On Developers Learning New Tricks and Talkative Politicians Still Sucking

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.

It seems like Kerry Jang’s flaccid definition of affordability (basically: ‘affordable is something you can afford’) has gone national: It’s not an ‘affordability crisis,’ it’s a class conflict

Why do I hate the term? Let me count the ways. It’s sheer euphemism. It’s like calling torture “discomfort.” It’s like someone kidnapping you, swiping your home and all that matters to you, dropping you in a wilderness, and saying you have an affordability problem.

Yup. It’s called neoliberalism and it’s destroying the world. It’s also why the media isn’t talking about taxing the rich. Maybe money should come with an expiry date so people stop hoarding it. Instead, sadly, our next federal election will be about which leader sucks less.

Speaking of affordability…sorry, I mean class conflict: Gas prices in B.C. appear ‘choreographed’ : BCUC. Holy shit, it costs B.C. consumers $490 million per year! And yet, why do I get the feeling that this is the rule and not the exception? And why do I get the feeling that the ensuing populist rage calling for lower gas prices will actually be the last thing we should do?

Here’s a good take, this time from Shawn Vulliez of the SRSLY WRONG podcast:

The right is going to use gas price anxiety to undermine ecosocialist politics for as long as gas is used. It might seem like a contradiction for ecologically minded people to argue for a decrease in gas prices, but it makes sense when you understand:

1) the ecological and social crises are connected. income inequality is a driver of climate change, and the people who are benefiting from the crisis are the ultra rich, the rest of us are expected to pay

2) the oligopoly that is totally “not fixing” gas prices is pushing up costs intentionally to undermine climate politics, and gouge the working poor for huge paycheques

So you might be saying, aren’t high gas prices good? because they push people out of cars? well, sorta. except the stick doesn’t work if the car is serving an essential need. poor people who need cars will rack up credit card debt rather than cut driving hours. if prices are going to be this high, that extra 13c/ litre should be tax revenue, not profit for billionaires.

Yup. Make transit free. Nationalize the industry. Prosecute the people who bet the future of our children on quarterly profits.

If they fix the price of bread and now gas, what else are they “choreographing”? And what else can we nationalize? This is a good start: Lower cellular fees and better coverage for all Canadians.

This is also super important. Fill out this survey and tell the BC government that this is a good idea: Paid Domestic and Sexual Violence Leave in B.C..

Oh, for fucks sake: Vancouver loses much-loved pizzeria as gentrification marches down Main Street. Nate Geary fires one last shot across the bow:

“Landlords are looking for the most money they can get, and that means you have to live with demolition clauses and increases in rents regularly … and that’s why you see more restaurant groups. When you’re a single shop like we were, it’s difficult to make that work,” he said.

Meanwhile: Vancouver Should Stop Subsidizing Developers’ Artwashing and Protect Creative Spaces. I’m not too proud to admit I was pretty wrong about this in the past. In fact, it goes even farther than this according to Mitra Mansour-Tehrani:

The public art committee didn’t vote to transfer the 1.5 million to VMF, which was painstakingly strategically raised over several years with the intention of giving back to creative spaces because so many of them were/are endangered. This deal was done behind closed doors without proper ‘democratic’ procedures. VMF should be forced to return the funds back with interest.

But this is something I’ve always been right about: Real Cities Give Their People Places to Pee. An important issue, for sure, but this is just creepy: “A toilet comes out of the ground, and you touch it with your skin”. I can’t unthink this:

Bonus: Nardwuar vs. Jagmeet Singh.

There are 3 comments

  1. I look forward to the exciting, vibrant future when all restaurants and bars in Vancouver are dank, soulless holes owned by the Donnelly Group…

  2. Is someone shooting blindfolded, again? An independent pizzeria bought an independent pizzeria (presumably the latter was poorly run). There is no ‘loss’ just a name & menu change.

    Meanwhile, taxes have been skyrocketing for many years, the vast majority going to pay, perks & pensions of the local gov’t bureaucrats, a class of which has been outrageously & grossly enriched compared to other working groups, gets a free pass. In the US, the out-sized costs of gov’t workers has bankrupted cities and threatens the finances of several states.

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