Thoughts On The Budget

February 21, 2018

This was a feel good budget, I guess, and many people seem happy enough. However, I still have concerns about the housing issues.

Most of the policies put in place so far (homeowners grant increase, speculation tax, foreign buyers’ tax etc) are aimed to help those locals already wealthy enough to buy into the upper end of Vancouver housing. Meanwhile, many items to help lower income citizens (MSP elimination, the promised renters’ rebate, student loan changes) are delayed, most without dates attached.

The housing plan sounds good with $6 billion over 10 years, and I am very glad to see commitments for seniors, indigenous folks, women under threat, and students.  But so far as I can see only $453m has been specifically set aside for “affordable” housing for the general public. I’ll need to see the details before I start to cheer.

Acceptance of a formal definition of “affordable” would certainly help, with policies designed to ensure that level of affordability.  And once again much can be done at the municipal level and I urge immediate changes to speed things up.

Image: Good Lie

February 21, 2018

A Day of Joy and Sorrow

February 21, 2018


Today would have been Nina Simone’s 84th birthday.  She gave us such joy and passion and most importantly a withering and uncompromising understanding of the black condition in America. This review of a Simone biography is well worth reading. She was fierce in her joy and I love her for it.

Also, fifty-three years ago today, the revered Malcolm X was murdered by adherents of the Nation of Islam (NOI). At his funeral, Ossie Davis called him “our shining black prince”.

After years in the NOI’s leadership, Malcolm renounced the inherent racism of that organization and the alleged financial, political, and moral corruption of Elijah Mohammed. Without ever caving to white power, and maintaining his belief in the ultimate weapon of armed struggle, he sought, through Sunni Muslim beliefs, to raise the self-esteem of blacks in America.

Malcolm X’s Autobiography stands with Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and Nelson Mandela’s speech on his release from prison as the most influential statements of civil rights in the twentieth century.