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.
I’m back from vacation and ready to get down to business, just like our premier except I’m not in charge of a province that is on fire, has the highest per-capita Covid infection rate in Canada, is grappling with ongoing drug poisonings, and brutalizing Indigenous youth protecting old growth forests: Premier John Horgan drawing heat for taking vacation while B.C. burns. I mean, to be fair, Christy Clark did it too which is a bar so low it’s a tavern in Hades.
But maybe his fishing trip to Peggy’s Cove in the COVID zero Atlantic Bubble did some actual good, because they re-introduced the mask mandate so fast your boy got whiplash! B.C. government once again changes its pandemic policies in a matter of hours. Wow, who knew Stephen Quinn had that much power!
Or rather, who knew the Twitter outrage machine had that much power: B.C.’s top doctor spurs backlash after posing maskless with fans. Yeah ok sure, it was bad optics to pose maskless with anti-maskers at a massive indoor sporting event the day before implementing a mask mandate…er…actually that’s it. That’s the end of the sentence.
Oh boy, I can’t wait for 18 year old hostesses who get paid barely minimum wage, are forced to adhere to misogynistic dress code standards, who are working in restaurants that are absolutely stretched thin already to be the ones to enforce this: B.C. announces new COVID-19 vaccine card required for wide range of public activities. Really, this is the bare minimum the BC government could do (even thought they could probably extend it to post-secondary schools)? But I guess it’s also working, as it appears a healthy number of people rushed out and booked their first appointment as though maybe this whole global pandemic was just a fad.
It’s also worth it to see all the anti-social spreadnecks lose their mind over this, as though a) they didn’t have a vaccine passport all through school b) they wouldn’t hesitate to get Twinrix if it meant a sweet vacay in Honduras c) the government doesn’t keep records of all sorts of things like how many car accidents they’ve ever had and how much they still own on their clearly useless student loan. It’s hilarious to hear them say “iF yOu mAkE mE sHoW a vAcCinE pAsSpOrt i’M nOt gOiNg tO fReQuEnT yOuR bUsIneSs” like, Chad, that’s the fucking point. Stay home and gaze into your bathroom mirror since you’re clearly the only person that matters to you. New word for all those butthurt about not being able to see Tyler the Creator at Rogers Place: Schaden-pfizer.
To all of Vancouver’s poor bashing media, this is on you: Unprovoked attack on Vancouver homeless man captured on video. All you “community safety” Karens and gentrifiers pushing the narrative that crime is out of control and Vancouver is being over-run by hordes of angry homeless drug users, to every anonymous twitter troll and concerned citizen facebook group, this is the climate of division and hate that you perpetuate.
Oh, and of course, let’s not forget the culture of derision that the cops cultivate with their constant criminalization of the poor. That and the fact they kill people with mental illness rather than learn de-escalation: Agency clears Vancouver officers in fatal shooting in Downtown Eastside. Oh, they had no choice because he had a sword? Then explain why the London Police had no problem taking this guy with a machete alive.
Here’s the VPD caught on camera straight-up slapping a man for no apparent reason because, well because they can:
@ChiefPalmer another Friday night & more #PoliceBrutality from the #VPD this time on a #homeless man in the #dtes. @sarahblyth @kwardvancouver don’t you agree it’s time for #bodycameras? #notrust #toserveandabuse pic.twitter.com/YQ1DUAXzVH
— eeleeb (@LeeLeeBeeLeeLee) August 21, 2021
Although I disagree with the commenter that body cams are needed. Body cams wouldn’t stop this from happening. You can’t reform this. It’s built in to their mindset as foot soldiers of private property.
Speaking of property, here’s some City of Vancouver workers confiscating a Penthouse from someone on the street and just casually flipping though it before taking it home on a street where 56 sex workers were murdered:
City workers check out Penthouse they snagged from someone on the street. pic.twitter.com/ULNK8LzZ1l
— Sarah Blyth (@sarahblyth) August 26, 2021
Then there’s the RCMP. Grabbing women by the braids and dragging them out of view and punching them in the face, pulling knives on them, grabbing a woman by the groin, pepper-spraying people in the mouth… Watchdog gets over 90 complaints on RCMP enforcement at Fairy Creek.
And where is the chickenshit Canadian mainstream media? Too busy using language like “tensions escalate.” Leave it to Teen Vogue to do the single best in depth examination of the bigger picture: At Fairy Creek, Indigenous Land Defenders Are On the Front Lines of Climate Justice.
From climate justice to housing justice, of which the two are inextricably linked: Crooked Burnaby landlord tries to jack 88-year-old man’s rent 15% during freeze. Landlord’s need to be licensed, publicly registered and face actual consequences when they try to pull this shit.
This despite the Horgan government promising to give teeth to the RTB Compliance and Enforcement Unit which only has five enforcement officers serving 5 million people and who only issued 7 penalties on landlords in 2.5 yrs of its existence: Oak Bay woman says she was evicted for being $1 short on rent for last six months. To make matters worse, she’s legally blind!
Here’s a thread about shady landlords gaslighting students into signing this probably very illegal “mutual agreement to end tenancy” clause.
And to the surprise of nobody, every single federal party has completely missed the mark on housing, from the NDP’s $5000 for renters (which is just a glorified landlord subsidy) to the Liberals’ Homeowners Bill of Rights (no Renters Bill of Rights?): #ELXN2021 Housing.
Wow, for some reason there’s no mention of a house-flipping tax in the Liberal platform. I wonder why: Vancouver Liberal candidate makes series of rapid-fire home deals, insists he’s no speculator. Yeah, media! You really have to stop… um, speculating.
Also, notice (thanks Ian Young) how none of these “housing affordability plans” describe how much they want house prices to fall. Leading to the satire of the day: Liberals promise to make housing affordable for everyday Canadian millionaires.
SFU and UBC: We need to continue raising tuition and charging expensive tuition for online education in the midst of a global pandemic cause we will lose money. Also SFU and UBC: UBC and SFU post budgetary surpluses despite COVID-19. Well, they certainly didn’t spend that grant money on getting professors a decent wifi connection.
Your industry might be broken when… Faced with a shortage of workers, a small army of seniors in Sechelt is volunteering to cover shifts at restaurants.
Speaking of a broken industry: List of influential B.C. chefs and restaurateurs criticized for excluding women.
Welcome to the revolution, comrade capybara! Attack of the giant rodents or class war? Argentina’s rich riled by new neighbors.
Bonus/Headline of the Day: Grimes comes for Elon Musk haters while petting robot dog