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On the Perils of Being a Pedestrian, the Car Culture Disease, and the Rise of Billionaires

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.

Welcome to Vancouver, where while we are grappling with the triple concurrent deadly crises of climate catastrophe, drug poisoning, and housing affordability, our media is complaining about overgrown medians and driving through Stanley Park on a long weekend (Fixing the traffic at Stanley Park). Adding more lanes has never reduced traffic. Car culture is a disease that breeds extreme entitlement and self-victimization.

And it’s the number one threat to public safety: Road-rager endangers pedestrian at the city’s “worst” crosswalk. This crosswalk is so bad that me and Maggie Boyd once repainted it ourselves while working at Budgies.

Some obscure American newspaper just wrote an article about how good Vancouver’s protected bike lanes are: On the Water’s Edge: Vancouver by Bike.

These people need to calm the fuck down: Aggressive parking standoff between neighbours in Vancouver goes viral. This guy parks in front of other peoples’ houses all the time, and I have the proof.

Lots of people are weaponizing this against electric cars, but I’m pretty sure conventional cars catch fire more often: Tesla traps Metro Vancouver driver inside and then catches fire.

Broken record: Metro Vancouver renters feeling highest financial crunch in the country. We need a massive publicly financed outbuild of actually affordable rental housing now. On top of that we need a renters plan that includes the right to return with dignity, the right to remain, rent tied to the unit, the end of private landlord subsidies, the right of first refusal to buy properties for co-op & public housing, and we need to enshrine the right of tenants to organize.

Instead what do we get? A fucking museum: B.C. government put on defensive after ‘tone deaf’ $789M museum upgrade announcement.

The system is working; we need a new system: A new billionaire has been minted nearly every day during the pandemic.

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In his latest read of the local news headlines, Sean Orr hones in on the recent Langley shootings, and the ongoing criminalizing and dehumanizing of the homeless population.