On Eating Weird Stuff and Not Letting Soulless Opportunists Tell You What to Do

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.

Oh boy, let the racist, “they eat weird stuff” fearmongering, sensationalized, unconfirmed panic begin! First coronavirus case found in B.C.. Wash your hands and relax. 3,500 Canadians die of the flu and a third of BCers can’t even be assed to get a vaccine.

Canada needs a lot more rental housing. A tax on empty condos is part of the solution. Emphasize part of. Tax short term rentals as a business while we’re at it. Also, rental housing for which income bracket? Because…

YIMBY’s gonna YIMBY: Developers paint bleak picture of Metro Vancouver’s future under status quo. How dare a bunch of developers lecture us about Vancouver’s future. They sold it to the highest bidder. They abandoned the rental market because it wasn’t profitable and they built empty investment boxes in the sky instead. These soulless opportunists don’t get to tell us what to do.

Speaking of soulless opportunists: Here’s What We Know So Far About Criminal Money Laundering During The BC Liberals’ 16 Years in Power. How the BC Liberals can even run in the next election is beyond me. Lindsay Brown of Vancouver not Vegas has this to say:

Gambling beyond the charity bingo halls should never have been expanded. These casinos are bankrupting so many people – and worse. Back when we were fighting the casino expansion in Vancouver I remember the stats – for every dollar the province makes, we spend 2 dollars in cleaning up the social harms.

They even have a fall guy at the ready: Fired casino exec fears being “fall person” amid money laundering inquiry. I usually shy away from the boomer-esque howls of “all politicians are corrupt” but this is making it really hard to not come to that conclusion: “Throughout the troubles, Sen. Larry Campbell has collected more than $800,000 in cash compensation and about $2.1 million worth of shares as a board director of the company that owns the casino, Great Canadian Gaming”.

Vancouver mayor says he has plan for Oppenheimer Park campers. He’s just waiting for housing. $950 per month bachelor suites. I can’t believe this is real. This is like some dude from Lethbridge named Kris saying, “if they don’t want to be homeless they should just get a $20/hour job”, except that it’s our fucking Mayor saying it.

Drury said having two people living together in a bachelor suite would not only prove dangerous for vulnerable women in abusive relationships, but could also be used as an excuse for landlords to evict tenants down the road for over-occupancy.

“Really what it does is provide a political cover to the shortfalls at all levels of government,” he said. “All levels of government are failing people who are stuck sleeping out on the streets.”

Speaking of shortfalls at all levels of government, here’s an announcement from the province: Nearly 140 affordable homes open for seniors in Vancouver. Good news, right? Nope. 114 studio units: $1,038. 19 one-bedroom units: $1,308. The Guaranteed Income Supplement and the Old Age Security benefit amounts to about $1700 a month. So by their own definition of affordable – or 30% of income towards shelter – this is not affordable.

And then there’s private care: Staff at Extendicare nursing home abused woman before her death from dehydration, says report.

Vancouver is prioritizing cars over housing for women and children, says social housing provider. It’s kind of a click-bait title. I mean, Vancouver is clearly more interested in profiting off developing City-owned land than providing any sort of non-market housing.

I’m looking at you, South False Creek: Three False Creek South Questions for Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

Those overseeing the real estate endowment fund of the city have used a market-based methodology to assess land value, at the expense of the more socially-focused approach behind the original project. Therein lies the root of the conflict.

Meanwhile: These Policies Could Help End Single-Parent Poverty in BC. I’ve said it so many times I might as well get it tattooed across my chest: Raise the rates!

The problem with how media has cheered on Uber and Lyft’s arrival in Vancouver. Yup. More cars on the road = more congestion. The gig economy = more economic precarity.

Also: All the Bad Things About Uber and Lyft In One Simple List.

I hate the guy, but this is pretty cool: Surrey sends Uber notice to cease operations by Friday night or face bylaw fines.

Of course, it would be cooler if he actually cared about the best way to move his constituents: Does the Fraser Valley need a new commuter rail system? I mean, the headline could read: “Does the Fraser Valley need a new commuter rail system like they used to have which allowed it to become a bedroom community in the first place?” But…yeah. The answer is yeah.

Another day, another three venues on the endangered list: A Trio of Vancouver Arts Spaces are Facing Uncertain Futures.

Bonus: The case for…never demolishing another building.

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