DSC_8507

When they are pressed to comment on social housing and homelessness, most civic politicians pass the buck. It’s a Federal and Provincial responsibility, they say. Cities have the smallest tax base of all governments,they complain. The fact is: there is a lot that cities can do to fight the housing crisis in British Columbia even within their current jurisdictions, legal powers and budgets. If they are willing to face up to the depth and severity of the housing crisis in BC and to take appropriately drastic actions, challenging these limits, they can do even more.

Picture 2

The Downtown Eastside faces a complete lack of advanced voting stations, making voting and being represented even more challenging. “I have to wonder if this is intentional given that people here are the most impacted and hurt by the city’s policies on housing, poverty, immigrant, policing, gentrification and transit,” says Pedersen.

0-genero_2

Often, we liken cafés to living rooms due to their hospitable decorum. To apply that comparison to a concert floor, however, is much less precedented. On an overcast summer evening, I arrived at Sunset Terrace, an independently operated gallery in East Vancouver, to find an impressive makeshift tent fashioned from tarps, rope and planks of wood. Beneath the tent was a selection of inviting armchairs, stools, and ottomans stationed upon Mexican blankets strewn like area rugs where audiences could sit crossed-legged for the evening’s lineup.

st.george school

Tomorrow morning a group of parents and supporters will be picketing outside one of Vancouver’s most well-funded private schools. While public schools remain closed, private schools continue to operate and draw on the public purse. We will be picketing to call for the immediate opening of public schools, full funding for a quality public education system, and an end to public funding for private elite schools.