On Licking Statue Boots and Real Estate Developers Frothing at the Mouth

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.

B.C. Civil Liberties Association executive director Harsha Walia at centre of social media firestorm. She didn’t mean ‘burn’ churches. She meant burn down the invisible structures that allowed churches to throw children into unmarked graves. Burn down the systems that value capital over human life. Burn down the settler colonial petrostate that gives billions to oil companies while entire towns burn to the ground during a climate crisis.

Burn down the white supremacy that seethes under the surface of our fragile national identity: Totem pole burned on Vancouver Island in apparent retaliation for sinking of Captain Cook statue. Imagine licking the boot of a long dead racist “explorer” this hard. Imagine wanting this badly to centre yourself as the victim.

Speaking of which: Archbishop fuels more anger by saying the church is being persecuted over residential schools. The people most upset by Harsha’s comments are the people fine with this. They’re the ones silent when fishermen burn down a lobster pound. They’re also the ones ironically most vociferous about so called “cancel culture”. Harsha is someone who always punches up, whose activism makes this world a better place for everyone. Her detractors don’t care. They simply see an uppity brown woman and have no room for an emotional response.

Burn it all down:

Extortion at the highest degree, and yet completely absent from the news. How can Murray Rankin, BC’s Minister of Indigenous Relations, ever be trusted again? Shame.

Meanwhile:

This from a guy who thinks mass deaths from deeply flawed policy are a matter of personal responsibility. Yet an empty building on fire requires the utmost attention. But when asked about fireworks and forest fires, Horgan says “You can’t legislate against people doing stupid things”. That’s literally the function of government, John.

This is what systemic racism looks like: B.C. admits communications with First Nations during Lytton fire ‘didn’t live up to expectations’. Not holding my breath. We (Canadians) can’t even figure out how to fix drinking water on reserves. Make no mistake, the people who will suffer most from the climate crisis are the people least responsible for it.

Case in point: Climate deaths and class divides: What we can learn from B.C.’s heat wave disaster.

From the scorched ruins of Lytton, B.C., to the watery inferno of the Gulf of Mexico, it all feels like the opening scenes from a dystopian movie. Terminal phase pyro-capitalism. Even the billionaires are playing their part, as if from the pages of an overwrought Hollywood script, racing to be the first to leave the planet for outer space.

Related: Passing Time in the Merciless Inferno.

BCEHS struggles to explain alert level and morale issues after deadly heat wave. “Mackinnon cited the collective agreement for preventing a call for ‘all hands on deck’ in the wake of the extreme heat warning and forecast”. Something is seriously wrong.

11-month-old baby killed in 2-car collision in downtown Vancouver: police. As people rightly question how we can prevent such a tragedy, Councillor DeGenova takes a line from the NRA and offers thoughts and prayers while cautioning against using the the death of a child to “further any agenda“. Right. Because not wanting children to die is an agenda.

And yet VPD police union head thinks this is a good time to call for a bigger police budget. Is there any low this gang of thugs won’t stoop to?

They’d just use the funds to harass people drinking outside the designated drinking zones and arrest BIPOC women for trespassing because she was playing basketball by herself, on a weekend, at a school: Vancouver police officers arrest Black woman allegedly causing disturbance, witness opposes claims.

Not surprising considering they still wear thin blue line patches even though VicPD and the RCMP banned them.

If Mayor Kennedy Stewart made the VPD’s job harder, they need to prove it. To be fair, policing is quite dangerous, right behind loggers, fishers, aircraft pilots and flight engineers, roofers, garbage collectors, iron and steel workers, truck drivers, farmers, groundskeepers, and construction labourers.

Independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould won’t run in next election. Who called it? I called it.

Oh good: ‘Flying Ant Day’: Metro Vancouver marks the start of ‘winged season’.

Good news of the day: B.C. Supreme Court drops bombshell on B.C. natural gas industry.

More! City Council approves LGBTQ community centre and social housing tower on Davie Street. Unsurprisingly, Hardwick abstained.

Interesting: 14 storey-building with 172 social housing units proposed for DTES. “They’ll be using a model called affordable leasehold homeownership to help new homeowners purchase a unit, which sees the resident purchase a share of an apartment through a long-term lease in partnership with the non-profit society”.

Big Questions about Vancouver’s Big Proposal for Co-op Living. Developers are just frothing at the mouth on this. To the barricades!

The future we get, not the future we want: This bathroom with a bed was listed as a ‘micro studio’ for $680/mo in Vancouver. Most people don’t even get their own bathroom so this is a steal.

Because of course: Vancouver City Planning Commission under fire for “one-sided” housing panel.

On the flip side, the Vancouver City Planning Commission came out with this excellent report: Climate Emergency: Extreme Heat and Air Quality Mitigation.

Art of the day: How this Canadian former art student ended up with a gallery in the Netherlands named after her.

Bonus: Out of Lockdown and Back into the Long Depression.

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