On Sesame Street and Leaving the Fate of Our Broken City to the Clueless

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.

Homebuilding horror stories: We’ve all heard them, but is quality actually dropping? This is what you get when homes are built by people who will never be able to live in them.

Broken record: Vancouver city planners endorse $1 million developer subsidy for East Hastings market rental project. This is corporate welfare. This is disgusting. “The project will charge market rates starting on the day of the public hearing, which has yet to be scheduled”. Remember, market rates are averaged across the entire city, so these are the same market rates as Dunbar…but for East Hastings. Also remember that without rent control these market rates are meaningless. Also remember that 50 percent of Vancouver renter households earn less than $50,000 a year and that “market rates” mean a one bedroom is only affordable if you make $70,000 to $79,999 a year. Rental 100 is a sham and only non-market housing will help with affordability. Instead of a million dollar subsidy we should be building our own. I can’t wait for the media to slam the two councillors who will vote against this even though it passes.

Speaking of the media:

While it’s kind of cute it also underscores how tone-deaf the media have been on this crisis.

Speaking of which, this article has a pretty patronizing tone to it: Why is Vancouver the only major city in Canada without an auditor general? I mean, it’s a crisis. We need to take drastic action.

And remember it’s a crisis of inequality that is directly tied to the climate emergency, the rise in fascism, and the opioid epidemic… ‘Sesame Street’ tackles opioid addiction with muppet Karli. This is terrible of me but I can’t help think about Dave Chappelle’s take on Sesame Street.

We need to use ‘lateral thinking’ to solve Vancouver’s housing problems. This kind of neo-liberal “thinking outside the box” triangulation comes across as just wanting to hear yourself talk, and coming from Geller that’s quite likely. It’s the same kind of techno-utopian thinking that leads to start-ups inventing roommates. We know what we need to do and co-living isn’t it.

This fight is about who can live in Vancouver and who we value: Federation of Labour calls for boycott on four Vancouver hotels in support of striking workers. Aaron Ekman with the best comment:

Should be the easiest boycott to enforce in history.

Who pays money to stay at a hotel where the folks who’re supposed to change sheets between guests are outside playing drums on a picket line?

Ewwwwww.

Meanwhile: 99 per cent of Metro Vancouver bus, SeaBus workers vote in favour of strike mandate. Weird, turns out not everybody wants to work for 8 hours straight without being able to go to the bathroom.

Remember, paying people who serve us has never wrecked the local economy: NYC’s $15 minimum wage hasn’t brought the restaurant apocalypse — it’s helped them thrive.

Why do fascists hate getting called fascists so much? Have they tried not being a fascist? ‘Fascist’: Vandals strike People’s Party of Canada election signs in Okanagan. Says the people defacing our entire election.

Have you tried not hosting extremists? RCMP called in after pushing and shoving breaks out at controversial UBC event. From the UBC Students Against Bigotry: “We didn’t oppose last night’s event at the University of British Columbia because it was ‘controversial’. We opposed it because it was a neo-nazi event intended to normalize and legitimize far-right extremism and hate speech on our campus”.

B.C., Washington and Oregon fast-tracking high-speed rail corridor across Pacific Northwest. Might as well fast-track 5 year border bans while we’re at it, too.

Vancouver’s legendary bar ‘The Cambie’ is NOT closing this fall. While I’m glad they could save it before it got Donnellized they’re still trotting out this line: “It’s been around for 122 years”. No, it has not. I mean, do they even read their own website?

This is a cool effort to bring a lens of equity to parks and rec: Vancouver’s Playbook: a plan for the future of our parks and recreation.

Event: Chinatown Stories: Volume 2 Publication Launch Party.

Bonus: The Unbearable lightness of boomerang.

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