On Dishwasher Stories and Being Forced to Leave Vancouver Because it’s So Awesome

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.

StarMetro Vancouver to Shut Down in Torstar Cost-Cutting Move. A big blow to Canada’s media ecology. I can’t believe I just used the words “media ecology”, but here we are.

Guy who starts Vancouver boosterism website, who shills for real estate marketers and narcs on poor people for selling smokes, has to leave Vancouver after being evicted THREE times in two years because of our ridiculous rental market. The schadenfreude is strong with this one: Dear Vancouver, the suburbs are awesome too.

“Having had enough of the unstable rental market, we didn’t think investing in the city was smart (sorry realtors!), so we wound up looking for and finding property further afield…”

Apologizing to the same morally bankrupt industry (that not only poured gasoline on the flames of our housing crisis and facilitated the laundering of billions of dollars but is also ultimately responsible for uprooting your family THREE times in two years) feels a little weird, but hey…Stockholm Syndrome is Awesome, right?

But seriously, the suburbs are not awesome. They are anathema to healthy cities; “interdependent constellations of misanthropic zoning rules, building codes, and planning guidelines.” They are where dreams go to die.

While the GVRD did a good job with their “multiple nuclei” model, this just means that soon people will be priced out of the suburbs too.

Dear Daily Hive, you spelled gentrification wrong. New St. Paul’s Hospital campus will revitalize Vancouver’s Chinatown. By ‘revitalize’ do you mean all those evicted Chinese seniors are going to get their homes back? Or do you mean the campus will hasten the neighbourhood’s return to its working class roots? Yeah, didn’t think so. “The activity generated by the new St. Paul’s could offset the Downtown Eastside’s creeping negative realm of influence on Chinatown…” What the fuck is that even supposed to mean? It’s a geographic area. Do you mean the constant displacement of poor people is having unintended consequences, that an ever-shrinking community dealing with the ravages of mental health, poisoned drugs, and decades of austerity is somehow responsible for the material economic conditions that have lead to the erosion of inner cities across the globe? Give your fucking head a shake.

Meanwhile, in Prince George: Opinion: Thanks for Saving Downtown Prince George, Homeless Folks.

They presented a picture of a downtown overrun by homeless people living on the street, mostly indigenous and mostly opiate addicts, who engage habitually in not just property crime but violent crime. This group of people, they explained, are making downtown unsafe and, consequently, need to be “rounded up” and permanently removed from the downtown. Such an action was possible, they argued, because, by virtue of being opiate addicts, these individuals are habitual offenders and habitual offenders, in their view, “have no human rights.” It is only because “the human rights have gone too far,” they explained, that businesses are not prosperous downtown.

The only solution, they argued, was the forcible mass relocation and indefinite detention of a criminalized and racialized group of people. In other words, a pogrom.

Vancouver transit strike: Union announces 3-day system shutdown. “It is completely unacceptable our customers are being dragged into this dispute,” said Michael McDaniel, CMBC president. I’m so confused, was he looking into a mirror while saying this? Also, you’re lucky this entire city doesn’t fucking shut down. General Strike now!

Speaking of which, if for some reason you aren’t already refusing to pay for transit while this strike is on, here’s an international call for a strike against the rising cost of living: Friday, November 29: Nobody Pays!

There’s also a petition to support transit workers and a rally next Thursday.

In the Pit: The Untold Stories of Toronto’s Dishwashers. I generally shy away from the romanticization of work, but this – unlike that Dish Pigs mini-doc – does a great job at framing the issue with a lens on inequality. Listen to us! Pay us more!

In other labour news: Striking CN worker hit by truck on Saskatoon picket line. Remember that as CN lays off workers, the CEO makes $8.5 million, the company’s profit was $1.2 billion in the last quarter and $3.3 billion for the first three quarters of 2019. Time to nationalise it.

Coming to British Columbia: Uber Fined $649 Million for Saying Drivers Aren’t Employees.

And finally, Business in Vancouver has published a handy list of targets rich people: Canadian billionaires: Here are the 41 richest people in Canada in 2019. Remember, nobody earns a billion dollars.

There are 3 comments

  1. “But seriously, the suburbs are not awesome.”: That they are not, as far as I’m concerned. I grew up in a couple of suburbs of Los Angeles. It’s difficult to overstate how much I don’t miss them. The L.A. burbs are mostly hundreds of square miles of tract houses, strip malls, and asphalt. And yes, with a few exceptions, they’re remarkably segregated. Nothing could persuade me to return there.

  2. On the rich list: not a single woman. I realize having women also be super wealthy wouldn’t make the wealth justifiable but… seriously?

    Literally, fuck those guys.

    But also that article probably isn’t accurate. Why is Sherry Brydson missing when she’s worth a cool 8.23B? So many billionaires we can’t even keep track of them all I guess.

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