A no messing around guide to the coolest things to eat, drink and do in Vancouver and beyond. Community. Not clickbait.

On Young People Totally Sucking and Scumbag Real Estate Agents Stealing Fruit

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 not a contest, but OK: Illicit drug deaths in B.C. higher than homicides, car crashes, suicide, COVID-19 combined: report.

Dr. Bonnie: “Everyone should probably Netflix and chill.”
Everybody: “OMG she is such a hero! I love her shoes!”
Also Dr Bonnie: “We need to act on overdoses.”
Everybody: *crickets*

The response from the provincial government has been so anemic that advocacy groups just threw their hands up and walked away from the table: Advocates Blast BC’s Overdose Crisis Response and Quit Consultations. I know Horgan apologized for labelling first time drug use as a choice, but I have to wonder if this idea that drug use and poverty is some sort of character flaw is the driving force behind this fatal inaction…

We’ve been begging for the same action since day one. We need more than Band-Aids – we are hemorrhaging family and friends,” said Hawkfeather Peterson, president of the BC / Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors. “While we’ve made progress in treating overdoses, we must prioritize preventing them.”

But that would mean actually acknowledging drug users as human beings, which is super hard because we’re too busy vilifying them to generate website clicks: More Vancouver residents sound alarm about deteriorating downtown core — wherein Jordan Armstrong interviews “concerned resident” Farhan Mohamed, former editor-in-chief for Daily Hive (a pro-gentrification, pro-developer rag that has been shitting on the poor for decades) about how scary Yaletown has suddenly become. As laughable as that is, it gets better…

“Jane” in this story is apparently a member of a group called Downtown Community Safety Watch which has been filming and shaming drug users. Also in the group is Christopher D. Wilson, a former Rebel News correspondent and member of the NPA board of directors. Here he is, barely 24 hours before the event with “Jane”, encouraging members of the group to harass drug users:

Again, as a Gastown resident I can sympathize with so-called “street disorder”. I’ve lived with it for 12 years. But you can’t go filming people and then paint yourself as the victim when someone suffering from the throes of addiction and mental health becomes agitated by your actions. Don’t go full Karen.

Indeed, a viral Facebook post says as much. Here’s a segment:

There’s a recent news article about a young man chasing a woman down the street in Yaletown with a needle. I’m choosing not to share it, because it’s completely biased and unfair journalism. I know this young man personally. He’s actually very sweet. He asked this woman to stop filming him shooting up, and she wouldn’t. So he chased her away, and she played the victim.

I’m seeing more and more of this unkind, classist, entitled BS every day. Just because this young man can’t afford a bougie $2500 Yaletown apartment does not mean he is any less part of this community, and does not mean he deserved to have his picture taken and shamed on social media.

Believe it or not, it’s possible to admit that this city is genuinely a heartbreaking place and that nobody should have to see open drug use while simultaneously realizing that this is a culmination of years of failed policy, rampant inequality, austerity, colonialism, and an ineffectual drug war all wrapped up in a perfect storm that fits perfectly inside a global pandemic. /rant

Now, to really get angry: ‘I stood up to anti-gay bullies’: Man’s leg broken in confrontation with street preachers. So, let me get this straight. Homophobic religious bigots spout hate speech in Davie Village all summer long with numerous complaints and the VPD does nothing? And they wonder why they aren’t allowed at Pride and why people want to slash their budget in half? Seriously, please tell me: who do they protect and who do they serve?

Since Justin’s GoFundMe has well surpassed its $25k goal I suggest donations to the Trans Resiliency Fund. Because unfortunately it shouldn’t take a cis-het dude getting hurt for people to actively care for and directly support our local LGBTQ2S communities.

Meanwhile, Private Firms Pour Millions into Militarizing Police via Charities. When people bring up the red herring that defunding the police will just create a private police force, please show them this.

Speaking of charity, why are the cops stationed at the Food Bank under the auspices of “helping out”? Food Bank Photo Ops Are Good for Police. But What about Clients? You don’t get to enforce the continued criminalization of poverty for decades and come out looking like the good guys. Sorry, it just doesn’t work like that.

Why don’t Vancouver police officers wear body cameras? Because we don’t want to funnel another cent to them, let alone $34 million just so they can conveniently malfunction. Also, body cameras haven’t done a lick to stop police brutality.

Renters’ mental health ‘deteriorating’ as B.C. evictions ban ends: survey. Hey, remember when John Horgan promised that no one would lose their home due to Covid-19? Yeah, neither do I.

How many more of these tone deaf CERB-shaming articles do we have to be, um, exposed to? Canadians risk becoming addicted to pandemic aid. Ah yes, some corporate ghoul is worried that people might be able to afford food. I think most of us would agree we are “addicted” to not getting sick, or that we are “addicted” to being able to pay our fucking rent.

Be right back, sharpening guillotine: ‘This is a wild ad’: Craigslist post for B.C. rental full of illegal demands, advocates say. Translation: “I’m a miserable misanthropic piece of shit but I bought into a mortgage that I can’t afford.”

The pearfect headline doesn’t ex… Woman says Vancouver real estate agent picked her pear tree clean while showing house. I never thought I’d be slamming real estate agents for stealing fruit, but here we are.

Employees at private B.C. liquor store vote to unionize as pandemic profits soar. Louder for the people in the back: If you can’t pay your employees living wages you shouldn’t be in business.

Nationalize it: Workers claim B.C. Ferries puts bottom line ahead of safety. Here’s an idea: stop running public assets like corporations.

Here’s another idea, stop shipping raw logs south of the border and work with sovereign First Nations to implement a comprehensive plan for an immediate transition away from the logging of the last old-growth forests towards a sustainable/restorative second-growth forestry model: Activists continue blockade of logging road on Vancouver Island to protect giant cedar.

And now for the news I know you’ve all been waiting for: Cars in Stanley Park. A story in two tweets. First, NPA Parks Board Commissioner is confused why there are no bikes in a photo that was clearly taken at 6:30 am:

Second is some bike bro un-ironically claiming that reopening Stanley Park to cars is responsible for the uptick in COVID cases:

Victoria man fined for hosting party says he plans to fight ticket. I hereby take back everything I said about blaming young people. Fuck this entitled little piss-ant.

Government has spent $37M so far on hotels for returning Canadians who can’t self-isolate at home. If you can afford to travel, you can afford your own quarantine.

Who had Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes in their doomsday bingo? Application To Release 750 Million Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Approved. Black Mirror is a documentary.

Bonus: Please Advise! Who in the World Is Erin O’Toole?

On Ken Sim’s So-Called “Swagger” and ABC’S Class War

Sean Orr is back from his hiatus with a rundown of the local headlines that have been running on a ticker tape through his mind over the past six months...

On Post-Election Recuperation, Platform Paradoxes and Refund Communities

In his latest read of the local news headlines, Sean Orr finds irony in "safety, affordability, and sustainability", and shouts out a bunch of amazing local organizations working on the frontlines.

On Running for City Council, Playing Whack-a-Mole with Homelessness, and the Public Washroom Deficit

In his latest read of the local news headlines, Sean Orr finds a park ranger with a grudge, a gross misuse of air quotes and Tripadvisor slander.

On Living in a City Preoccupied with Street Cleaning, Chandeliers, and Campaigns Against the Homeless

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.