Tea & Two Slices: On Things Christy Clark Won’t Do And The Tackiness Of Suburbia…

by Sean Orr | Vancouver is world’s third most unaffordable place to live. Ha ha, this is awesome. We were just talking about this in the comments section of another T&2S. I believe one of the statements made was “Vancouver is far from the most unaffordable city in the world”. Wrong!

Vancouver vs. suburbs: What homes you can get for around $750,000. I don’t know if they did this on purpose but all the houses in the suburbs are depressing and tacky. Reverse white flight!

KK on Twitter: “Christy Clark addressing Vancouver’s arts and culture community promises to a) restore arts cuts b) seek new year over year arts funds”. Hmm, that’s cool. But will she unfreeze minimum wage? Restore welfare? Restore family services? Reinstate elected reps to Translink? Call a public inquiry into BC Rail? Reinstate the freeze on tuition? Stop giving subsidies to the oil and gas industry? Take the BC pension plan off the stock market? De-privatize BC Ferries and fire David Hahn? Cancel TILMA? Reinstate the carbon tax? Cancel the Enbridge pipeline through unceded territory? Create a missing women’s task force? Create a mental health task force? Halt the Gateway Project? Fix the electoral process? Reinstate funding to extra curricular sports? Relinquish private power licenses on our rivers? Instate a housing legacy? Stop the export of raw logs? Put a moratorium on fish farms? Nope. Will the NDP? Nope.

Vancouver man gets life in prison for 1975 U.S. murder of aboriginal activist. This when one look into the man’s eyes would tell you he was innocent. Judging by recent comments I’m going to get called out for saying that, but god damn, I used to serve this gentle warrior coffee everyday. This is our Leonard Peltier and it breaks my already broken heart.

With courage, we can fix EI. Or with piles of cash. That might help too.

Hate Campbell? Don’t worry: Join the BC Liberals anyway. A regional roundup of election reports.

Strike could disrupt real estate transactions. Errbody wants a piece of dat pie.

There are 18 comments

  1. yeah lets fund everything and flush the economy down the toilet at the same time with fiscal 101 courtesy of Sean “mony bags” orr financial planning. hows that financial plannng of yours working for you Sean, deep pockets of cash and assets or a phone plan that is pre paid and fare jumping on the LC still.

  2. Hey grinderman, undestructable and now valentine…the deal is one troll per IP, OK? Shit’s getting tired.

  3. They let us down so badly with that Trial.

    Instead of hearing the evidence given under oath, as to how a big railway (3rd largest in Canada) could be snatched from public ownership and dropped into private pockets,

    and after waiting 7 years to hear why police raided the BC Legislature on
    December 28, 2003,

    what did we get?

    We got an invoice for $17.3 million dollars and not much else.

    This isn’t right. Rumour has it that “they” will try to destroy all the court documents, which would mean we’re locked out of our own history … we’ll never know how we lost this priceless asset, or how to get it back.

    But, we can change that by means of a Public Inquiry into all aspects of the tainted sale of BC Rail. A Public Inquiry can do what the BC Rail Pollitical Corruption Trial failed to do.

    I hope others will speak up for a Public Inquiry — into the whole story of who decided to get rid of this vital lifeline, under what terms, and especially how we can get it back. (They say a deal worked out illegally is no deal at all.)

    Visit http://bctrialofbasi-virk.blogspot.com to talk more about this.

  4. OK so let me just sift through that mess of words for a moment. Are you arguing that the aforementioned list of things liberal leadership candidates might rescind would hurt the economy? If so then you are by proxy saying that BC has a strong economy at the moment. But compared to the NDP, the economy is in fact worse. The average annual growth in jobs between 2001 and 2009 was just 1.7 per cent, compared to 1.9 per cent from 1991 to 2000. The NDP left with a balanced budget, the Liberals enacted balanced budgets into legislation, then broke their own law. In fact, by 2013, the B.C. Liberals will have presented seven deficit budgets, including the largest budget deficit on record. We have the worst child poverty rate in Canada. We have the most EI applicants. Between 2001 and 2009, B.C. was a have-not province six times, receiving a total of $2.4 billion in equalization payments. Between 1991 and 2000, B.C. received only one equalization payment, of $125 million. Between 2001 and 2009, B.C. was the only province in Western Canada to have negative growth in exports.

  5. Sean, you’re a little detached from reality. You seem immediately willing to fund each and every social service imaginable, overly subsidice certain acitivities that repeatedly run at a loss and alienate those industries that are hugely responsible for filling Victoria’s coffers.

    I’m in total agreement with you on issues suchs as raising the minimum wage and taking genuine proactive measures to address certain areas that are black spot on our province, but for most of it, you don’t have any logical way to PAY for all of this.

    And going after the oil & gas industry is just stupid.

  6. If I’m detached from reality how is that I pulled a paragraph of statistics? Those weren’t opinions, those were all things the Liberals did or didn’t do, and now our economy is worse off. Also not sure if you read all the way through but at the end I joke that NEITHER party will do these things.

  7. And thank God for it, that’s a recipe for disaster. You’re quick to villify the oil & gas and mining industry, but what else then do you propose that our BC economy actually produce and export? Lululemon work out pants? Short of legalizing marijuana (which neither party will do either, but should) we better get used to the sight of tankers in English Bay & pipelines through the interior. If you want social benefits, embrace the industries that can create enough realisitic revenue for government to subsidize the arts, create social housing, and foot the bill to instigate a positive experience in BC.

    While your hopes and wishes for a better and healthier BC are great, and I and many others want the same thing, you have to also realize that it’s never giong to be happen because of charity, ideology or simply because it’s the right thing to do. Change happens when dollars are available, and only then.

    BC has been, is, and will continue to be a commodity economy in the grand sense, and it just bothers me when good-intentioned individuals fail to see that what they rail against is often the support system which makes even the complaining possible.

  8. Yeah because the Oil and Gas industry has done sooooo much for Canada. Oh and, this isn’t just regular oil and gas, this is the worst environmental operation in our history, but whatever, that’s just for complainers. What I’d like to talk about is how much the Oil and Gas industry actually pay, when they are subsidized through the teeth. Oh but wait, sorry, you are right. They do contribute a lot, to the campaign coffers of Campbel, Stelmach, and Harper.

    Did we need the oil and gas industry when we HAD ALL THOSE THINGS BEFORE? I’m not just coming up with a crazy wish list. this is all things that the current administration has done, and we’re worse off.

  9. Please enlighten me. Being a self-deluded pro-energy/mining philistine that I am, help me see which industry has done more for the quality of life in Canada, and BC, than Mining, Forestry or Oil & Gas?

  10. Oh, I don’t know, Tourism? Shit, Starbucks has probably done more for the ‘quality of life in Canada’. See here I was thinking that by giving huuuuuuuge tax breaks to Oil and Gas we are sort of cancelling out any good that may come from it. And with the HST giving an exemption on fuel, the carbon tax has been nullified. Then there is the future costs that these industries like to externalize- a wee thing called the environment. Think Syncrude who were recently found guilty of such crimes. Then there are those Canadian companies benefiting immensely from lithium extraction in the hills of Afghanistan. Or companies like Anvil Mining which faces court case for alleged role in the killings of 70 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And who can forget Bre-X? In fact, “A report obtained by MiningWatch Canada reveals that Canadian mining companies are implicated in four times as many violations of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as mining companies from other countries”. Mining, like real estate, relies on pure speculation. I also like the description that, after all these subsidies, the lil benevolent oil and gas industry is helping heat our homes, when we are in fact exporting energy to the US. I like how you threw in forestry there. We export raw logs to the states and import the finished product. A simple change to the stumpage rate would create more jobs here. But then again, what do I know? I’m just a blogger….


  11. What’s the relative size of the tourism industry as opposed to resource extraction? Not that I expect you know, but go and find out. After that, you should (ideally) also be familiar with something called the Multiplier Effect a la the one and only Mr. J.M. Keyens. So on a comparative basis, the multiplier effect of revenue from resource extraction is larger by several orders of magnitude than anything else in the True North Strong and Free. It’s effects on the quality of life? Tax-revenue. How about that mild Canadian recession for starters (we didn’t weather it because of strong banks, we weathered it because the Loonie is a petro-dollar linked to commodity price strength). What about the growth of each and every single city in Western Canada for the last 50 years. With growth comes, income and demand for services, with demand for services come entrepreneurs and job growth. First comes resource and urban growth, then comes Starbucks.


    And you can quit with the huge subsidy argument for oil & gas. Some additional terms you should familiar yourself with, EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested) NEG (Net Energy Gain), the Built Environment and Jevon’s Paradox. Are Oil & Gas subsidies politicised? Absolutely, I’m not naive. But what industry should be subsidized in its place given the above green-energy-myth busting realities? Word to the wise, take a long hard look at new application of Coal and Natural Gas in a new world demand dynamic.

    While you’re at it, you should define for yourself the difference between Mining, and Mining Exploration. Mining Exploration is a high-risk/high-reward business that and an industry that is rife with fraudsters, malcontents and genuine ill-intentioned people, which is the majority of the faults identified by such bodies as Mining Watch. And enough with the Bre-X. Until you can say what the V stands for in TSX.V, please cut it out (and on the Bre-X note, look up another term: National Instrument 43-101). You have to be wary when you lump Mining Exploration in with genuine Mining, because generalizations, aside from being dangerous, are a sure mark of a speaker (or blogger) who doesn`t completely know what he`s talking about.

    And generally speaking, mining exploration (or junior mining) is David Baines beat for the Vancouver Sun, a writer I’m sure you’d love because he exposes more of the industry than you could ever imagine.

    And as far as how much you dislike oil & gas, it goes a lot further heating our lil`homes. How much oil went into producing the computer you’re typing on? It wasn’t made in Chilliack ya know, and they didn’t strap it to an albatross in China to deliver it here. The plastic of the keys? Those aren’t lentil-based. What about the copper that conveys each message? They didn’t mine it or process it with manpower.

    Sean, you’re a smart guy and an engaging writer, but the simple historical, economical and practical fact of the hydrocarbon atom is that it was meant to be burnt. Nothing is more easily transferred as a transport fuel, nothing is as easily moved, nothing is as easily brought to market as quickly, and nothing gives of such an inordinate amount of energy to move the engines and machines of modern civilization as oil & gas.

    If you think about it facts, and not the rhetoric, it`s quite simple that based on our population size (equal to Calfornia) and the lack of the industry-leading and far-reaching companies that California boasts, we don’t merit the infrastructure and quality of life we have. Thank God for our resource-industry, which you benefit from every single day.

  12. Ugh, I’m not sure how you managed to monopolize the argument, but then what do I know about monopoly? I always lost at it.

    But I must concede, that looking through the rosy lens of neo-classical economics the carbon atom is a blessing, and I’m not naive enough to think we are going to change how we measure “growth”. If you count progress by only adding and never subtracting, if you count progress by externalizing all other cost factors, if you count progress by GDP, then you are totally right. It would be absurd to think otherwise. But that doesn’t mean we are measuring progress correctly. There are no demerits for the kind of activity that Canadian Mining Companies get into.

    I think inherent in you argument, other than a healthy dose of relativism, is a smugness that you know more about this particular subject than myself. I will concede this immediately, yet, this is not a statement that benefits your stance but rather an indictment on the obscure and abstract nature of an autistic economy which rewards oil spills, cancer, and war. Do you think they make economics accessible to the every day Canadian? And because I may not know what the V in TSX-V (I’d say ventures but I have no idea) I’m not merited to discuss such a topic? That sounds pretty elitist.

    But therein lies the rub. The entire thing is elitist, isn’t it? Sure, I’ve never read Principle of Economics by Mankiw, but I’ve read Voltaire’s Bastards: “Rationalization: A transitive verb meaning to close, to shut down, to make redundant, to go bankrupt, to fire. … Rationalization is to economics what bleeding was to eighteenth-century medicine”. And so, the market fundamentalist goes on the defense. Rabid and foaming at the mouth, calling for the beatification of Walmart. Everything to him is black and white. If I present a long list of items to be brought up for debate with a Liberal Leadership contender, I must therefore be some anti-industrialist Luddite calling for the destruction of capitalism. I must be enlightened! Oh the glory of the Copper Wire and the Plastic Keys that allow me to tell you this! To him, I am ungrateful. Next thing you know I’ll be asking for Christmas Day off! Bah!

  13. Neo-classical economics has nothing to do with realizing the utility of the hydrocarbon molecule, and I never mentioned, or discount, what Friedman et al lump as ‘externalities’. Quite frankly, I can`t stomach most neo-classical economists because they make the fatal and hubristic mistake of assuming that greed, unchecked, is a positive social force. Greed unchecked leads to slavery, and more philosophy courses in the Chicago School curriculum would help neo-classicists see that. Moreover, I agree that if you define “growth” as always good, you discount clear and present defects. Not everything that grows unabated is healthy, case in point, cancer. I’m a begrudging Keynesian if you must know, which according to Tea Party rhetoric would make me a pinko commie.

    But I stand accused of being a relativist, and I can’t disagree with you. Hydrocarbons are the best cost-benefit proposition for an energy starved planet. The costs are huge, geopolitical strike, social injustice, environmental degradation. But the benefits are equally, and I would argue, greater. An elevated world working class (in the West at least) that has access to amenities only dreamed of as recently as 50 years ago such as accessible world travel, tropical produce delivered in winter, mass communications (which before you contest are hugely dependent on coal-fired electrical power).

    Regarding smugness, I`ll say it`s a parley to your legendary sarcasm. We each choose our below-belt tactics. But as far as claiming that the industry rewards mismanagement and dangerous behaviour, that isn`t the case. The Macondo disaster was, and is, disgusting, but events such as these are the exception, not the rule. And as far as its accessibility to the everyday Canadian, 90% of major mining and energy companies are public companies, available for ownership by everyday Canadians after a quick visit to a brokerage house and the purchase of Company shares, moreover, Annual General Meetings are open to anyone wishing to express their opinion. These are public companies.

    “Rationalization is to economics what bleeding was to eighteenth-century medicine”…I agree, but I don’t contest it either, so that makes me a self-proclaimed hypocrite I assume. But what is the superior alternative? Collectivization for enlightened group-interest? The free-market is a nasty thing, but it also allows dreamer, workers and the gifted to pursue innovative creations. The free market enables people with savings (capital) to meet with people with ideas and talent (innovation/entrepreneurship) resulting in social monstrosities like fake tits and social wonders like micro-finance. It’s like democracy, not nearly perfect, but the best system we got going.

    That said, I’d be on the picket lines with you to battle the co-opting of the democratic process by private interest finance, which is the scariest thing to come out of America in the last two years with the massive consolidation, and power, in the financial sector. I think you and I are closer in ideology than we both suspect, but I`m a leftist that sleeps in conservative pajamas. I appreciate items for debate, but to debate nonsensical propositions like subsidising patently Sisyphean endeavours isn`t just counterproductive, it`s ignorant and damaging.

    And as far as Ralston goes, my favourite piece of his is `The Unconscious Civilization`, right along with Neil Postman`s `Amusing Ourselves to Death` and Chris Hedges `Empire of Illusion`, plus your standard Chomsky fare. I`d actually really love to have a beer with you…if I can keep my free-market mouth foam in check that is.