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Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Janet Fraser

Dear Janet Fraser, First of all, let me start by congratulating you on your school board election victory this past Saturday. I voted for you enthusiastically, as I did your running mate Mischa Oak and the rest of the Green Party team on the city council and park board slates. It is truly gratifying to see a Green set to hold the balance of power on one of Vancouver’s three elected municipal bodies. Which brings me to my main reason for writing today. School board is scheduled to select a chairperson on December 8. I don’t know what direction you (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Kirk LaPointe’s Credibility Problem: the NPA

Don’t vote for the NPA. Any of them.

LaPointe is the NPA’s mayoral candidate. The NPA stands for the Non-Partisan Association. If you actually believe the NPA has no partisan ideology, please don’t vote. For almost a decade I’ve been writing about how the brand notion of the NPA is fundamentally a lie. No one is non-partisan in the sense of not being ideological. The NPA is a right wing, neoliberal, corporate-loving, public service-hating party aligned with the likes of Reagan, Thatcher, Mulroney, Harper, Gordon Campbell, Christy Clark and everyone else who worships Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand of the market (Read more…)

Left Over: Door #1 or Door #2….

BC Ferries fare hikes may go ahead if Nanaimo-Horseshoe Bay changes can’t, warns CEO Service cuts, fare increases — or larger subsidies: BC Ferries says options limited going forward

CBC News Posted: Nov 06, 2014 10:42 AM PT Last Updated: Nov 07, 2014 7:24 AM PT

Is anyone surprised at this semi-transparent ploy? First the rumour was released that Nanaimo would be cut off from ferry service; suddenly, no, that isn’t going to happen, but…if it doesn’t happen then ferry rates will be going up, again. Now the gLibs will be blaming Islanders for the ferry rate raise..it’s an (Read more…)

Song of the Watermelon: Some Thoughts on the Vancouver Election … Plus Endorsements!

With a week and a half to go before voting day in municipalities across British Columbia, the campaign here in Vancouver seems to have devolved into a veritable hatefest against two-term mayor and eccentric juice magnate Gregor Robertson.

There is nothing surprising about that. Incumbents (a.k.a. the sinister hands currently at the controls of Big Government) typically draw vitriol like no others during election season. Yet for all the negative attention received by the mayor and his Vision Vancouver party at all-candidates meetings and in the opinion pages, for all the foaming at the mouth over towers and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Are Your White Male Entitlements Maiming Your Vote this Month?

I’m not going to argue that using an Intersectionality lens in the municipal election in 2 weeks will make your voting choices perfectly easy.

But I will say that your white male entitlements have likely contributed to worse choices in the past. Including not voting.

When you read this entire article you will see the lie of neutrality and non-partisanship.

Don’t perpetuate your perhaps inadvertent oppression.

As we approach the municipal election on November 15th, potential voters may feel unsure about which party or candidate represents the best interests of their community. One way to begin sifting through the different (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Transit Should Be Free; Until Then…

$1/day is a good start to get there.

It’s good for the environment. It reduces commuter stress. It forces governments to increase progressive taxation to cover infrastructure costs. It uses BC’s cheap hydro electricity. It combats rampant zombie consumerism. The post-secondary UPass system has improved commuting incredibly.

So $1/day is a good start to get there:

Mayoral candidate Meena Wong of COPE launched another populist proposal Wednesday, calling for a universal transit program that would cost each of Vancouver’s citizens $1 per day.

– from Universal transit in Vancouver for $1 a day, pitches mayoral candidate July 9, 2014 How (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Revisiting Chinatown Revitalization: Oct 8 at 8pm at Centre A

October 8 Program will start at 8pm Centre A, 229 East Georgia Street. FREE Event. RSVP here. Chinatown—the community, its buildings, its urban plan—is one of the most significant cultural […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta Politics Catch Up: Pipelines, Planes, Cities and Rob Anders

TweetSpending a few days in another province can sometimes give you a different perspective on important national issues. Spending the last week in British Columbia served as a good reminder to this political watcher about how emotional the debate around pipelines and the Oilsands are in Alberta’s neighbouring province. While I am sure opinion is divided in B.C., I lost […]

The Canadian Progressive: Canadian support for Palestine: Mothers and Families for Gaza occupy MP Don Davies’ office

On Tuesday, a group of twenty mothers and families occupied NDP MP Don Davies’ office in Vancouver in support of Palestine.

The post Canadian support for Palestine: Mothers and Families for Gaza occupy MP Don Davies’ office appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Piketty Forum in Vancouver

On June 25th, a standing-room only crowd of 150 people attended a public forum and discussion titled “Pikettymania, Inequality and You” on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Today, I’m happy to post in full the four talks that made up the first half of the event (the second half was all discussion). The total is about an hour in length with each speaker taking 15 minutes. Enjoy!

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/podcast-140718-piketty-forum-full.mp3

The speakers, in order of appearance:

Iglika Ivanova is an economist and public interest researcher at the CCPA-BC. Her slides are available here and may (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Inside Vancouver’s Sanctuary City Movement (VIDEO)

In Vancouver, human rights groups and immigration advocates are fighting to make the city a “sanctuary city” for undocumented immigrants.

The post Inside Vancouver’s Sanctuary City Movement (VIDEO) appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: How Translink Impedes Transit Use

Translink is “being evasive on exactly how much money is being spent on this.”

via Compass Card program delayed again by TransLink – British Columbia – CBC News.

How’s that for not surprising.

Translink is notorious for its taxation without representation: taking municipalities’ money without providing democratic representation to municipalities. This was a gift from the provincial government years ago to keep local communities from directing their transportation infrastructure.

And now, Translink continues to be evasive about how much money they’re spending on the Compass card system and turnstiles, in place ostensibly to stop fare evasion. They’ve always been (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption.

Now we see that the CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest cancers of neoliberal capitalism and a prime mover of the 2008 crash, has admitted that income inequality is a problem and a destabilizer. Sadly, though not surprisingly, in this interview he also trotted out typical neoliberal “realities” (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The 1% Has More Solidarity Than We Do

In Davos, the 1% rule the world. Literally. They also have the guns.

The 1% are claiming we have it out for them; that if we don’t tone down the rhetoric and stop calling them names like “the contemptuous rich,” we might end up starting a class war. But they already know there’s a class war, and it’s been going on for generations. Today, the rich are winning because they have more solidarity than we do. The year 2014 is a battleground and the currency is solidarity. If we don’t start organizing together, quickly, and far more effectively, the contemptuous (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Vancouver officially declared city built on First Nations’ ‘unceded land’

The Vancouver City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to acknowledge that the city sits on “unceded land” traditionally belonging to the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

The post Vancouver officially declared city built on First Nations’ ‘unceded land’ appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

Melissa Fong: Beedie Living debilitating Chinese community and voice

I went to an open house of the new proposal by Beedie Living at Keefer and Columbia in Chinatown. I have heard several complaints with the architecture, built form and […]

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Northern Gateway Pipeline Opponents: This Means ‘War’

by: Lauren McCauley | First published by Common Dreams on June 18, 2014

“It’s official. The war is on,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip told a crowd of hundreds who had flooded the streets of Vancouver late Tuesday following the announcement that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline.

Phillip, who is president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, told reporters that people are prepared to go to jail over this fight, “because that’s what it’s going to take.”

Phillip’s statement exemplified the widespread condemnation and vows of resistance that swiftly (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Centre A fosters intergenerational and intercultural space for Chinatown

I sometimes write things and they get published in The Georgia Straight: Mrs. Chang is a 96-year old elder who calls Vancouver’s Chinatown her home. In a neighbourhood filled with poh-pohs (Chinese […]

Melissa Fong: Activist Killjoy: Vancouver Arts is getting pennies from Developer CACs

I know everyone in the arts community is celebrating this news: City hall is bringing some relief to Vancouver’s embattled arts community, which has for years complained about a lack […]

Melissa Fong: VANCOUVER “FOREIGN BUYERS”- DRIVING SPECULATION & UNAFFORDABILITY? PART 2

Read Part 1 here I just wanted to update you with this thread of articles that are very illuminating- Please add your thoughts to this conversation- Some of the conversation […]

Melissa Fong: ICYMI: Funny images- Gregor Robertson, #BestWank, Hobbit House

In case you missed it- some fun images from others that made me chuckle: ^Homage to WestBank, of course. And then this.. : (Filed under: Happy rant, Marxist rant Tagged: […]

Melissa Fong: Who’s buying condos in Vancouver’s Chinatown?

For your comment : ) Meet Sebastian, a Sommelier, & Linnie & Nicolas (Author & “Customer Engagement specialist” who have already bought at Keefer Block Condos (Keefer & Main). Solterra […]

Melissa Fong: Pointing fingers at Vancouver’s unaffordability problem: Answers & more questions…

Ever since my last post I have received a lot of questions as to why I found it so entertaining- the debate. I was also contacted by dozens- yes, dozens- […]

Melissa Fong: Vancouver “Foreign Buyers”- driving speculation & unaffordability?

I think I discovered the most amazing conversation on Facebook and YOU have to contribute to this debate. I have thought about this for a long time (thanks to AY […]

Politics, Re-Spun: “Those Mainlanders” and other racist ways to start a sentence

I was at a restaurant with friends a few weeks ago. The conversation was kind of slow, so I mentioned my plans for travelling to Hong Kong next year and asked for advice on which attractions to visit.

One of the members of the group took this as an opportunity to talk about all the annoying “Mainlanders” – a term referring to people from Mainland China – I should be wary of during my visit.

“Mainlanders go to Hong Kong to show off their money. They’ll go into an LV boutique and say to the sales assistants, ‘I’ll take all the bags in the store except these (Read more…)