On Renaming Vancouver’s Trump Tower and Local Coyotes Ordering Human Takeout

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.

So after reeling in horror at the fascist white supremacist coup in the United States, and then reeling again in horror at smug Canadians saying it could never happen here (even though it did and probably will), we come to councillor Melissa De Genova who mind-numbingly equates anti-democratic terrorists with poor Vancouverites peacefully demanding democratic accountability, and then doubles down when called out: Vancouver councillor under fire for ‘monumentally bad take’ on Capitol riot. I know the NPA is creeping ever so slowly towards fascism but this is absolutely inexcusable. Her stubborn cognitive dissonance would be shocking if we didn’t already know she was pandering to a growing alt-right base. That she is known to subvert the democratic process herself with her constant “points of order” is apparently lost on her.

This is a person who – with zero self-awareness – wants to change the definition of gaslighting (which is itself gaslighting); who without irony retweets MLK quotes; and who once openly shamed a fellow councillor for having ADHD. She should not only apologize but either resign or be censured. 5 people are dead and Melissa De Genova is saying that a brief disruption of city council is actually worse than an armed insurrection.

It can’t happen here: Vancouver police investigating assault on photographer at Trump rally. Suffice it to say if anyone recognizes this chud, please make his life miserable.

“You can take down a sign but you can’t take down the hate in our hearts” – someone, probably. City planning experts think Vancouver’s Trump Sign should be dropped. What are some alternate names for the tower? The 25th Amendment Tower? Twisty Boi? Building McBuildy Face? 86 45? Barad-dûr?

I’m so glad we live in Canada where there is no racism: Surrey council rejects motion to acknowledge Aboriginal lands at start of meetings. It’s literally the least you could fucking do. It’s a purely symbolic act that looks in the direction of reconciliation. I can’t wait to propose to Mr. McCallum that we give all of Surrey back to the Kwantlen, Semiamhoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen First Nations.

Exhibit C: New ‘neo-Nazi’ flyers spotted in Burnaby. If you tear these down – because you should – be careful as they sometimes put razorblades on the back of them. Also, B’nai Brith keeps a tally of them.

Maybe we can get the police to kindly ask them to please stop: ‘Frankly, you need to stop’: Police, politicians call for end to gang conflict in Lower Mainland. No cookies until you clean up your act, young man!

Suspended with pay: Vancouver police officer facing new charges of theft, breach of trust, drug possession. “I’m very disappointed in the (alleged) actions of one member,” Rankin said. “But I want Vancouver residents to know this sort of investigation is very rare.” The investigation is rare, or you rarely investigate?

VPD Investigates after homeless woman targeted by arsonist. We are the worst, exhibit #972

Vancouver Gave Homeless People $5,800. It Changed Their Lives. But wait, I thought these people were destitute because they were morally depraved? I thought it was in their nature to be poor? You mean, giving them a sense of dignity and worth can enhance their lives? What is this? Trading Places?

Showers, washrooms and a ‘warming tent’ installed for homeless at Strathcona Park. As usual the comments on The Province Facebook page are vile and anti-social: “Can’t the homeless people pick up their own litter for christ sakes, looks worse than Africa”, or how about Rebecca Johnston from Savannah, Georgia: “Oh goodie, let’s be sure to enable them to death by making them so comfy that they never want to get clean.”Right, we should make them as miserable as possible at all times. That will totally work.

Meanwhile, they’re noticeably silent when it comes to much-needed whole-scale wealth redistribution: Canadian banks face conundrum: How to spend a spare $70.4 billion. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

That a ton of that wealth consists of packaging your mortgages and selling them on the stock market shouldn’t be lost on anyone. Another reason to never trust supply-side arguments: Inside Vancouver City Hall’s Housing Wars.

A few days before Christmas, Mayor Stewart issued a press release boasting “2020 has been a great year for housing in our city” based on the numbers through September. He sang from the supply-side hymnbook by highlighting the fact that nearly 5,000 homes, their prices unnamed, had been approved. He noted the city was “on track to exceed 2020 rental and social housing targets.” And the MIRHPP program was “responsible for 70 per cent of new purpose-built rentals approved in 2020, on track to deliver 885 homes.”

What. Kind. Of. Homes? There’s a rainstorm and we’re patting ourselves on the back for giving everyone luxury sneakers! Without vacancy control it doesn’t matter how many fucking units this new supply opens up if they are still unaffordable. Public housing should have right-of-first-refusal to buy building for housing stock. And without land-value capture mechanism, it doesn’t matter how much you rezone for density.

To wit: Prezoned by City of Vancouver for higher density, lots near Joyce Station selling four times assessed values.

It’s only these government interventions in a run-away housing market that actually opens up units: Speculation tax increased long-term rentals in B.C., raised $88 million: ministry.

Dan Fumano: East Van real estate dispute reveals unlicensed warehouse use. Surprise! An NPA board member running an illegal business.

The roaring twenties: Iconic entertainment, office, and retail complex proposed for Granville and Robson. I’m glad we will save The Commodore so I can never attend a show there.

MAXED OUT: They are not listening to you, Dr. Henry. I said this, like, six months ago, but yeah…tsk-tsking your way through a public health emergency is not a good strategy.

Maybe we should tour this around: Coroners service confirms first use of refrigerated morgue truck in B.C. to manage overflow of dead. Great, I just pictured the bring out your dead scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail…

Coyote captured at Stanley Park after 2 more ‘nipping’ cases reported over the weekend. While it may not stack up next to Chowder Rat, Canuck the Crow or the Chinatown Otter, “Nippy” here nevertheless earns a place in the pantheon of local animals that give zero fucks.

Bonus: The Only Thing Worse Than A NIMBY Is A YIMBY.

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