hundreds of police to break Bentley blockade. Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Los Angeles Oil Spill Sends 10,000 Gallons Of Crude Into City Streets. And just when you thought LA couldn’t get any greasier…
Political tool: Vancouver mother gives small daughter sign at anti-oil protest reading “Fuck Enbridge”. “Nothing makes me angrier than adults using children as political tools,” writes blogger BC Blue (while doing exactly that).
Pass the petro-buck: Vancouver to ask federal government for referendum on Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. “The way things are in Vancouver right now, if we were to hold one during the municipal election, oil money—big oil money—would be going in and supporting one side or another…” Because, we all know how easy it is to pay off city council, right? *cough* developers *cough* And because big-oil has totally not already bought the Feds, right?
Crap College: Capilano University seizes instructor’s sculpture of president with poodle. What is it about poodles that make Vancouverites so mad?
Slumdog revisited: Creepy or misunderstood? ‘Beautiful People’ Facebook page goes voyeur on streets of Vancouver. Oh, but it’s ok. It’s just to promote a Wellness Travel Centre… “So we were thinking why not create a page that we could share it to everyone how beautiful Vancouver, B.C. is! And get more tourists to come and visit us. Make Vancouver, B.C. a must-go place on earth! [sic]” Great, just what we need…
Taken for granted: Beatroute gets denied a grant because it doesn’t charge people to read it. Perhaps that’s why they needed a grant.
by Sean Orr | RIP, Wreck Beach: Wreck Beach goes the full Mountie: RCMP to erect tent at famous nude enclave this summer. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that the disappointed naturalists don’t go The Full Doukhobor in protest (and by that I don’t mean put their clothes back on).
Did Sun News Reporter Faith Goldy Compare Abortion To Rape? Good thing it doesn’t say “reporter” on her Twitter profile, because she definitely isn’t one.
Here’s another Sun News “reporter”, this time trolling a protest: Ezra Levant provokes outrage at anti-oil pipeline rally. “China is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. And you don’t care.” Wrong. We obviously care enough to oppose a pipeline that would end up shipping bitumen to China. His pathetic rejoinder (and this is typical Levant) steers to the personal: “I just think you’re a bunch of morally preening, self-righteous, luxurious, rich white kids.” Hmm, so because we want to mitigate our impact on the environment, we must therefore be utopian teetotallers? Wrong again.
It’s gotten so bad that every time I look at nature I think it’s an ad for a pipeline: Canada’s $207,000 oil sands ad: Putting a price on deception. Canadians would rather drink an Iced Cap than think about the ice caps.
B.C. maintains AAA credit rating with Moody’s but outlook stays negative. Ah yes, Moody’s, who “gave the same rating to toxic mortgage pirates responsible for 2008 financial collapse”. - NDP Country.
There’s not mush-room for people like this: ‘You should have gone to jail’: B.C. Fed boss outraged former mushroom farmer is trying to ‘sleaze out’ of fine.
What’s THAT book doing in the library? Dr. Seuss among authors targeted for removal. “What are we, China?” We need to update Godwin’s Law to this: “As any discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving China increases.”
No tipping allowed at new Parksville restaurant. Customers are also invited to be Australian, arrive in groups of 10 without reservations, invent their own bizarre menu items, and drink as much hot water with lemon as they please.
Bonus: Larry Kent’s Hastings Street from 1962.
by Sean Orr | Living wage required for Metro Vancouver rises to $20.10 per hour. “These people won’t be able to own a house, save for retirement or save for education”. Property Virgins for life!
I’ve always wanted to live in Mount Pleasant Uptown SoMa Midtown. “Midtown is an ideal home base. This is an honest neighbourhood; a place with a noticeable lack of big-box stores and designer dog jackets…” Um, you know…except for Bow Wow Haus Dog Boutique & Small Dog Daycare not even half a block away. “But you really shouldn’t take advertising as gospel…” Ok.
Not sure why nobody cares about the wholesale gentrification of Granville Street, but it’s almost complete: Low-income Clifton Hotel residents face evictions. “What do you expect?”, owner Abolghasem Abdollahi is quoted as saying. “I’m not a charity…” Nope, you are in fact what is colloquially known in Vancouver as “a scum-sucking slumlord.”
Downtown Eastside SRO units become pricey microlofts. “Are young professionals being left out of debates around affordable housing in Vancouver?” Or, won’t someone please think of the
children poor yuppies?
I, for one, am sick of being just a regular millionaire: Seven secrets of self-made multimillionaires. Thanks awfully, Globe & Mail!
Vancouver will be the first BC school district to charge teachers for parking. Wait, teachers can afford to drive? Next they’ll be complaining that they don’t get paid for extra-curricular activities…
Mayor weighs in on CP Rail possibly running trains along Arbutus. “Robertson adds it would be a ‘huge concern’ if dangerous cargo were to be carried on the tracks given it runs through the middle of several residential neighbourhoods.” Yeah, man! Keep that shit in East Van!
Bear attack at Suncor site kills 1 worker. Yes, even our bears are against the tarsands…
Bonus: Donate to Megaphone.