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

On Protesting Protesters & Vancouver’s Long History Of Screwing Itself


by Sean Orr | Hey, remember when I said the Panama Papers had a role in our crazy house prices? Just replace SF with Vancouver: The Panama Papers and SF’s housing crisis.

So let’s stop arguing that all of this new high-end development is helping the housing crisis. It’s not. But this type of development is almost certainly helping some very nasty characters bring their wealth ashore in quasi-legal ways.

Of course, we’re to blame too. We made the conditions that led to Vancouver becoming Hedge City.

We built this city on boosterism and speculation: ‘Extreme makeover’ erodes Vancouver’s allure.

As urban policy expert Elizabeth Murphy reminded me recently, the Sino-Cascadia pathway across the Pacific was well-prepared by local policy decisions. It started with the City of Vancouver’s drive “to rezone massive amounts of the city, removing checks and balances like Third Party Appeals to the Board of Variance, changing from the Liveable Region Strategic Plan to the Regional Growth Strategy, unhinging transit from transportation to the delivery system of development, dismantling of heritage programs while encouraging the destruction of the older more affordable housing stock,” Murphy writes.

Brocialist of the day: How Political Correctness Is Hurting the Poor. Good thing they published this rebuttal by Michael Stewart. “If capital’s ethnicity doesn’t matter, neither does its victims”.

When punishing poor people trumps fiscal responsibility: Fare gate closures logical step in ending culture of freeloading. “What kind of transit system in any decent-sized city runs on the honour system?” How about a little west coast hamlet known as Los Angeles? Or the surely decent-sized European burg of Berlin?

Speaking of fiscal responsibility: BC Hydro Paying Millions to Independent Power Producers to Not Produce Power Due to Oversupply.

Speaking of BC Hydro, if you’ve ever visited the anti-Site C encampment at its downtown headquarters you can probably relate to the following: Occupy Wall Street founder Micah White gets real about The End of Protest. Crusty punks playing hackysack? Check. Woman playing folk songs on a harp? Check. Signs that say “People Not Profit”? Check. Hunger Strikers? Really? Yup.

Trigger warning: B.C. woman says certain tattoos should be banned for nurses after nightmares from ‘terrifying’ skull. “The last thing I needed to have shoved in my face was a skull”. Um, I can think of at least 3 things that would have been worse than a tattoo being shoved in your face, but yeah, basically just make hospitals a place where the spectre of death doesn’t loom around every corner. Good idea.

Bonus: here’s a letter I just wrote to The Province (that won’t get published)…

Are Province readers getting dumber?

This morning I accidentally picked up a Province newspaper. It’s been so long I forgot they still printed them IRL. Most of it was fairly typical stuff: mining the Trump name for paper sales; lots of bits about Surrey and how crime-ridden and awful it is; a pro-fracking editorial, et cetera. But what really caught my eye were the letters. My god, the letters.

The first one was from a reader lambasting the Compass Card system (which indeed warrants a firm thrashing). Unfortunately, the writer didn’t even know that you can buy single-use tickets. The letter went on to say “next time TransLink comes whining for more funding I will be sure to remind them of this decision”, perhaps forgetting that it was, in fact, the Mayors who asked for money in the recent transit referendum.

The next letter was someone telling a doctor that they couldn’t speak with authority on the health impacts of traffic. Tell us more, oh wise sage! Then came someone dead set against lowering the speed limit, saying it is always the pedestrians who are at fault in accidents and not, you know, the person in the steel machine barreling down the road. Because cars – not people – own the roads. Don’t tell him that horses used to own the roads!

Next was a letter saying we shouldn’t put the onus of keeping our society safe on the police, or the very people we pay to keep our society safe. Blame the politicians instead!

Then there was a person who was angry that we took people from a war-ravaged country and took them on a ski trip. How awful! The person who wrote the letter hasn’t been skiing in years! Someone take Chris Sawyer on a ski trip! He works hard, damn it!

So I guess my question is this: does the Province give priority to these knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers, or does this really represent the issues that are important to regular folks in and around Vancouver? Or is it just proof that intelligent people really are leaving the city, leaving behind a Randian dystopia of anti-government Freepers and confused, self-entitled yokels?

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.