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.
Burn it all down: Rental costs in Vancouver jump more than 14% since last year. So despite there being a rent freeze they went up 14 fucking per cent? Awesome. Could it be because the NDP refuses to tie the rent to the unit, “affordable” new rentals mean absolutely nothing, and unscrupulous landlords evict people constantly by just saying “My family is moving in”?
Answer: yes: Report finds Vancouver has highest rental eviction rate in the country. Remember, landlords provide housing like scalpers provide concert tickets. Spencer Chandra Herbert and David Eby know this but continue to fiddle around with the RTB instead of overhauling the entire thing.
Enough is enough: It’s time for B.C. renters to organize a provincial movement. Can’t organize a rental movement if you need 3 jobs to be able to afford rent. The barons have clearly thought this through.
Failing that they’ll just evict you if you do organize: B.C. housing and anti-poverty advocate now facing eviction himself.
Remember, Vancouver’s property tax rate is still one of the lowest in North America, but that won’t stop landlords from complaining about capping rent at 1.5%:
Meanwhile: Monthly $3,722 rent for three-bedroom east side home meets City of Vancouver’s definition of “affordable”. If developers can’t or are unwilling to build actual affordable rentals then stop giving them subsidies to do so…it’s not working.
Meanwhile, the party that sold us out to developers and who made the word ‘affordable’ completely fucking meaningless refuses to read the room and die:
Haha, wtf: “Vision Vancouver has always delivered bold progressive policy on climate, affordability, and reconciliation.” Oh boy, I really needed a laugh today. Clearly they will do anything to keep the socialist hordes at bay, even if that means log-jamming the centre with faux progressives like Vision, the Greens, A Better City (whoever they are) all playing themselves off as progressive alternatives to the now-far right NPA, who will clearly benefit from this. Meanwhile, the real progressives have either been priced out of this banana smoothie republic or had their dreams absolutely crushed by the never-ending compromise of our namby-pamby neoliberal overlords.
It’s a common pattern: Two Strathconas.
Following the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the housing crisis intensified in Vancouver and Strathcona. Low wages proved unable to match high rents and an endemic shortage of affordable housing, leading to regular evictions. In a June 1931 report to Vancouver’s Mayor and Council, officials estimated there were at least four East End ‘hobo jungles’ or encampments in the area to the east of False Creek, housing more than 1,000 people (the East End was later renamed Strathcona).
The local state responded with overwhelming force. By September 1931, city crews raided, demolished and burned each of the tent cities (…) At the time the government officially cited typhoid as a cause for the evictions. In truth it was a strategy to break up concentrations of working-class life and the threat posed to Vancouver’s property-owning social contract, because the East End hobo jungles had had in fact transformed into urban hotbeds of Communist, leftist, and IWW organizing.
So who is Vision going to pick for mayor if they think Kennedy is, um, too far left? Andrea Reimer? Jody Wilson-Raybould? Or maybe house-flipper extraodinaire Taleeb Noormohamed? Is flipping a house now a flop? Why the practice has lost its cachet in Vancouver. “If you saw COVID-19 as a golden opportunity to flip a house, your timing was impeccable. Prices soared, flippers cleaned up. In response, federal Liberals, Conservatives, NDP and Greens are tripping over themselves promising they’ll bring down housing costs.” Except literally none of them are talking about bringing down the price of housing…
They are talking about making it easier for suckers first time homebuyers to get a house: First Home Savings Account called ‘voter candy for millennials’ by mortgage insider. “Heath said paying less tax is a good thing and describes the tax refund component as “mildly beneficial,” but noted that the extent of the savings would be in the hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars”. Hundreds of dollars! Why don’t they call this the Avocado Toast Savings Account instead, FFS.
Nervous workers, defiant businesses and a fistfight: Here’s how Day 1 of B.C.’s vaccine passport went. Just one? Probably a good thing I don’t work in the restaurant industry anymore. Still though, for everyone that isn’t a disease spreading plaguerat, remember to be kind to workers as they shoulder this burden.
Then there’s this guy: B.C. man puts COVID-19 vaccine card QR code on T-shirt. I’m sure there’s someone getting a tattoo of theirs as we speak. That’s not going to age well. Unless, of course Covid never ends and, oh god, it’s the mark of the beast and everything the bible said was real…
Good morning to everyone except these people: Toronto first responders gather in silent protest of vaccine mandates. Don’t click on the link because it’s Rebel News but you get the idea. It’s a bunch of overwhelmingly white cops and wannabe cops who look like they are just about to ask to speak to the manager. ACAB, or should that be AVAB (anti-vaxxers are bastards).
Because: Antivaxxer spends day protesting hospital where he’ll spend next month intubated.
Meanwhile: Some B.C. hospitals ‘close to collapse’ amid surge in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients, including an infant that was in the ICU. An infant.
Let’s debunk the claims on signs carried by Vancouver anti-vax protesters. Wait, I’m pretty sure the 99.7% survival rate these idiots throw around is if you only had COVID because these idiots don’t understand what a comorbidity is.
Related: Canada’s largest protest is being overshadowed by its dumbest.
Justin McElroy is no longer going to do his Covid charts and everyone is freaking out. I for one shall miss his mild snark and slight frustration at the total lack of data by the BC government.
Bonus: How Canada’s Tofu Revolution Began in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
That (first-ever!) “report” on evictions was simply a compilation of 4-yr old stats from 65k people filling out a census questionnaire, which is well-known for creative writing. It was done by a student and despite the title “Understanding Evictions … ” is void of any analysis other than the author’s own (media-friendly) sorry anecdote and a bunch of qualifiers on what they didn’t reserach and don’t know.
What would be useful is the extent of evictions directly caused by a tenant; violations of tenancy law, breaches of agreement (to which they agreed & signed), no rent payment (theft), income or employment fraud (lies), damages to property, criminal activity, excessive noise disruptions, etc.
Sean, where are you?