On Giant Octopi Eating Bald Eagles and the Indecency of Runaway ‘Market’ Housing

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.

Hot topic: Should Canada ban non-residents from buying homes? The knee-jerk reaction would be yes, but there isn’t a panacea to our housing crisis and empty houses owned by actual residents are a bigger issue. It’s a multi-pronged shitstorm of factors that all have to be addressed. Some might say that out of country buyers only account for 3% of sales, to which another would counter “yes, but because these are luxury sales this represents a huge amount of money, and some of that is fentanyl money laundered through casinos.” And some might also say a ban on non-residents is xenophobic, not likely to be easily enforceable, and easily circumvented by international capital. What we need is a New Deal for Housing that’s paid for by taxing the extremely rich.

We’ve taken some action on closing a lot of the loopholes that allowed for this runaway market to happen but we still have a long way to go towards fixing the problem. This is another good start: Speculation tax increases to 2% Dec. 31. Taxing vacant land is a great thing but it should be so prohibitively high that the owner has no choice but to sell to the province so the city can build on it.

Because what we really need is non-market solutions. The market won’t deliver the housing we need. New study urges publicly funded construction of 10,000 nonmarket rental units per year in Metro Vancouver.

“I think we need a concerted commitment over time if we’re really going to make a dent in the problem,” Lee told the Straight in a phone interview. “The market is choosing to build things that are very different from what we actually need.”

Great, now let’s just do vacancy control.

Another tool in the toolbox: Armed with new data, B.C. set for crackdown on tax evasion in Vancouver property market.

For 2020, he says we should expect to see those policies put to use to flush out buyers that have been failing to declare global income, as well as speculators who’ve been dodging their fair share of capital gains tax.

Atheist nurse wins fight to end mandatory 12-step addiction treatment for health staff in Vancouver. While abstinence-based programs are rooted in intoxiphobia, I personally found it easy to reconcile my atheism with AA. To me, GOD just stood for “group of drunks”. That said, making recovery mandatory is almost always a terrible idea.

Switch to permanent Daylight Savings Time reckless: sleep scientists. Daylight saving time, Tri City News. Get it right.

Why not do both? Work or Starve, Trump Administration Tells Poor People.

Bonus: Tentacles vs. talons: Octopus battles bald eagle in video shot off B.C. coast.

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