On Surfing Heat Waves and Building a City for People Who Don’t Like It Enough to Live in It

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.

It’s Code Red for the Climate. Will BC Do Anything about It? No, because we’re too busy protesting bike lanes in Stanley Park; preserving vast swaths of Single Family Housing; complaining about buildings casting shadows and clutching our pearls when we try can claw back revenue from 3 million dollar homes; writing editorials about graffiti in the inner city; driving around in flashy supercars stashing huge amounts of cash in tax havens; complaining about traffic being bad in the downtown core of a major Canadian city — all while the rest of us are forced by the crushing weight of reality to ameliorate our misery on cheap Amazon trinkets and 5 dollar lattes. Capitalism is burning the planet and they’re making us feel bad for having that second shower.

And yet I realize this kind of fatalism is deeply rooted in privilege and that racialized communities will be hit the hardest. There’s a huge movement of people challenging the status quo every day, a groundswell of support for the Green New Deal, and fierce young indigenous-led resistance:

And then, without a shred of irony, on the day this report was released, this: Ottawa says it must maximize revenue from the Trans Mountain pipeline to fight climate change. This is like saying we need more murderers to fight crime, or you need another drink before having the courage to go to AA. It’s the logic of neoliberalism writ large. It’s speaking out of both sides of your mouth. It’s the best satire the Beaverton never wrote. Just a thought…maybe we could spend the $17 billion we are spending on this pipeline to help us transition away from fossil fuels?

Hold my disc: BC Premier John Horgan slammed for playing frisbee golf while province burns. While I’m loathe to give clicks to the Post Millennial, they’re the only news source that is pointing out the complete tone-deafness of this tweet. Horgan frolfs while Rome burns.

This is even more frustrating.

This is a guy whose government spent $1.3 billion on fossil fuel subsidies, who is flooding sacred land to power fracking, whose biggest single export commodity is coal — all while sending paramilitary forces to break up old growth logging protest camps while the majority of supporters were in Victoria for the one year anniversary of the blockade. This is a guy who said if British Columbians gave him a majority government to act decisively he would. He hasn’t. The only redeeming thing about this tweet is the pushback in the comments. People are seeing through the shallow theatrics.

Preparations underway for dangerous temperatures as B.C. officials hesitate to escalate weather warning level. It’s happening again:

But internal documents on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s heat alert response system obtained by CTV News show the criteria to move to an extreme heat alert is when the forecasted maximum at Vancouver International Airport is above 29 C for at least two days or above 34 C in Abbotsford for two days or longer.

The current forecast exceeds those temperatures in the Fraser Valley, but will only surpass 29 degrees at YVR for one day.

Penny Daflos is great but if I see one more weather report calling this summer’s record breaking temperatures “unprecedented” without talking about the climate crisis I’m going to lose it: Weather reports now just daily list of records broken in latest heatwave.

Remember when Naheed Nenshi worked for 43 straight hours? Exclusive: Vancouver Mayor a no-show during June’s heat dome weekend. I mean, to be fair, he’s been a no-show his entire term. Hey-o!

Someone made a handy map of cooling centres in the Lower Mainland.

It would be one thing if we protected workers: ‘Almost no protection’: Surrey teachers concerned about returning to school in B.C..

But we all know how we treat workers in this province: Opinion: MLA Ben Stewart apparently wants B.C. workers to be paid as little as possible. I’d call for a boycott against Quails Gate but I know all my readers have actual palates.

“Housing is a human right. Speculation is not.” You now need to make $253,000 to afford an average Vancouver house. We are a failed state.

Vancouver transit advocate to lose home in Cambie rezoning as councillor says city creating “elite neighbourhood”.

The city defines social housing as any entire housing development wherein only 30 percent of the units are dedicated to households who can rent at or below market rates. The rest of the 70 percent of the homes can be rented for rates that can go as high as the market can bear.

Hence, of the 947 units of social housing in the Cambie Corridor, only 30 percent or 284 units are for families earning about $50,000 to $80,000 a year.

That means that only about three percent of the 10,740 new housing units in the Cambie Corridor are somewhat affordable.

(To be read in Dr. Steve Bruce’s voice) Can’t afford a house? Just trade in your car, silly! Oakridge Centre redevelopment offering “car for a condo” trade-in. “However, prospective buyers will not be able to trade in any car. In order to qualify, the vehicle being traded in must be pre-owned by any Dilawri dealership within British Columbia”.

Many B.C. residents considering moving somewhere more affordable: poll. Lol, like where? Germany? Because watch this animated chart of Canadian home prices.

The Wilful Blindness of Wilful Blindness. Is money laundering from Chinese gangs the be all and end all of the Vancouver housing crisis? No. Did it have an affect? Almost undoubtedly. How much? I guess we’ll wait for the Cullen Commission to release its report.

If we keep trying, we could be just like New York: Nearly half of luxury units empty in seven Billionaires’ Row buildings. Vanhattan, anyone?

Fun anecdote, every single bus ad in West Van is for a realtor: West Vancouver council approves reducing allowable size of “monster homes”. Ah yes, your 7,000 sq ft house must now only be 6,000.

Red card for humanity: Park Board seeking feedback on new permanent bike lane at Kitsilano Beach Park. Yes, let’s hear from hundreds of entitled boomer NIMBYs who don’t cycle and whose only concern is property values. What could go wrong?

A growing movement demands free, expanded public transit in Canada. Why this already doesn’t exist is beyond me, especially with two Greens on council.

Maybe it’s time to blow something up again. Figuratively speaking of course! The Man who Blew up the Courthouse Lion.

Feel good story of the day: ‘It’s my little baby duck’: Nanaimo man forms unique friendship with duck.

First Nations had advanced technological systems that had a small ecological footprint and then we came and ruined everything of the day: Amazing 1,300-Year-Old Technology Found Hidden in Comox Harbour.

Honour bound: Indigenous female-owned airline to begin operations on Vancouver Island.

Podcast of the day: I Remember John Furlong.

Event: DTES Pride.

There is 1 comment

  1. I can’t believe I’ve never heard about the courthouse lion being blown up. Thanks for sharing that!

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