On Big Polluters Getting Baffled and Feverishly Stripping Costco of All its Toilet Paper

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.

We’ve tried nothing and we’re all out of ideas: Vancouver mayor expects city’s homeless population to rise. Why do I get the sense that ‘The Count’ is becoming this formalized ritual, a senseless liturgical routine where thousands of solemn volunteers replete with bright yellow stickers and clipboards scribble cryptic data that we all get very upset about, but then forget to actually address any of the structural causes and go back to our mind-numbing daily routines until we do the same thing next year. No? Just me?

Imagine if we collectively addressed this actual crisis with the same urgency that we strip Costco of its toilet paper?

I mean, the NDP has been in power for 3 years and they still haven’t taken action on renovictions despite its own task force calling for an end to them. Of course, the task force perplexingly omitted vacancy control as a mechanism by which to do this, so… Tenants facing renoviction worry about becoming homeless.

And if you think that’s bad, wait until you hear the developer say he’s evicting them for their own goodEvictions necessary for Prince Rupert housing situation: Pinecrest Restoration Initiative. The especially fucked up thing is that they actually believe they are being benevolent here. “We know this can be a stressful and disruptive time for Pinecrest and Ocean View tenants and their families, and that is why, from the outset of this project, we had always planned to provide a compensation package to help tenants during this transition period.” That’s nothing short of extortion. Doing renovations is your bloody job! Just fix the building and let them move back in at the same price.

Have something to tell Vancouver council? Councillor Colleen Hardwick wants to know first if you live in city. When I first read this I was like, No way! We should not be adding more barriers to civic participation and this will make it harder for advocacy groups that represent people without agency. But as I read more into it, it’s probably a good thing to weed out employers of development companies posing as concerned citizens supporting housing projects. Because as housing activist Sara Sagaii states:

That’s when you have AHV yuppies saying stuff like: my relationship to the project is that I want to be able to move into this poor neighbourhood and right now I can’t because poor people refuse to be evicted from their cheap rent buildings so high end fancy rentals can be built for me and my friends. LOL. true story.

Yup. Identifying vested interests like home builders, landlords, home owners, and real estate agents is a good thing but if anything, you should have to declare if you’re a Nimby or a Yimby before speaking so the rest of us can get on with making this city more inclusive for everyone.

Here’s another thing that on the surface looks good but is more nuanced. No to Apartment Building Rezonings on Sidestreets in West Kits. Densify Kits. Build more rentals. No brainer right? But what are the costs? Will we replace what is lost, as the petition mentions? Will the new units be affordable? Will they have vacancy control? Will this increase in supply of upper level rentals really free up cheaper housing or should we be demanding non-market solutions? Is the latter mutually exclusive? Do you like it when I ask questions?

Haunted by the legacy of Vision: New small businesses trapped in bureaucratic maze. I’m not one for “cut the red tape and clear out City Hall” type rhetoric, but man…it was frustrating just reading this.

It’s almost like they’d rather see businesses just sitting empty. Tax the speculators now! Montreal’s empty storefront problem is a lesson to every city. I thought I found a non pay-walled version of this story here, but I think they just translated it into French and back into English a couple of times…

Related: Vancouver’s Leone to close by mid-2020. Sinclair Centre set to rival Tinseltown as Vancouver’s weirdest mall.

Lights out at Vancouver House. Is anyone home? Who are we building for? How much do you wanna bet the developer starts forcing the speculators to keep their lights on to improve the optics?

Intoxicated man dies in Whistler after being pepper-sprayed, tasered and batoned by police. Cops. Need. To. Learn. How. To. Deescalate.

Teck Resources says it’s baffled by fish collapse downstream of British Columbia mines. Who could have possibly predicted that ever increasing concentrations of selenium that we dump into rivers would have this kind of consequence?

Satire of the day: Experts scramble to figure out how global oil price crash the fault of Wet’suwet’en protestors. Good thing we bought a pipeline…

Good news of the day: Peer harm reduction workers vote to unionize.

Bernie or Bust: These Canadians can’t vote in U.S. elections, but they’re campaigning for Bernie Sanders.

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