On More Complaints from Kitsilano and Scapegoating the Poor for Vancouver’s Ills

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.

Call for Death Review Panel in light of unprecedented increase in homeless deaths. I can’t believe it’s 2019 and we are still dealing with this shit. How many politicians have pledged to end this crisis? They know what to do. Do it.

Clearly the loss of life is due to faulty donation bins and not, you know, the failure of late capitalism to ensure the basic needs of every member of the population is met vis-a-vis the efficient distribution of wealth and resources: Revamped donation bins return to Delta.

Meanwhile, the new editor hack-in-chief of the Sun newspapers actually said that “Fentanyl may be the best thing to happen to addicts” and “There is zero point keeping people alive just to suffer in perpetual misery”.

Of course, it is much easier to dehumanize and strip all dignity away from a drug user than to allocate funding to keep them alive. It’s something that settler-colonialism does quite well. From this asshole calling for the genocide of drug users, to Goebbels comparing Jews to rats, to Trump calling undocumented immigrants animals, to Maple Ridge mayor suggesting homeless people are ‘raping and pillaging’ his city. Imagine creating a perfect storm of conditions – austerity, war on drugs, the commodification of housing, astronomical rents, frozen welfare rates, frozen wages, endless debt, untreated trauma – and then calling people who self-medicate rapists and pillagers.

While this Reddit post is a little more nuanced, it still has the same tone: The DTES has broken me. It’s fascinating that this guy would open a high end men’s shop in Chinatown, where seniors are being displaced at record numbers, and then complain about property crime. It’s like buying a run down mansion in Detroit for 20k and complaining that it gets broken into a lot. I’ve worked and lived down here for 12 years. Yes, it’s a struggle sometimes. It’s only allayed by having empathy for people who are clearly struggling more than I am. Here’s another point of view, from Marcel Rambo:

I just realized this is for real, right now, ongoing colonialism. These people’s expectation that state security forces should protect them from those whose neighbourhoods they’ve invaded is an expression of something really central to the Canadian experience.

Speaking of colonialism: Kitsilano residents hope First Nation will consult them on massive development plan. I can’t believe this isn’t satire. The incredible tone-deafness of these people is comical at best and just rage-inducingly ignorant at worst. How dare these injuns develop the tiny parcel of land that we didn’t outright steal from them. Wow.

Don’t read the comments: ‘People are worth it’: City of Vancouver to study controversial ‘poor doors’. It always amazes me how people will complain about their tax dollars giving the working poor a glimmer of a respectable life is met with such scorn. Boo hoo, you pay taxes and they get people off the street. Be mad at the people who don’t even pay taxes and hide their money in offshore tax havens. Poor people don’t make you poor!

Actual satire of the day: High Density Housing Coming To Spanish Banks.

We’re number one! New ranking says rodent population most robust in Vancouver. I was going to make a crack about rats and the housing crisis but then I remembered I did that all the way back in 2007.

Long read of the day: The Curious Tale of the Salish Sea Feet.

Bonus: A Netflix Nature Series Says to Viewers: Don’t Like What You See? Do Something About It.

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