On Paying Developers to Evict Us and Making Really Embarrassing Television

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.

Behold, the perfect show for Vancouver! Bling Empire meets Selling Sunset: Vancouver reality show follows luxury Asian realtors. Synopsis: a group of narcissistic, anti-social vampires rub our noses in it. It’s a show where we celebrate a broken, parasitic industry that exploits loopholes and double-flips its way to unprecedented unearned wealth made off the backs of exploited service industry workers; an industry that aids and abets money laundering on the dead bodies of opioid users. The worst is that it’s actually being pitched through a lens of racial inclusion, as though Chinese seniors weren’t being evicted at record rates:

Indo-Canadians and Chinese Canadians are the top two visible minorities in Canada and currently mainstream broadcasters have failed to represent this demographic in a meaningful way. I would call this modern-day exclusion,” Li says in a statement.

Speaking of racialization: Daphne Bramham: Thugs can’t be allowed to take over Vancouver. Thugs. That’s how Daphne Bramham just described a camp that is disproportionately indigenous. The word ‘thug’ has been a dogwhistle for racialized communities for decades. She must know this.

Until the politicians come up with solutions to the wicked problems of homelessness, addiction and mental illness, it’s the police who are left to restore order in this chaos and keep us all safe.

Nope. It’s the community that comes up with solutions, all while facing constant ridicule and scorn from the likes of Bramham and whatever dime-a-dozen hack that might tolerate working for a company like Postmedia. The community knows what needs to be done but it’s the lack of political will at every turn. It’s pols clutching their NIMBY pearls asking ‘how will we pay for this?’ as the police budget grows ever more fetid and bloated. That we spend 5 times more on policing than we do on social housing should tell you everything you need to know.

It was community activists who set up the first safe injection site. It was community activists that pressured the city to appropriate the Balmoral and Regent, who guaranteed 100% welfare rate housing at 58 W. Hastings, who made CRAB park, who stopped Chinatown and Strathcona from becoming a freeway connector, who are pushing for safe supply, who are saving lives every single day on the front lines.

And it was community that came to the defence of the camp when it was raided by the police after they had arrested the suspects. But you didn’t bother to ask the camp residents, you took the copaganda at face value. Shame on you.

Bramham’s idea? Rely on the largesse of billionaire developers like Peter Wall: Daphne Bramham: Philanthropist Peter Wall offers a homeless solution. 200 fucking units. Do these assholes know there are 3,000 homeless in the city? Wall doesn’t even have a plan. He’s stomping his leather Enzo Bonafès demanding that Kennedy Stewart magically procure the land, permits, zoning, and fairy dust needed to build a vanity project.

What Bramham and so many others consistently fail to realize is that homelessness and drug addiction aren’t bugs of the system, but rather features of it. They continue to willfully ignore the structural violence that the system relies on: It’s NOT an opioid crisis:

We can stop these deaths by regulating drugs & addressing this social disaster directly with housing for all, liveable incomes, medicine (Safe Supply), and ways to get out of this cycle. This is not about a class of drugs. this is about drug policy, and this is what happens when a policy becomes detached from the reality it is intended to address, and reforms are attempted by people who have no idea what is going on.

Meanwhile, when asked about why she voted no on reconciliation, sitting NPA councillor Colleen Hardwick first giggles, then mentions that Vancouver never had a residential school. Seriously: Feb 8 #112 – Colleen Hardwick. This is a person who runs an Airbnb during a housing crisis and travels to the coast during a global pandemic lockdown because the rules don’t apply to her. Then she has the nerve to criticize the Senakw development. You have zero say as to what developments the Squamish First Nations choose to undertake.

Oh, and she just voted to cut-off the speakers list on this motion: Real Estate Investment grows and a Vancouver city councillor wants to stunt it. We’re really only seeing the tip of the iceberg in regards to REITs. We are subsidizing these corporate monoliths. We are paying them to evict us. Meanwhile, Lee Hutniak chimes in with the same old song and dance about property tax and insurance costs only to be shut down by Jean Swanson because they’re only about 1/3rd of the total profit. This guy represents people cashing out large as they sell our dwindling rental stock to conglomerates.

Meanwhile, you know how YIMBYs are always talking about how once vacancy rates edge up, rents will go down? Yeah, about that: Vacancy rate and rent both increased in Canada in 2020.

Once again, the media doesn’t understand that crime is a symptom, not a cause: Closing up shop: Vancouver’s Chinatown battered by crime, COVID-19 and dirty streets. You spelled ‘gentrification’ wrong.

Downtown Vancouver pedestrian traffic down nearly 50 per cent: report. Weird that this article didn’t mention all the crime that’s plaguing the city. There must be something else going on.

Nora Hendrix to become first Black woman with a Vancouver street named after her. Pretty telling that we have 26 streets named after golf courses and only one named after a black woman.

Bell, let’s talk: ‘An absolutely brutal loss’: Vancouverites react to TSN 1040 going off the air. Ah yes, a company that took in $123 million in federal wage subsidies has the fucking nerve to talk about mental health while laying off employees mid-show during a pandemic. Never again do you get to monopolize the discussion on mental health, you soulless creeps.

32 B.C. bars and pubs caught violating COVID-19 rules in Super Bowl-focused enforcement blitz. Insert Superbowl super spreader meme here.

B.C. couple ‘furious’ restaurant used phone number from contact tracing list to send promotional offers. You’re just mad you didn’t think of this first.

Someone should do something: Premier John Horgan on international travel. “We are not willing to welcome the world back to British Columbia until the world is willing to get COVID under control.”. *Stares into the camera like Jim from the Office.

What’s going on in Chilliwack? Oh, the same thing as always? ‘Shocking, disappointing’ billboard targets Chilliwack school board candidate.

Honour Bound: Lunar New Year Care Packages for Migrant Workers.

Meme of the day:

Bonus: The Science of Spiritual Narcissism.

There are 3 comments

  1. Secret snack – peanut butter, tahini, pomegranate molasses, zaataar.

    Don’t use crackers cut an endive in four long wedges and scoop the goop with a spoon!

  2. Mayor Kennedy Stewart and his radical left wing gang of City Councillors, are the people responsible for turning downtown Vancouver into an Opioid Drug Den! Poverty Pimps making’ money! BC Housing, Atira, the list goes on. High Paying Jobs with tax payer money! You can’t blame everything on COVID Kennedy!

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