On Friendly Sausage-Makers Gone Bad and Raising Glasses to Park Board Ineptitude

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.

It just keeps getting weirder. A heavily-armed violent white Canadian Armed Forces member and QAnon conspiracy theorist tried to kill the Prime Minister and the media called him a friendly sausage-maker ; A Karen caused a scene in a Toronto hospital after being asked to wear a mask; a racist Chad in Mississauga went on an anti-Chinese rant in a T&T; two protesters were attacked with hockey stick following Black and Indigenous Lives Matter rally in Winnipeg; and here in BC someone hung a banner threatening to topple shishalh Nation totem poles.

But here in Vancouver the political discussion has been dominated by drinking in parks. Again. Vancouver Park Board delays decision on drinking in parks.

“(Demers’) motion also called on staff to add an amendment to the bylaw that liquor could only be consumed in parks if it was part of a meal”.

Oh, weird! Vancouver managed to completely fuck up and complicate something that was super straightforward? Nobody saw that coming. Seriously, a 60 storey high-end condo with a measly 30 “affordable” units can get approval much faster. Never mind the upcoming Supreme Court appeal on whether a Snickers bar constitutes a meal, or the classist implications of making poor people lug a 96,000 BTU stainless steel Napoleon TravelQ Pro Portable Gas Grill to a park so they could enjoy a cold one — this is just another stupid holdout from our puritanical past. It’s hardly surprising that a town where Point Grey made its bones on rum-running while continuing Prohibition for the working classes takes 20 months to figure out drinking in parks. Jesus.

This is also where Melissa De Genova and Sara Kirby-Yung – two City Councillors who are married to cops – are allowed to filibuster (after hundreds of people had signed up to speak) a motion aimed at banning street checks and reallocating funds from policing towards community services:

If you see the conflict of interest, here’s your form to file a complaint with the BC Ombudsperson.

And here’s a petition calling on Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer to resign for saying there isn’t systemic racism in the police.  Please stop insisting “the VPD is a very diverse and multicultural workplace.” It’s the equivalent of saying “I can’t be racist because I have many black friends.”

One example of systemic racism is that there are no formal programs in place in the VSB to deal with systemic racism: Vancouver Police Board votes not to accept report from VPD on Lord Byng racist video investigation. This sounds like the plot to a shelved reality TV show.

“In the absence of formal programs, the youth learned about how his actions affected others through counselling and self-directed cultural education, which involved travelling to the United States and living with a person of colour for two weeks…”

Meanwhile, the Deputy Police chief took to Twitter to talk about how someone was mean to him in order to drum up public sympathy and detract from the message of protesters:

Why do I find this so funny? Maybe because it wasn’t even a real pig’s head.

Meanwhile, over the mountains: Calgary cops forced to perform orgasms in public.

In ‘there is still a global pandemic happening’ news: Vancouver COVID-19 alert: Multiple individuals at Hotel Belmont bar and nightclub test positive. And No. 5 Orange. The fact that we are opening up is not an excuse to party. It means you should be more cautious, not less. Let’s not be like Melbourne, yeah?

Good thing Kennedy Stewart’s motion to increase capacity at bars just passed. I’m SMDHing my damn head.

He also thought this was a good idea: Vancouver’s Gastown to be transformed into ‘Patiotown’ to draw more diners amid coronavirus. Anyone who has spent 5 seconds at the Six Acres patio will know what a terrible idea this is. (And I’m not just saying this because the guy in the article probably broke a noise bylaw or two by building his patio on a Sunday). It just puts vulnerable people in a terrible position and will likely result in more restaurant workers being asked to call the cops on people panhandling or suffering mental health crises.

Vancouver yoga studio turns away customers who want to wear face masks, says patron. Radical ideas from a yoga studio that is still named after an egomaniacal sexual predator? Go figure.

This map shows why it would be ‘terrifying’ to open Canada-U.S. border. No, CTV. It actually doesn’t show that at all. What it shows is that US data points are by county, and the Canadian data points are by province. The last time I checked the outbreak in Ontario wasn’t in *checks notes* Nagagamisis Provincial Park.

But also…yeah, keep that border closed: ‘Go straight home’: B.C. premier concerned Americans abusing border exemption.

Some good news: Anti-Black racism protests in B.C. not linked to any new COVID-19 cases, officials say. Um, your headline is broken. I’m pretty sure the protests were anti-racist, not anti-Black.

We ran out of brown people to exploit. Any volunteers? COVID-19: Pandemic is putting crimp in B.C.’s fruit-picking workforce.

Vancouver coffee shop chain co-owner accused of creating toxic, borderline abusive work environment. While I’m glad he’s getting his reckoning, justice would have been better served if he’d divested ownership of his cafes to its workers instead of his partners.

More good news: UBC announces changes to event bookings in response to concerns about hate speech. It’s about fucking time! And don’t @ me about Chomsky and cancel culture, ok? “Cancel culture” is just how the right complains about “political correctness” gone mad. It’s a term used by elites when others hold them accountable for their actions/words.

Saanich hockey team name ‘not respectful,’ will be changed, say owners. “We have decided to rename the team and have started a process to develop a name that upholds our core values…” Hmm, might I suggest the Saanich Urine Apples?

Not another preventable loss of life: B.C. premier supports call to decriminalize drug possession. One caveat from Garth Mullins:

“Cops have discretion to do de facto decriminalization now. No task force. No study. Be wary about taking drug policy advice from police chiefs…”

Now do tent cities: Community garden, growing tent city coexist peacefully in Strathcona Park. See what happens when local homeowners have compassion? See how fucking easy it is to mind your own business? See what happens when you treat people with dignity?

Speaking of treating people with dignity: ‘It’s inhumane’: Some landlords not allowing their tenants to use air conditioners.

Is it any wonder we’ve had enough? Rent protest outside Toronto Mayor John Tory’s home turns violent.

Our turn to take to the streets: Action Against Mass Evictions and Displacements. This rent calculator tells you what day of the year you stop working for your landlord. Rent is theft!

Of course, with CERB we could finally afford to buy a house!

Bonus: What Detroit’s Autonomous Zones Can Tell Us About Seattle and CHOP.

“The past six years have seen market urbanism recede as billionaire urbanism approaches. The future will see CHOP, a social and spatial switch point that unexpectedly appeared in the midst of protests provoked by the murder of George Floyd, as a desperate act of resistance, at the street level, the level of the people, against the full conversion of Seattle’s economy to the phantasmagoria of billionaire capitalism.”

There is 1 comment

  1. Thanks for the link to the piece about Spencer Viehweger. I grew up among vicious christianists (not Christians). Now that I have a choice, I avoid them as much as possible. There’s nothing like an asshole who’s insulated from being even dimly aware that he’s an asshole by his delusion that “God” is on his side.

    Regarding that cringemaker of a letter in Harper’s, unfortunately, “cancel culture” isn’t just how the right complains about “political correctness”. As the letter demonstrates, it’s how elements of the left do too. Osita Nwanevu wrote a thoughtful piece about such weirdly “reactionary liberalism”:


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