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

On Tent Cities, Homeless Students & Feeling Sad For Foreign Investors


by Sean Orr | A funny thing happens when the people demand change: Gregor Robertson agrees to turn Vancouver tent city into ‘100% social housing’. A bit of a bunt when it could have been a grand slam. He gets to look like a white knight and blame the province. But this site has been empty for over a decade. Why now?

Oh, right. That whole housing crisis thing: Chinese Media Warns Canada’s Housing Crash Will Put U.S. To Shame

Most interesting, Chinese media outlets are questioning the timing of all of this. After all, Vancouver’s real estate has been growing at an unsustainable rate for years (more like decades), while incomes have stagnated. An author from Leju wrote that the Asian investment conversation is being brought on as platforms for the Vancouver municipal and B.C. provincial elections.

Which is why the NDP needs to tread carefully going forward. Nicholas Ellan expands: “The critics of this tax are pointing out specific individuals that aren’t Chinese, and shouting ‘wait! These people weren’t supposed to be affected too! We should feel bad for these people (who aren’t Chinese)!'” Now that is racism.

Case in point: Retiring South Surrey couple stuck with 2 mortgages after foreign buyer tax. Looks like Old Economy Steve has struck again.

Exhibit B: California family rushes through home purchase before B.C.’s foreign tax “Just hours after riding rented bicycles to a bank and transferring enough U.S. dollars for the 50 per cent down payment, the Californians learned the British Columbia government had introduced a new tax aimed at them — foreign home buyers”. Left unsaid: “But, but, but…we’re white! Surely this tax isn’t meant for us?”

Pretty gross when juxtaposed with this: Priced out of rental market, Simon Fraser students sleeping on campus.

But renting is obviously beneath that California family. It was for Kennedy Stewart’s parents, too: Burnaby MP’s parents lost everything in housing market. “Media stories on the frenzied real estate market contribute to panicked-purchases, according to Stewart, who thinks there could be a correction on the horizon”. You mean something like a meteorite?

“The thing is what you’re seeing in the media is a right-of-centre, free market discussion of our housing. You’re looking at people who always think you have to leave it to the market to sort it out, and that doesn’t work anywhere”. Shh, don’t tell that to the supplyists, Kennedy!

Terence Corcoran: Christy Clark channels Trump with her misleading, misguided anti-foreigner housing tax. Single detached houses are dead. I get that. But as Kay Higgins writes, “thirty years of rapacious redevelopment have not produced affordable housing, and neither will the coming acceleration of tower building. This is because the point of this building and rezoning spree isn’t to build housing, it’s to increase land values.

I mean, is this what we really want to see? $1850 / 1br – 500ft2 – Brand New 1BR Condo Downtown. Because that’s what we’re getting.

Why parents are abandoning Vancouver (it’s not just real estate). Oh, hey look it’s another opportunity to reference Howard Rotberg’s Exploring Vancouverism: The Political Culture of Canada’s Lotus Land.

The Sahotas still got it: Families scrambling to find homes after abrupt eviction in Surrey.

Terrible Real Estate vulture of the day, via Launi Smith Bowie’s Facebook page.

Hey, want to give yourself nightmares? Forever? The Olympics Should Be in Vancouver. Winter and Summer. Every Two Years. Forever. Not funny, Slate. Not funny one bit.

Art of the day: Facing lawsuit, Peter Doig must prove desert painting is not his work. Doige vs Doig is the new Berenstain vs Berenstein.

This seems to suggest a possibility that neither party imagined when the case began: that Mr. Doig and Mr. Doige were shadow versions of each other, something approaching doppelgangers, leading parallel but widely divergent lives – both moving to Canada as boys, both painting, both dabbling in LSD, one thriving, one failing to thrive – and after decades spent in total ignorance of the other, improbably converging.

Headline of the day: B.C. breast milk donor ‘pumped’ about expanded access to program. Stay classy, Global.

WTF of the day: Paramedic wears Ebola gear to rescue skunk trapped in ice cream cup.

Sports of the day: Canada’s Janine Beckie opens scoring just 19 seconds in. Fuck the Olympics but god damn that was awesome.

Bonus: This ‘Seinfeld’ 9/11 Spec Script Is Insane and Incredible.

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.