On Mayors Sucking In a Crisis and Moving the Third Beach Drum Circle to Lions Bay

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.

City faces major mayoral leadership deficit in dangerous times. I mean…yeah, he’s an opportunist who swooped in from Burnaby; said nothing about renovictions; played up how he’s a renter; reneged on his promise to triple the empty homes tax; betrayed us by not replacing a discriminatory voting system; constantly passed the buck to senior levels of government; shills for developers (worse than Gregor); and said out loud that the chandelier was “the most important piece of public art in the history of our city” — but I don’t need a failed NPA mayoral candidate and vice-president of the company that owns Vancouver is Awesome to tell me that, for fuck sakes.

I mean, especially since the NPA is a raging dumpster fire right now: Four Vancouver NPA board members resign. I can’t wait for the Hyper-Partisan Association: a safe space for NextDoor using wannabe strata president NIMBYs, anti-SOGI bigots, Free Speech Club reactionaries, and a broad coalition of bootlickers.

Do as I say, not as I do: Vancouver mayor photographed breaking COVID-19 restaurant rule. “In a statement released by his office, Stewart said he and his wife were joined by two other couples from his immediate family for a meal outside. He said the group grew when more family members arrived.” Did his 20 member communications team put this statement out because a) how can there be multiple couples within your “immediate family” and b) it doesn’t actually matter if they’re his immediate family or not if they don’t live with him.

Dumb circle: Large crowd, lack of physical distancing at Stanley Park drum circle draws criticism. On one hand I’m outraged at the entitlement of these selfish pseudo-spiritual privileged wooks who think the rules don’t apply to them. On the other hand I’m baffled that the government even allowed this to be possible. Absolutely zero consequences other than a little social media shaming while the feds threaten to chase down low-income or homeless Canadians who ‘shouldn’t be on CERB’. It’s typical West Coast liberal technocratic elitism — blame young people for your own shortcomings.

Besides, I found a new location for the drum circle: At the height of the lockdown, this exclusive Vancouver-area town shut to visitors. Some residents want to keep it that way. Petition to change the name of Lion’s Bay to Karen’s Bay.

And yet we still cling to this “our numbers are low”, “other people are more at risk”, “brown people in packing plants“, “the US is the real petri dish” smugness.

The establishment is willing to let people die to kickstart the hospitality sector and let the proles literally fight it out amongst themselves while low paid workers take the brunt of the public’s short fuse — ‘Completely unacceptable’: COVID-19 customer rudeness reaches breaking point in BC.

Not everyone has the privilege to work from home. In fact, the more money a couple makes, the more likely they are to work from home. It’s what happens when you pit the working class against each other to avoid changing the system: Vancouver Retail Workers Report an Increase in Customer Aggression. “I come from a wealthy family and you’re nothing but a dirty person.” Cue the Monty Python: ‘Oh what a giveaway! Did you hear that? That’s what I’m on about. Come and see the violence inherent in the system!’

As activist John Clarke reminds us, “even before the impact of the pandemic unleashed the present crisis, the neoliberal city had become impossible for a mass of poor working class people”:

Does anyone know the way to Saguenay?

Related: BC’s housing crisis during the pandemic: A snapshot.

As the pandemic continues, a huge number of households—renters in particular—remain under major financial strain even if most are managing to cover rent and mortgage payments for now. Fortunately, there is strong public support for bold policy action in response to the crisis, including backing for an aggressive expansion of non-market housing, continuing the eviction ban and rent freeze, and taking urgent action to provide homes for people without them.

I mean, god forbid we offer a shred of decency to the most vulnerable in our society: For Many on Assistance, COVID Benefit Boost Means ‘I Don’t Have to Eat Just Brown Rice and Beans’. Oh, this person made enough to afford a fancy new “mattress”? Better end the $300 top-up immediately. Fucking criminals.

First step: Vancouver city council passes motion deprioritizing policing in mental health calls and social issues. 3 days, 400 speakers, and 1 police department trying to gaslight everyone on how good they are on mental health.

Quick lets hear the opinion of someone who sells Pokemon cards in the sketchiest mall in the world: Help the 300 worst cases, help the whole Downtown Eastside: Influential group pushes addiction, mental health solution. Never a shortage of people providing unsolicited advice on a crisis they themselves have presided over. Do these guys want to commit 300 people under the Mental Health Act? What exactly are they proposing?

Good news: BC Pauses Bill that Would Permit Youth Detention after an Overdose. So they won’t reform the police act as requested by our provincial health officer but they were willing to handcuff teenagers to hospital beds? I guess Some Lives Just Mean More than Others.

Ah, sweet, sweet consequences: The BC Liberals Are Officially Banned From Vancouver’s Pride Parade.

We’re the worst: Mapping project plots incidents of anti-Asian racism in Metro Vancouver.

Husband of Abbotsford Coun. Falk upset ‘All Lives Matter’ comment was deleted. This guy likes to also point out to people with leukemia that all cancers matter.

Maybe Seattle didn’t name their new NHL team the Sockeye because there aren’t any left: Fraser River sockeye fishery to stay closed this year.

Fuck it, I’m going to Barbados: Sick of working from home during COVID? Do it from Barbados, island nation tells pandemic-weary Canadians.

Bonus: What Can Hives and Barnacles Teach Us About Solving a Housing Crisis?

There are 0 comments

On Giving the Police All the Money and Spitting on Service Industry Employees

In his latest read of the news headlines, Sean Orr finds flu cases down and hockey players getting wedding misconducts.

On Demonizing Santa’s Elves and Dreading a Downtown Eastside Covid Explosion

In his latest read of the news headlines, Sean Orr reflects on wearing masks and normal things to do on Friday nights.

On Extending the Rent Freeze and Celebrating Vancouver’s Wealthiest Assholes

In his latest read of the news headlines, Sean Orr buys books under a Skytrain station and has a few words for Surrey.

On Art Saving Lives and Vancouver Taking Aim at the 2030 Winter Olympics

In his latest read of the news headlines, Sean Orr wonders at four-way stops and the insanity of West End fireworks.