This Used To Be A Great Place

What a despicable week this has been for politics in British Columbia and Vancouver.

In the Provincial arena, BC has been called the slush fund capital of the world by the New York Times.  The ultra-far-right Socreds with their BC Liberals masks firmly attached are now known throughout the world for their refusal to control election spending, for their handouts to donors, and for allowing the potential for corruption to stink up Victoria. (There will be much more to say on this as the election approaches).

Locally, the NPA and their far-right buddies tried hard to rid us of homelessness by forcing the poorest citizens to sleep out in the snow. I guess if enough of them die we no longer have a homeless problem. The NPA’s cockamamie claims that they needed to protect the public and Community Centre staff is outright hogwash. If we find a needle in a park do we close that park and keep people away?  No, of course not. If we find a needle outside a hospital, do we kick all the patients out?  No we don’t. We have procedures and plans to deal with that issue.

Instead of being “caught by surprise” by the City’s decision to use civic facilities to save peoples’ lives, the CC managers should have been thinking ahead, putting in place proper protocols in advance, and actively volunteering to use their centres for humanitarian assistance.  Lack of proper training? That’s entirely the fault of the managers. But apparently, little Johnny’s swimming lesson is more important than some old roadie’s life.

The fact that this vicious anti-personnel campaign failed only by a single vote is mind-boggling.

I am also disgusted that not every church has been opened up during this freezing weather. They live a tax-free life, get away with conning the superstitious, but lock their doors at night to keep the poor out. I recognise there are some wonderful churches and ministries that do great work in this area. However, any and every church that fails to help needs to lose their tax-free status and start paying their way.

This used to be such a marvellous place to live. Now I wake up each morning and wonder what disgraceful business I’ll read about next.


5 Responses to This Used To Be A Great Place

  1. Tom says:

    Right on, Jak! it’s time that more people stopped being “nice” and expressed their anger against the indifference and incompetence of our elected officials.

  2. thanks for your posts, particularly the Grandview heritage / community posts.

    I too am saddened by our community’s attitude toward the homeless and I agree with you about the dismal state of our province however when I went to the NYT link, found it was mainly about our premier and her stipends, as well as the perks enjoyed by the gangster the socreds play with as noted in your lead paragraph.

    I did find plenty of references to slush funds / BC and Vancouver when I googled it, the phrase ‘slush fund capital of the world’ was not found in the article.


  3. jakking says:

    Thanks for your comment. However, you will note I did not put “slush fund” in quotes because it is my own description of everything you mentioned above.

  4. George B says:

    Thanks for your comments on the hate-fueled emergency debate/vote on re-opening community centres as warming centres.

    Exactly what part of the designation of civic facilities as ‘ community centres ‘ does the NPA and their well-healed friends have a problem with?

    One way or another CC’s are paid for by all the Citizens of Vancouver and entrusted to the COV, VPB, the Mayor and City Council, the elected Park Board and the mishmash of various CCA’s to operate as a welcoming place for all Citizens not just the chosen few.
    Collectively the various levels of governance have had decades to prepare for the past 6 weeks of cold/snow and ice yet did nothing.
    With no contingencies in place Mayor Robertson was on another extended tropical Christmas holiday while over at the VPB when the phone call came to them about opening just a few community centres as warming centres the General Manager of the Park Board was shopping for furniture.

    Once again we see that the dollars wasted on the separate elected Park Board and separate bloated bureaucracy at the Vancouver Park Board provides little in World-Class leadership and foresight.
    Vision Vancouver’s hand-picked Park Board General Manager pulls down over 300 thousand dollars per/yr, he’s higher paid than any of Canada’s mayors, Premiers or Territorial leaders and more than any sitting MLA or MP including Vancouver’s own Harjit Sajjan.
    Perhaps’s our Minister of National Defence is who they should call to deal with the seemingly complicated logistics of opening our community centres as warming centres.
    After all both the COV and VPB have no problem blowing millions hiring outside consultants to design where a tree or shrub should go.

    Should the COV have to go begging to a separate Park Board and various Community Centre Associations just to keep our fellow Citizens from dying in the streets, I don’t think so but such is the game of municipal politics in Vancouver.

    The alleged incident at Creekside remains that, the only people interviewed by the media gave third person accounts, we’ve yet to see any video of possible suspects nor have any official reports been released.
    Both the COV and VPB have a proven history of manufacturing or enabling a lie when it suits their agenda or that of COV/VPB insiders, this could be just another except this time using fear and paranoia as a cover for Racism and Elitism.
    It’s also very curious that years and years after the CC and nearby social housing opened it was only after Creekside was set-up as a temporary warming centre did a single needle magically turn up in a locked washroom.

    The VPB/COV claimed that the warming centre closures were the result of staff burn-out.
    My questions are, were other COV/VPB CC staff offered the overtime to work with volunteers to keep the warming centres open and if not why not, if they refused the call for help, why.
    Does every CC operate as it’s own fiefdom with no crossover of assets?

    The lack of preparation at the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Park Board and select Community Centre Associations ( who also compete to get elected ) slithers it’s way from top to bottom.

    What I would like to see is any documentation that any of them brought forward suggestions, motions or whatever that the potential use of civic assets as warming centres should be investigated and plans for such developed but they were turned down.

    The last snow event was in 2008, surely they’ve had enough time to get ready and plan for the worst.

    Sadly, looking after our most vulnerable Citizens just doesn’t supply our municipal politicians and staff the same photo-ops as blowing 55 million ( and counting ) on the Arbutus Corridor, or love-locks, or zip-lines, or whining about 4-20 at Sunset Beach, or re-planting some maple trees on the Westside at taxpayers cost, and so on and so on.
    And that’s what we get from a Vision Vancouver/COV municipal budget that’s over 1.3 Billion/yr, controlled by muncipal parties and an at-large electoral system designed to keep the wealthy in power, emergency debates about warming centres while there are more homeless people on Vancouver streets than ever before.

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