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.
Via the CBC: Should British Columbia change its name? As we reckon with history, some say it’s time. Just call it BC. It can stand for whatever you want. Bring Cash, Blame China, Brazen Clearcut, Beyond Colonialism, or Boreal Cascadia. Name changes are nice and everything, but until we take the treaty process seriously; give land back; stop flooding their holy places; stop sending actual snipers to protect a gas company; abolish the prison industrial complex; stop violently arresting land defenders while giving anti-maskers and homophobic preachers a free pass; stop arguing in court that their land was abandoned; are able to communicate with them when an entire town burns to the ground; stop the millennium scoop; stop assigning homework that asks for positives of the Residential School system; drop court fights against survivors; and stop threatening to withhold federal money for residential school survivors as a “sweetener” for Indian Bands entering the BC Treaty Commission Process after Delgamuukw; and tax a church that uses money meant for residential school survivors on lawyers…then it would be purely symbolic.
Meanwhile, the Daily Hive runs a bizarre hit piece on the beautiful and powerful Land Back mural: Six-storey wall next to Chinatown drug inhalation site now covered with graffiti. A mural doesn’t have to be part of the city’s art program to be sanctioned, which is something Kenneth Chan would know if he had visited the, um, opioid prevention site (sic). By tying the mural to a “spike in illicit graffiti” and “struggling small businesses” he’s further criminalizing drug users, peer support workers, and homelessness with clickbait while simultaneously delegitimizing Indigenous resistance. But as long time cheerleader for the booster class, nobody is really surprised.
B.C. records 342 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily case count since May 27. Cool cool, what are y’alls plans for the next lockdown that we totally won’t have even though we should? I heard Tik Tok is fun.
Um: B.C. health authority apologizes after yellow star handed out at COVID-19 vaccine clinic. Can the government just run every idea they have on Twitter first to save them this kind of embarrassment instead of backrooms full of yes-men sycophants?
New York restaurants, gyms require proof of vaccination. Could it happen in B.C.? Wherein Dr. Bonnie Henry puts the burden on private operators to refuse entry to those not vaccinated. This isn’t going to end well.
It’s ok, here’s John Horgan banging on a pot for 10 hours instead of doing anything meaningful for BC workers.
Again, BC outflanked by Doug fucking Ford: Masks, physical distancing top Ontario’s COVID-19 back-to-school plan. Here in BC, we nail school windows shut.
And France, Italy and Greece: Groups representing doctors, nurses call for mandatory vaccination of health-care workers. BC Nurses Union, I’m looking at you.
Hey, don’t worry. We hate all workers equally: Toxic drug crisis, pandemic have left front-line workers struggling to cope. It’s not a crisis, it’s a policy failure rooted in an ideology that puts the onus on personal responsibility, thereby relieving the government of theirs. It’s “don’t blow it for the rest of us” and “please do more” and “addictions are a choice” and “fatalities are a part of life”. It’s a death cult.
Police watchdog investigates after man falls to death in Coquitlam. This is the second time this has happened in the span of a year. Who wants to bet their investigation is going to clear them of any wrongdoing like they did with Regis Korchinski-Paquet.
There’s a lot of change happening in the world right now. At least we can all find solace in the consistency of the VPD to act like violent thugs: Video shows Vancouver police officer shoving man to the ground. Always. Film. Police.
Fuck it, just film all white people I guess: Racist insults hurled at South Asian elders and children in Surrey park. “The officer said, ‘Maybe they were just having a bad day.’ So saying racist, hurtful, harassing stuff is having a bad day? That’s not okay.” These fuckers aren’t here to serve or protect anyone but white supremacist structures.
OMG cute! Victoria is so damn quaint: Victoria B.C. police nabbed so many impaired drivers at roadblock they ran out of tow trucks. Here’s the part where they say they are underfunded because…tow trucks. That being said, fuck the self-entitlement of BC drivers.
Speaking of entitlement: Canadians itching to travel eye Italy, Toronto as next vacation spots. Just go to Ask For Luigi, for fuck’s sake.
Speaking of entitlement, Part 3: Selfie-seekers taking dangerous risks on BC Hydro property, Crown corp. says. They don’t call it Vaincouver for nothing. [ed. note: nobody calls it that, Sean. Stop trying to make Vaincouver happen]
Part 4: Two fires in Stanley Park caused by cigarette butts: fire officials. Fuck the coyotes. We should cull the people responsible for this.
Part 5: Despite burn bans, B.C. man tells Mounties he didn’t want to mow his lawn, set it on fire instead. This is not what ‘burn it all down’ means.
Hate people like I do? Get this app and avoid the public in pubic transit! TransLink partners with app to predict how crowded your bus will be. Serious question, was this app sponsored by Lyft and Uber?
It was pretty disappointing to see some high profile BC media people fall for this:
All the Teslas in Hope, B.C., in line waiting 2.5 hours for a charger to continue on to Vancouver. pic.twitter.com/ZXDWXzLcDw
— Lola (@LolaHumphrey19) July 31, 2021
This was a picture of a Tesla meet-up the day before a brand new supercharger arrived in Hope: Hope becomes a bigger draw for Tesla drivers with 12 new stations.
B.C. Christmas tree growers say intense heat singes prized trees, kills seedlings. Christmas is cancelled. Thanks Antifa.
Capital Daily: Salt Spring Island’s duelling crises: Housing is at a breaking point. But to understand why there’s nowhere to live, first we need to understand why it’s getting harder to get water.
Maybe because the rush to satiate the insatiable appetite of developers has left us a shell of a province: Mad dash to build Vancouver housing leaves infrastructure behind. It’s a literal shit mess: “Plans for a long strip of high-density new homes along Cambie Street, especially around the massive new development at the Oakridge shopping mall, had to be slowed down three years ago when the city’s engineering department determined there wasn’t enough sewer capacity, acknowledged planners and engineers”.
If you build it they (speculators) will come: The number one reason you will never be able to afford a house in Canada. “There is an entire latticework of laws in this country to artificially constrict the supply of homes and make it illegal for you to build a reasonable place to live.” You mean there is an entire latticework of laws preventing developers extracting the maximum amount of money the market will bear.
Ahem: 14% of Metro Vancouver’s young homeowners have more than one property: report. Canada’s First Time Home Buyer Incentive seems to be working like a charm! Seriously, that’s not sarcasm. This is what it was meant to do.
Never forget that we made it this. We allowed this to happen. We willed this to happen: Douglas Todd: Vancouver still suffering fallout from ‘students’ buying mansions. You ever drink waaaay too much natural wine on an empty stomach? “The most important thing to understand about foreign capital is it never goes back. It just sloshes around.”
How a Vancouver real estate agent became an Australian drug mule. Wait, they aren’t all drug mules?
High rents, no workers, no tourists = perfect storm: Salt Tasting Room in Gastown moving after nearly 15 years. Add it to the list of businesses in Gastown that have either closed or moved: Army and Navy, Wildebeest, Pub 340, Lamplighter, Clough Club, Irish Heather, Nouvelle Nouvelle, Livestock, Ollie Quinn, 131 Water Kitchen and Bar, MIA, Prado/Smart Mouth, Parliament, Peckinpah, Rogers Chocolates, E:cle, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, Poke Shop, Fresh Bowl, Structube, David’s Tea, Megabite Pizza, Litchfield, Orling and Wu, Espace D, ARC, Evo, Tuc Craft Kitchen, Six Hundred Four, M0851, Ampersand Bistro, Revel Room, Eyeland, Metropole, Save on Meats (hiatus), Nicli, La Mezcaleria, Charles Bar, Strike Mvmnt, Coquille, Bauhaus, Sardine Can and probably a ton of others.
The high, human cost of global shipping in the pandemic: Sailors stuck at sea for months. Capitalism is terrifying.
Alberta of the day: ‘Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion’ petition in Edmonton gets boost from John Cena, Margot Robbie. In 50 years from now when we are all wearing respirators, our coastal cities are underwater, 80% of the population is homeless, and race wars rage across the continent, at least we can pause and giggle about Boaty McBoat Face and Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion and say to ourselves, well at least they did something.
Sports of the day: Why women are owning the podium for Canada at the Tokyo Olympic. Don’t forget the first out trans medalist ever!
Honour Bound: B.C. non-profit challenges Health Canada to end 50-year prohibition on magic mushrooms.
At first I was like yes, yes – preach… but then i felt like I warped into hell.
Felt very sad thinking of how much misery it felt to write this, Damn… I feel Utterly depressed RN after reading this article, although many of these things I knew of the way it hit all at once was heavy. There is so much bad to see in this world of course – but man, you don’t miss a thing. I hope you have a good therapist because I am sincerely worried for your mental health. The world has always been burning down, and it will as long as humans remain “civilized” also there is hope, there is positive. See some good and breed that with your powerful talent, maybe for the next time. Balance it out.
Wish you health 🙏
Very well written. Although most of what you said has been true for the last 100 years. The end is not Nigh, but it is natural to always feel that way.
Try not to be so hateful of Albertians. I bet you would like it there, just like many other non-conservatives do.
I so appreciate this column! I look forward to it every week. I trust Sean Orr finds at least some equilibrium by creating and giving us such excellent work.
loved the litany of unhappiness and stupidity-all I can say is “inside every cynic is a disappointed idealist”-I have no magic wand and the only power I have is dissent and non co operation
Vaincouver. I love it. Not that you’re trying to get Vaincouver to catch on though.
That list of Gastown businesses that have closed/moved was sad.