On Blocking Vancouver’s Bridges and Clueless Arguments For More Luxury Rentals

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.

Progressive councillors who voted against new rental development in Vancouver need to get their priorities straight. How many times are the YIMBY’s going to trot out this tired false dichotomy? We aren’t voting against rental housing, we’re voting against the wrong kind of rental housing. “One senses she won’t rest until the revolution happens, capitalism falls and the only buildings going up are for social housing.” You say that like it’s a bad thing…

But seriously, pandering to the market with developer incentives isn’t working. They just aren’t building units that people can afford. That’s because the goal of market redevelopment is to increase value for investors and not to provide housing. I’ve said it countless times: increasing supply at the top level does zero for affordability. Affordable rental housing is nearly nonexistent for minimum wage workers and yet the vacancy rate for families that can afford $3,800/month is 8.7%! The argument that voting against supply for the middle class is bad for affordability is absurd!

Here’s the best commentary I’ve read on this trashy hit piece of an op-ed:

“Finally I got around to reading this piece of trash. I can say it was even worse than I imagined.

First, right out of the gates, Tanner comes out with a flat out falsehood to justify more development: “the minute these buildings go up, renters are lined up to get in them.”

This is a completely made up Donald Trump style “alternative fact”. There are two giant new rental towers on my street. One is virtually empty, another has had units sitting empty for over two years since it was built.

Second, there is this  “I admire Ms. Swanson…
But if she wanted to remain an activist, she shouldn’t have run for council. You ought not to be a politician if you don’t care about all your constituents.”

The message is clear: Jean Swanson is unfit for office because she is a threat to development industry profits, and prioritizes the needs of the vulnerable over the preferences of the privileges.

I could go on, but this is a flat out disgrace to journalism. It is an attack on Swanson, and anyone else who believes in prioritizing the needs of vulnerable people over industry profit.”

Also, scroll down on this Best of Vancouver article to find out why why rents are high in “for-profit affordable housing” and why Vancouver renters cannot expect council to adopt vacancy control.

Remember this anytime someone shrieks about taxes going up to pay for basic services: Taxes fall for most B.C. households under NDP rule, according to Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. This is an older article but I missed it the first time around — it clearly shows that taxing the 1% works for the rest of us. Because there is no way the rich should pay lower taxes than you.

Remember this any time a reporter asks how we’re going to pay for something: Jagmeet Singh turns table on reporter who asks if he’s writing a blank cheque for First Nations. “Would you be asking this question if Vancouver did not have clean drinking water?” Amazing.

Of course, nobody talks about the blank cheque we’re giving to oil and gas companies: Canada’s fossil fuel subsidies amount to $1,650 per Canadian. It’s got to stop.

Bombshell: Andrew Weaver stepping down as B.C. Green Party leader. If there’s one good thing about this it’s watching conservatives jizz their pants thinking this will trigger an election.

Meanwhile, local Green councillor Pete Fry doesn’t think blocking the Burrard Bridge is a good idea because it might, um, make people in cars angry: Climate activists block Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge, dozens arrested in worldwide demonstrations. “Fry, however, stresses the importance of balance, adding it’s vital to ‘address the urgency of the climate emergency while also not upsetting just regular commuters and folks, and making sure that they’re coming along with us and that they’re not in an antagonistic position.'” Yeah, you don’t get to decide how people do non-violent civil disobedience, Pete. That’s just not up for negotiation.

Trick or treat: Anti-abortion goodie bags distributed at Chilliwack parade. As gross as this is, something else caught my eye: “There are no abortion clinics in the Fraser Valley.”

Community announcement: Stolen Motorized Wheelchair. “I know times are desperate, but this is my only mobility…” It’s remarkable that this person manages to have compassion and awareness of economic instability in light of this. I doubt I’d be as understanding. Let’s find this wheelchair!

Bonus: The Woke Will Always Break Your Heart.

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