On Spreading Mass Hysteria and Violent Cravings for ‘Pizza Pizza’ Ruining Millionaires

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.

What is this, Oregon Trail? Rising COVID-19 Cases and a Dysentery Outbreak Hit Downtown Eastside. I’m sure the average tax-paying reactionary Province reader will find a way to blame the conditions of the DTES on the residents themselves. Somehow this is their fault, just like failed drug policy and a poisoned supply is their fault.

It’s their fault, even though Vancouver Coastal Health hasn’t sent any information out to the general public. I mean, we wouldn’t want to spread hysteria now, would we? Much better to spread preventable diseases. After all, we totally know what’s best for them.

After all, they’re homeless because they made bad choices. Right, John? Rents Jump 9.8 Per Cent for Vancouver’s Worst and Cheapest Housing. The good thing about the opioid crisis is that when a user dies, they can double the rent of their old room! Vacancy control now.

Speaking of which, we finally have legislation tackling renovictions! B.C. proposes rent freeze until end of 2021, measures to stop renovictions. But as usual this is milquetoast neoliberal wish-wash with absolutely no teeth. Who’s surprised? Nobody. Nor is housing activist Sara Sagaii:

While this can weed out phony eviction notices it won’t address the real problem with renovictions. In the current climate long-term tenants are targeted for eviction because of their low rent. Renovation is simply the cheapest way to legally get rid of a tenant to jack up the rent by as much as they can.

Fine tuning the scope of “legal” renovictions as proposed here, will simply help streamline the process for landlords, especially larger renovicting developers such as Reliance Properties can benefit from having clear guidelines on how to build a legal eviction case.’

Downtown Eastside residents offered $5 after getting COVID-19 vaccine. Ah yes, let’s see what people are saying, shall we? Irene from Prince George says “Who’s paying for this?? Taxpayers?? The ones who get vaccinations last?” Denise from Abbotsford says: “bribe them with money to go by their drugs with, shame on you”. And Jana with the zinger, “Any overdoses reported right after this vaccination campaign?” Sigh.

Not gonna lie, I’m shocked that any low-income seniors are left in Chinatown: Chinatown advocates call for better plan to vaccinate low-income seniors. “They were lacking in Chinese-translated materials and also required seniors to stand out in the rain for hours while awaiting a vaccination,” said Tan”. WTF. We’re a city that is more bilingual than Montreal and we don’t have translated materials for Chinese seniors? I know BC has a long history of eugenics but this is pretty fucked up.

I also know BC has a long history of settler colonial state-sponsored violence but this too is fucked: Vancouver demonstration over jailing of pipeline protester ends with 4 arrests. Cool cool, so tell me again how we are a City of Reconciliation? Tell me that we should implement the U.N. declaration on rights of Indigenous Peoples. And don’t tell me that blocking an intersection is illegal. The VPD have discretion to respond however they see fit, and they use that discretion to criminalize land defenders and water protectors.

Meanwhile: Indigenous groups, leaders demand action in wake of B.C. police shooting death. Just a reminder that police aren’t supposed to shoot people even if they’re guilty.

I’d kill to have a desk job right now: Vancouver police officers seen posing with dead man reassigned to desk jobs.

Sounds about white: Caught on camera: Anti-maskers berate staff at Vancouver pizzeria, appear to rough up teenager. I’m an angry guy. I pretty much idle at 10. But watching this just made my blood absolutely boil. Let me at these fuckers.

‘It’s insulting’: Jewish community reacts to yellow star used by B.C. anti-vaxxer on T-shirt. Do yourself a favour and don’t look through her Facebook profile. I did and I will never get that time back but suffice to say it’s an hermetically sealed narcissistic echochamber of conspirituality, bigotry, and bastardized social justice rhetoric. Remember, racism is a feature – not a bug – in the anti-lockdown movement.

Joe Warmington: Lousy, expensive food sparks COVID hotel furor. Hey, here’s an idea: don’t travel. Spoiled brats.

Do your part, BC. We’re all in this tog… Quebec spring breakers arrive in B.C., despite warnings against non-essential travel. “As spring break starts in Quebec on Monday, some residents are flying to ski resorts in B.C., despite health recommendations against interprovincial travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic”. Recommendations, folks. Not laws, recommendations.

And here I thought it was Quebec: U.S. epidemiologist calls B.C. the “Florida of Canada” for its COVID-19 mask policy in schools. So if Jacksonville is Vancouver, Tallahassee is Victoria, does that make Richmond Miami?

Don’t worry, BC is also not doing anything about our housing crisis: Why BC isn’t doing anything to cool the red-hot real estate market. Remember, foreign buyers are only one gust of wind in a perfect storm.

Another is an insanely corrupt self-regulating real estate industry: Real estate lawyers may have helped high rollers buy Vancouver homes like casino chips: inquiry. The Vancouver Model:

He said he found gamblers could buy and renovate Metro Vancouver homes with loans from casino loan sharks, and then sell them soon after for millions in profit. And this could launder money in Canada for both the lenders and buyers, he said.

Don’t worry, BC is also terrible at managing its forests: Alleged logging at ancient First Nation burial site in B.C. prompts province to investigate

Don’t worry, BC is also terrible at building megaprojects: Pharaoh Horgan and His $16-Billion Monument to Folly.

Not that Canada is much better. We still can’t get clean water on reserves: From vaccines to pipelines to clean water on reserves, why Canada can’t seem to get anything done.

Vancouver? We can’t even slightly limit cars in a park:

Sigh. Might as well drink about it: Boredom, stress during pandemic behind rise in alcohol, cannabis use for some Canadians: survey. I’m on my 56th box of wine.

Some good news: Vancouver buys hotel to move in 65 people from shelters, SROs.

Of course, we could always do more: Bring Back Vancouver Co-op Living. All along Broadway.

However, as both the Birch and Alma project make clear, a hyper-abundance of market rentals only affordable to the top 20 per cent of our income earners doesn’t help house the people who need it most: our essential service workers with household incomes less than $75,000 per year. Most renter households in Vancouver earn less than $50,000 per year.

These households include people who hold occupations crucial to the health of the city — our orderlies, our grocery shelf stockers, food industry workers, taxi drivers, bus drivers, etc.

Fortunately, there is a better way. Under the province’s new rental-only authorization, Vancouver city staff are considering reviving the nearly lost art of co-op housing.

We’re making enough supply, just not he right kind: Canada Completed 18 Homes Per Person Added To The Population Last Quarter.

Praxis of the day: Queen Elizabeth II statue beheaded in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park.

Bonus: The confounding tale of a ‘phantom city’.

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  1. Side note what REITs do to prevent tennants from hiring a qualified tenancy lawyer: it’s called “Conflicting Out” and means that an REIT pays a small retainer to every tenancy law firm in a given area, thereby creating a conflict of interest if someone tries to hire said firm to defend against actions by an REIT, leaving ordinary people without the ability to hire a qualified legal advocate.

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