On Life Without Diner en Blanc and the Struggle to Make Rent, Not Spot Prawns

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.

B.C. eviction ban to end Sept. 1, tenants have until July 2021 to pay unpaid rent — Well, we knew this day was coming. We knew that Minister of Landlording, Selina Robinson, would throw renters under the bus. Combined with CERB running out this is terrible news for the most vulnerable people in our society, many of whom have been bagging our groceries and delivering our Pad Thai.

Forcing renters back to work and onto the streets at the during a pandemic courts not only economic implosion but also a public health disaster. And don’t give me that bullshit about mom and pop landlords or tax bills or that they are generating value for the economy or any number of things that could fill a bingo card.

Only 12% of tenants made partial payments and only 3% made none. Why can’t the government help this small number of people? Because they don’t give a shit about them. They would rather make landlords’ investments risk-free. Not getting evicted in the middle of a pandemic is just the bare minimum we should be doing and Selina Robinson is posting about Haywire Pinot Gris and spot prawns.

Two thirds of a landlord’s revenue is profit. Banks have deferred $191 billion in mortgages. In turn, Canada has bought a record amount of this debt from banks to keep housing prices out of reach for most Canadians and thereby socializing the risk by putting it on taxpayers. Real estate is too big to fail (again).

One-bedroom apartments in Vancouver cost a whopping $2,070, report finds. If this government can’t make any advances in reigning in affordability during these unprecedented times then can we really expect them to act in the interest of the collective good?

I mean, it’s hardly a fringe idea: Majority of B.C. residents support major economic shifts post-recovery.

BC’s Health Minister Adrian Dix just announced plans for almost 500 new long-term care beds with no guarantee that the contracts won’t go to for-profit nursing home chains. Not good enough.

B.C. warned of potential for ‘explosive growth’ as 102 new COVID-19 cases from over the weekend announced. Part of it is that we still don’t understand exponential growth. Part of it is fatigue. But god damn the bulk of it has to be on Dr. Henry’s insistence that shaming people is better than more forceful measures. The only silver lining I can think of is that there’s no Diner en Blanc this year.

Chain restaurants will be the death of us all: Earls restaurants confirms cluster of COVID-19 cases at Port Coquitlam location. “Earls Restaurants said in a statement to CBC News, ‘all staff members were temperature checked upon arrival at the restaurant, did not show symptoms, and were wearing the appropriate PPE.'” Yeah, I highly doubt that. Profit is king for these chains. More broadly, anyone who has ever worked in hospitality knows that if you can’t find someone to take your shift, you just work sick.

Speaking of profit, our Universities are so addicted to revenue from foreign students that we’re risking the health of our own: Anxiety high as Canadian schools prepare for students from COVID-ravaged U.S..

We’re doomed. Two popular Metro Vancouver parks reach capacity due to crowds. Maybe that’s because our society is OK about cramming whole families in two bedroom basement suites and they have no choice but to escape sometimes in order to maintain their sanity.

Only dozens? How newsworthy… Dozens take to the streets fearing mandatory mask rules may come to BC. I wonder how these people react to signs that read “no shirt, no shoes, no service”?

As bad as that is, I find this almost worse: Fake list of COVID-19 ‘wisdom’ attributed to Dr. Bonnie Henry making rounds online. Boomers: Don’t believe everything you read. Also boomers: Dr. Henry said masks reduce oxygen levels!

Then there’s this: “Glory holes” listed among BC health officials’ tips for safe sex amid pandemic. 2020, you crazy.

We did not need this right now: Ken Chinn, SNFU Frontman Known as Mr. Chi Pig, Dead at 57. I was fortunate enough to have been one of the last people to interview him. Sign the petition to get him on Canada’s Walk Of Fame.

There’s a petition to replace Gassy Jack with a statue of Mr. Chi Pig, and well…that would just be spitting in the face of Indigenous women. The only thing that should replace Gassy Jack is a monument to Quahail-ya, the 12-year old Squamish girl he ‘married’ in 1870.

Because men are trash: Stranger sent ‘I’m going to rape you’ message through AirDrop during bus ride, B.C. woman says. No woman should have to deal with this, ever.

A new superhero emerges: Summerland mayor destroys bandanas with Confederate symbol.

Abolish the police: B.C. RCMP officer suspended over racially offensive content posted on Facebook. “If someone steals a candy bar or a T-shirt, for example, and resists arrest and gets shot, ‘whose fault is that?’ he said.” Um, quick reminder: cops aren’t supposed to murder people, even guilty ones.

Model says she was banned from B.C. provincial park over topless shoot. Because no child should ever have to see a female nipple. Wait…

Honour Bound: Through the Window – A Quarantine Portrait Photography Book.

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