On Billionaire Power Lunches and Remembering the Fine Dining Guest Who Exploded

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.

Again and again and again: Vancouver ranked world’s second-least affordable housing market—again. We need real rent control and a massive build out of public, non-market housing. We need to double incomes. We need to triple the foreign buyers’ tax and the empty homes tax. We need house prices to drop dramatically and we need the booster class to shut the fuck up while we do it.

And no, we don’t need more supply: “Ghost” Homes Across Canada: A Decade of Change in 150 Cities. Nothing we don’t already know, but it’s astonishing to see the hard data. “1.34 million empty and temporarily occupied homes in Canada”. Say it with me: investor speculation and short-term rentals are the bane of our existence.

Meanwhile, the guy who presided over this swarming hive of nepotism and corruption, the poster child of the Hollyhock neoliberal elite, the commandant of this Banana Smoothie Republic, the Vancouver vassal himself: Former Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson lands new job as VP of construction firm. “My passion and mission has always been about creating a happy and healthy planet where everyone has a home and opportunities to thrive.” Yeah no…nothing to do with your connections with developers and insider knowledge of development processes at City Hall, you rat.

You could have done this: New Westminster offers $4M worth of free land for affordable housing.

And you could have done this: Proposed bylaw aims to fix affordable housing dilemma in Montreal. “Starting in 2021, developers in Montreal will be required by law to set aside 20 per cent of new housing units for social housing, 20 per cent for affordable housing, and 10 to 20 per cent for family-size units, or pay the city compensation in land or cash”. That last part is a bit worrying…

Understanding triple-net-leases and how it’s killing the soul of Vancouver. “Once you understand how a triple-net-lease works, you’d have to wonder if Scrooge, Mr. Burns, Dr. Evil and Stalin all put their heads together to come up with such a ‘deal.’ Grant clearly doesn’t understand Stalin’s policy on kulaks but the rest of the article is ok, except that…you know, I still don’t understand triple-net leases.

From the archives: Terry Jones and Monty Python on the streets of Vancouver in 1973. I don’t often get upset when famous people die but this one hit me in the gut. RIP Terry (aka Mr. Creosote):

Related: Four Seasons Hotel closure brings 43-year tradition of billionaire power lunches to an end. The restaurant guy in me is like, “Damn son! Spread some of the tip money over here,” but the Anarcho-Communist guy in me is like, “Please have one more power lunch so we can firebomb it.”

Because: Corporations Would Literally Kill You to Turn a Profit. Or because The blood of poor Americans is now a leading export, bigger than corn or soy.

Because: B.C.’s poorest families will be hit hardest by rising cost of living. Nothing like depending on the Revelstoke Mountaineer to deliver the hard truths.

Speaking of hard truths: ‘Disturbing and entrenched imbalances’: Indigenous people make up 30 per cent of prison population. Tell me again there’s no such thing as institutional racism…

Meanwhile: Indigenous youth-led overnight occupation of B.C. Ministry offices ends in 12 arrests. “Missiyh to these courageous youth!”

But wait! Guys! Don’t worry! Don’t worry that we’re the world’s second-least affordable housing market. Never mind that the Doomsday Clock just moved closer to midnight. Now you can finally get that fourth job! Uber, Lyft approved to roll out in Lower Mainland, Whistler. Wheee! More cars on the road! More precarious labour! Welcome to the future!

Low pay, soaring rents, and cities littered with e-scooters: The Silicon Valley Economy Is Here. And It’s a Nightmare.

Exhibit B: DoorDash drivers make an average of $1.45 an hour, analysis finds.

A friendlier, slightly less racist way to enforce poverty: Vancouver police adopt new ‘street check’ policy.

Which buses are best to cry on? Can’t wait to go back to UBC this fall and test these out.

Honour Bound: Please Help Us Bring Laure Home.

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