Welcome to British Columbia you foreign investor capitalists, California retirees, and the rest of the retinue of monied carpetbaggers driving the price of life through the Lotus Land roof. With tourist season upon the Garden City, homeless “campers” are being encouraged to get out of Victoria, while on the mainland, where NDP premier-in-waiting, John Horgan informs, “Vancouver’s housing prices have increased between 20-30% each year, and by more than 40% in the city’s suburbs just last year” it seems a crisis is brewing.
The young, says Horgan, and families rearing young, are taking the hint, and deserting the city; leaving the new land-millionaires to their own devices.
But, who will be metro’s baristas; and from whence will suburbia’s dogwalker supply be drawn?
Critical questions indeed, but gentrification and the pressures it places on working, and low-income households – and the unhoused – is hardly new. It is, according to my first guests, a question of displacement, and can be traced to the roots of Canadian capitalism, with its original displacement of First Peoples, that quote, “relied on the theft of Indigenous land and the extraction of natural resources since it began.”
Dave Diewert and Natalie Knight are members of the editorial collective for the Volcano newspaper. Diewert was too an editor with the Volcano’s progenitor street paper, The Downtown East, and is an organizer with the Alliance Against Displacement, a “pan-regional anti-displacement network of local communities, organizations, and activists fighting displacement on the ground.” Natalie Knight is Yurok from northern California living now in Coquitlam as a guest there on unceded Coast Salish territories.
Dave Diewert and Natalie Knight in the first half.
And; as more and more children become environmentally sensitive, those who question the role vaccination may play in the burgeoning allergy and autism rates are dismissed as conspiracy theorists, or worse. It’s a frustration Heather Fraser knows all too well; so when the author, speaker, artist and activist supporting vaccine choice and natural health was offered a chance to appear last month on a major radio network’s Toronto affiliate, in a province challenging parents’ vaccination choices, she jumped at the chance, hoping to provide some much needed balance to the debate. What she got however was a lot less than that.
Heather Fraser and an axing of the vaccination counter-narrative in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good things going on on the streets of our city, and beyond there too, in the coming week. But first, Dave Diewert and Natalie Knight, behind the Volcano and allied against displacement in Vancouver.