You Don't See Vancouver When It's Just Us

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If you've been reading this blog, and I know that at least some of you have. You might be wondering "is this just going to be a daily rant on house prices and how millennials are fucked financially? How long can he possibly go on about this?" Well, that's a good question. And to be honest, I don't know how long I can go on complaining about house prices. I mean, right now I feel like I have an endless supply of bitching I could do about it. That's one of the requirements of living in Vancouver, you have to have strong opinions on housing, while knowing there is nothing you can do about it and you must have a fierce refusal to leave the city, despite constantly saying you should leave the city. You must have a stubbornness that defies all logic and rationality. Every time you go home to whatever small town you are from, and gas is 40 cents cheaper per litre, housing is 20-80% less expensive, and the common folk have a lightness about them and you can physically see they are unburdened by the constant weight of a housing market that they'll never get into but still torments them with exorbitant rent by extortionist landlords who have seen their wealth increase 900% in the last decade with absolutely no effort on their part but they are still goddamned sure to squeeze every last red cent out of the renters in their properties. When you see these happy carefree faces, you must summon the one thought that has been programmed deep into your psyche as a mental defence against the most logical action which is to leave Vancouver, you must stare into their eyes and think "well where are they going to get good sushi?" After all, that is the one thing that keeps us here. Sushi. We're all just sluts for sushi. Some people claim they love the ocean but that's a lie. People who live in Vancouver only ever go to the ocean when they have friends from out of town visiting. The ocean is for tourists. You go to Third Beach with your Albertan friends and they say "man, if I lived here I would go to the beach every day. It's so beautiful." And you think to yourself "yeah, they're right. I should go to the beach more often." But in your heart of hearts you know you won't, because the beach is crowded and there's nothing to do there except drink and the city of Vancouver makes damned sure you aren't going to drink on the beach by having an entire Beach Patrol unit of cops on ATV's patrolling every square foot of beach that people might congregate on and try to forget for a brief moment that they will never own property but maybe it's worth it because the natural scenery is so beautiful and maybe life's not so bad, you're here with friends on a beautiful day in a beautiful city surrounded by picturesque mountains and oceans and you have so many craft breweries where you can pick up a 6 pack of great beer, like the one you're drinking now, but wait, what's that? It's a fuckin cop on a goddamned ATV just waiting to write you a ticket because this is what the city thinks of young people. Not only is the city hell-bent on making it impossible to live here, they are actively criminalizing any activity you might enjoy. If you want to partake in mind-altering substances we suggest you go to East Hastings and shoot up heroin cause there they have realized trying to enforce drug laws is an impossible task, and enforcing drug laws really does nothing to keep the city safer, it’s just another means of stealing money from people, and the people breaking the drug laws in the downtown east side don't have any money anyways so what's the point. But you, just trying to get a little faded on the beach, you could probably open up a line of credit to pay the City of Vancouver $110 in penance for just trying to chill the fuck out. 

Anyways...

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One last thing about the Vancouver housing crisis, and then I'll never write about it again until the next time I feel like it, so probably tomorrow. 

Earlier this year the new property value assessment came out and no surprise, property values had increased by around 30% since the previous year throughout Metro Vancouver. Now you might think that homeowners would be happy about this. Seeing as they just earned a few hundred thousand dollars by doing absolutely nothing. But you'd be wrong. There's a thing in B.C. called the homeowner-grant program and for everyone whose home is valued at under 1.2 million dollars, they receive $570 off their annual taxes. And with the new property assessment many homes that were previously valued under 1.2 million dollars, were now valued over 1.2 million dollars, meaning a lot of people were going to have to pay an extra $570 a year in taxes. And these people lost their goddamned minds. I was listening to CBC the day this happened and homeowners were pissed! These were the same people who always call in to CBC, the people who complain about how millennials are all spoiled entitled brats who complain too much, now these people were complaining about how they would have to pay an extra $570 a year in tax. In fact, they complained so much that the very next day, the provincial government changed the home-owner grant to cover all homes under 1.6 million dollars, and homeowners could rest once again.

Now listen, I understand that people in BC are taxed to the fucking tits. I also understand that just because someone's house is worth 1.2 million dollars, that doesn't mean they're rich, many of them bought years ago and maybe retired on a fixed income and certainly $570 isn't a small amount of money. But holy fucking fuck. Renters in Vancouver have been complaining for decades about housing prices and do you know what the official position of every politician was. "If you don't like it, move." This is why millennials are so sick of being called whiny, entitled, and spoiled. When we complain, we're snowflakes who can't deal with adversity, when home-owners complain, the government changes the tax code within 24 hours. It's just amazing that people who own a house worth over 1.2 million dollars would complain about $570 a year. I mean, where are they going to get the money? Where will these people who own homes worth $1,200,000 going to find $570. Maybe in their sofa cushions I guess. Or they could get a job bartending, or get a zero-hour contract where they are not guaranteed any hours or employee benefits from their employer which is one of the fastest growing types of work for millennials. Or, I don't know, they could SELL THEIR FUCKING HOUSE WHICH HAS EARNED THEM HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS THROUGH ABSOLUTELY NO EFFORT OF THEIR OWN AND IS WORTH AT LEAST $1,200,001. But they don't want to move, because Vancouver is their home and people shouldn't be forced to leave the city they call home just because it is unaffordable. Unless of course they're young renters, then fuck em. 

The change to the homeowner grant is expected to cost the province 12 million dollars. Where are they going to find the money? Don't worry. Those ATV cops are a vigilant bunch. Because who drinks on beaches?  Young people. And the government has made it very clear, they don't give a fuck about you. So, to all you homeowners upset about property taxes, we're pouring one out for you. Because we're being forced to pour one out by some jag-off cop on an ATV who's also going to write us a ticket for the crime of trying to enjoy ourselves for a goddamned second in this fucking city where every arts venue is getting turned into a car dealership, the mayor who got elected on a campaign to end homelessness made a million dollar profit off the sale of his home and lives in a beachfront mansion while homelessness has tripled since he got in office, and being under 50 years old is essentially a crime.

But the sushi is really, really good!