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.
Looks like the #bcstorm blew in one of the best debate moderators we’ve ever seen in Shachi Kurl. I don’t know if it’s because Chris Wallace was that bad or if our candidates are just a galaxy more polite, but she was the clear winner. John “I don’t see colour” Horgan clearly took notes on Biden’s performance and said the word “man” a lot. Sonia Furstenau sounded like Kristen Wiig reading pages from Virginia Woolf’s diary about how she’s upset about an election and talked about trees…a lot. And did you know that Andrew Wilkinson was a doctor because he delivered a baby once and that totally means he’s a real life human, right?
— Derrick O’Keefe (@derrickokeefe) October 14, 2020
Despite a few zingers like Horgan’s “you gotta get out of your neighbourhood, my friend” and “It’s almost like you believe the world didn’t exist before 2017” and telling Wilkinson to read George Abbot’s book, the Green Leader had the most thoughtful and composed performance of the night and her “seniors are not a commodity” was a gut punch. Hopefully this will lead to another balance of power type situation and not, you know, 16 years of corrupt, money laundering, free market fundamentalists destroying our future. If the Greens want to hold the NDP to account on environmental issues, and they should, why do they need a full slate of candidates to do so?
It’s 2020 and B.C.’s two ruling parties are led by:
1. old white guy who sat there grinning like an idiot while a caucus member slagged a young woman of colour
2. old white guy who “doesn’t see colour”
— Kai Nagata ?? (@kainagata) October 14, 2020
Right…about that: B.C. Liberal candidate Jane Thornthwaite generates outrage over social media for comments about NDP’s Bowinn Ma. This is a classic case of internalized misogyny, and by that I mean white women “joking around” to cozy up to white male power. Her apology is a classic non-apology and only happened because she got caught. ‘I’m also a woman’ is absolutely no excuse and belies the deep roots of the patriarchal system. Reducing the accomplishments of the youngest MLA in parliament to “a pretty face” is not just tacky, but indefensible.
But then there’s Wilkinson. Party leader, grinning and smirking the entire time. He said nothing because he truly believes nothing was out of the ordinary because this is the norm for their party: BC Liberal Candidate: Stop Criticizing Sexist Video Objectifying NDP Candidate, It Was Just a ‘Joke’. A politician comparing himself to someone who writes jokes for a living is the best joke of all. This is a guy who said domestic abuse was “tough marriage”. The fact that he can’t stop digging this hole is evidence of his hubris. This is his #iamlinda moment.
Make no mistake, this is the BC Liberal party. Behold as they copy and paste a scripted response all over social media. Or how about Jon Ellacott, who equates not wanting women to be treated like sexual objects with “identity politics”.
Maybe the most disappointing thing about the debate wasn’t talked about: Rent control, a green new deal, defunding the police, frontline workers with no benefits, a wealth tax, unparalleled inequality, etc: Majority of Gen Z Canadians close to insolvency amid coronavirus pandemic, poll finds. The system is rigged. Tax the rich and provide affordable housing and public luxuries for all. Boom, roasted.
But seriously, just give people money. It’s not fucking rocket science: A B.C. research project gave 50 homeless people $7,500 each. The results were ‘beautifully surprising’. Wow, total shocker! People feel more secure and plan for their future when they are scrambling to scrape up the bare necessities. Who woulda thought?
She (Claire Williams, CEO of Foundations for Social Change) said it costs, on average, $55,000 annually for social and health services for one homeless individual. According to study data, the project saved the shelter system approximately $8,100 per person for a total of roughly $405,000 over one year for all 50. The common belief is that the status quo is cheap… in fact, it is incredibly expensive,” said Williams.
Meanwhile, my Facebook feed is full of BC Liberal ads using vulnerable populations as scapegoats and doubling down on the police state, completely ignoring their own role in creating material conditions of this crisis.
We know the status quo isn’t working, so why are people so dead set on upholding it at every possible turn? I can already see the rich white people holding astroturf-funded placards on Jericho Beach: Vancouver City Council signals new homeless shelter at 285-bed Jericho Beach hostel. It’s bad enough that some speaker demanded a referendum on the Yaletown overdose prevention site at last night’s council meeting, or that Melissa “point of procedure” De Genova voted against this saying we shouldn’t be cherry-picking hotels, it’s clear that we still view homelessness as either a lack of self control or a character flaw. It’s clear we are clinging to an outdated Randian Just-World theory instead of treating the underlying systemic conditions inherent in the structural violence of capitalism.
Then there’s the steady stream of these sensationalist pearl-clutching articles that never mention the vast number of evictions in the DTES caused by predatory real estate developers: ‘An increasingly bad experience’: Vancouver man cites rising crime as reason for selling condo. Poor little gentrifier.
By now I’m sure you’re all well aware of my admiration for Jean Swanson, but I mean come on, how could anyone not love this person? This is a big mood:
.@JeanSwanson_, who is not at city hall, asks staff to pull “a little blanket” out of a drawer in her office to give to this speaker.
— Jen St. Denis (@JenStDen) October 9, 2020
Meanwhile, this is what speculative squatting by developers/erosion of public land assets looks like: ‘It stinks’: Vancouver developer has paid just $40M for Little Mountain lands. Lock them up.
Landlord evicts tenant due to fear of COVID-19, faces complaint before B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. Landlords: We’re actually housing providers. Also landlords: “I have the right to be free from infection”.
Frat Bros, is there anything they aren’t to blame for? Petition calls for UBC frats to stop hosting in-person parties and events.
This was also brought up at the debate last night: BC’s Police Act Needs Urgent Reform, but the Election Halted It. You can hold your candidates feet to the fire here.
“There’s no systemic racism in the RCMP” — RCMP union pushes back against ban on ‘thin blue line’ symbol, says it has ordered custom patches. Remember kiddies, police unions aren’t real unions.
Speaking of unions: For the Owners of Loblaws, Ripping Off Canadian Workers Is a Family Business.
Sports of the day: Abbotsford’s pickle-juice powered Claypool picked by Pittsburgh in NFL draft.
What street is Canada on anyway? Tucker Carlson Mispronounces “Ottawa”. I mean, to be fair, I also pronounce it this way.
Bonus: One brave hero biked 69 miles a day to get from PooPoo Point to PeePee Creek. I just hope one day I can do something as important as this with my life.