On Finding More Ways to Make Developers Happy and Living With Less Culture Than Yogurt

Tea & Two Slices is a long-running local news round-up by NEEDS frontman and veteran dishwasher Sean Orr, who lives and works in Gastown, deeply aware of his privilege.

What. Does. Affordable. Mean? CMHC sets target to make housing affordable for every Canadian by 2030. CMHC out here thinking they’re Oprah. “You get a loan! You get a loan!” We don’t want your fucking loans! We want houses! “Over the next year, the federal housing corporation plans to give out some $2.4 billion in loans and funding as part of the strategy and to build 8,300 units, including 3,800 rental units, and repair 15,000 more”. As usual, the middle class, developers and construction companies cash in, and without rental prices tied to the unit, so do the people who flip the units after a year.

Oh so close: Jean Swanson: A brief moment of sanity at city hall—why my tiny amendment could have made big difference for renters.

When the original tenants move out, rents are allowed to increase as much as the market will bear. In exchange for these dubious benefits, the city waives the development cost levy charges of almost $800,000 that would usually help pay for water, sewer, and other amenities that we won’t get now.

Let’s all move to New West: Vancouver renoviction protections will be weaker than planned. Spell check still doesn’t think renoviction is word. Neither, apparently, does the City of Vancouver.

Maple Ridge Mayor asks B.C. for $60M to pay for housing, costs for tent city. Why now? Is it to try and make the BC NDP look bad? Or is it because you yourself look bad for turning the heat off to the camp on one of the coldest days of the year?

One step forward: City and province open doors to housing project focused on Vancouver’s racialized people experiencing homelessness.

Two steps back: Indigenous business leaders claim racial profiling at West End Moxie’s.

Exhibit B: Teacher shown door after Christian school discovers she had sex ‘outside of a heterosexual marriage’. Organizations that discriminate in violation of our laws should be ineligible for public funding. No exceptions. Seriously, where’s the Free Speech crowd when you need them?

Oh, here they are, already deflecting, parsing and apologizing on behalf of the host of their next event…

Separatist billboard campaign asks if Saskatchewan should leave Canada. Yes, the “people of Saskatchewan” should leave the land to the people whose land it actually is. “We have a real culture here in western Canada.” Oh, really? C’mon, yogurt has more culture than us. Let’s be honest.

Shock troops of the ruling class: Police in Canada Are Tracking People’s ‘Negative’ Behavior In a ‘Risk’ Database. Why stop there? Have you heard about China’s scary social credit plan?

‘I feel cheated’: Big telcos hike prices for $60 plans with 10 GB, sparking complaints. “The big three telcos offered the deals in late 2017 after newer competitor, Freedom Mobile started marketing a $60 plan with 10 GB in an attempt to acquire their customers”. ‘But….open markets with greater competition will make things fairer-ish!’ they said. Ugh. Can we nationalize big telco now?

Speaking of nationalisation, here’s Dock Currie on the embattled SNC Lavalin:

If a monopoly firm is alleged to be sacrosanct, if it is such a sacred cow to the economic functioning of the State that it may not in any substantive way be held accountable for criminal behaviour by an independent judiciary, then the State ought to have a controlling stake in that inviolable and vitally necessary monopoly concern. Whether this is accomplished by public ownership, in whole or in part, or some other means, if the firm is too big to fail, and failure turns upon the State granting this concern in effect absolute immunity from any actual legal sanction whatsoever, apart from a fine which can merely be factored into the cost of doing business, under the blackmail of ‘jobs,’ then it seems that the State ought to have such control over the concern as would be deemed necessary to ensure that it acts in the public interest and violates no legal sanction.

Bonus: Teens hailed as heroes for rescuing young boy dangling from Grouse Mountain chairlift.

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