Vancouver Zeitgeist
Reflections on Vancouver, British Columbia and other topics, related or not

 

Hey, David Eby:
There’s more than one way
to exploit homelessness

Has Premier John Horgan
handed his housing minister a noose?

March 17, 2021

David Eby and John Horgan

Maybe Eby should watch his back.

 

What a weird hybrid: Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. Maybe David Eby, just AG in the last legislature, asked for it. Or maybe, in another sense, John Horgan thought Eby was asking for it.

Either way, he got it. What must be an unprecedented dual portfolio has gone to a cabinet minister who already overshadowed his purported boss in so many ways: public prominence, looks, public prominence, temperament, public prominence, relative youth, public prominence, supposed SJW cred, public prominence and so on.

Now Eby’s more prominent than ever. Who wanted that—Eby or Horgan?

Maybe both, but for different reasons. Eby gets to act out his role as a street-level activist on the social revolution’s vanguard. Horgan sets up a fall guy.

While cities and towns throughout B.C. suffer the corresponding crime wave, Eby continues to champion the junkie/criminal/bum subculture. Such is Eby’s craving for publicity that his radical role-playing just might outweigh any political smarts.

He’s even sunk to the level of Ivan Drury by threatening to impose a tent camp on Penticton. Eby’s not bluffing, either. BC Housing has actually stockpiled a thousand tents and sleeping bags, and probably other gear too, for exactly that kind of community-wrecking endeavour.

Then there’s Eby’s pitifully feeble response to last month’s especially enormous Strathcona outrage. He could only fall back on repeated use of the word “tragedy” when a crowd of about 50 campers tried to prevent cops from arresting one of their activists, Sandy Parisian. Already wanted on other charges, the Manitoban convict now faces second-degree murder charges in the home invasion killing of 78-year-old Usha Singh. About 40 cops reportedly used riot control procedures to overcome a violent defensive line put up to defend Parisian.

Sandy Parisian homelessness agitator and accused murderer

If homelessness agitator Sandy Parisian is guilty of killing a senior,
he might be relieved that Eby’s attorney general. But if Parisian’s
acquitted, he should be glad Eby’s housing minister.
(Photo: Dan Toulgoet/Vancouver is Awesome)

Afterward nearby resident and municipal Green Pete Fry recounted how he and three other councillors (two NPA and an independent) were “set upon” by a group resembling a native gang that appeared to run the camp. So was it a native gang, quite possibly a racist native gang (is there any other kind?), that tried to block cops from arresting a native criminal who’s wanted on a number of charges, most recently the murder of an elderly woman? Something horrendous happened but Eby made it out to be a sob story “tragedy.” And, he implied, not because a woman was murdered but because the mob and the accused murderer have yet to receive their lifelong entitlement to free homes and unearned income.

Making Eby’s response especially inadequate, of course, is the AG side of his double portfolio. That brings to mind a recent Victoria City Police Union statement on that community’s junkie crime wave. The March 4 press release contains plenty of data to substantiate the violent chaos, like 13 Victoria homeless residences racking up 4,000 911 calls for violent incidents over a six-month period. There’s more data, but the numbers just emphasize what a great many British Columbians are hearing about, witnessing and experiencing.

Even the pimp-supporting Times Colonist quoted VicPD staff sergeant Matt Waterman criticizing judicial leniency: “If I had a complaint about provincial government policy, I would say the first consideration is being released. There’s no consideration for the public or the victim. It’s more about the offender.”

I thought Ottawa held more responsibility for slack sentencing, but if not then Eby’s double portfolio should make him doubly concerned.

So will behaviour that includes radical threats against Penticton and sympathy for criminals prove to be a political blunder? Or will Eby get away with it? Quite possibly he will, just as nothing from scandal to blackface tarnishes Justine’s image.

On the other hand, scandals like WE or SNC-Lavalin, and childish rich kid antics, don’t have the direct bludgeoning fuck-you-and-your-family effect of typical junkie harassment, thefts, B&Es, robberies and assaults. We’ll see how Eby’s so-far very successful career progresses.

It should be noted, though, that Eby’s social justice warrior pretence has always been a sham. The opportunistic Easterner milked his role as leader of the poverty pimp Pivot Legal Society and B.C. Civil Liberties Association to build a public profile but actually remained an establishment collaborator throughout. Since then the poverty pimp industry has strengthened its establishment presence, and continues to enjoy his service.

Nor would Horgan have any ethical motivations even if he were seeking to undermine Eby. Horgan supports the poverty pimp status quo as much as anyone in B.C. provincial politics—which is to say, everyone in B.C. provincial politics. He’s fully committed to providing every junkie, criminal and wastrel with a lifetime of free homes and unearned income. He’s offering the same reward to others who flock to B.C. for the lifestyle. Of course he’s hastening the social collapse already underway but Canadian politicians are nothing if not expedient. The chaos profits an industrial complex that ranges from salaried activists to public sector unions, empire-building bureaucracy and expansionist housing and addiction-enabling societies.

The chaos also offers intangible benefits to people who hate normality and revel in the destruction of family communities.

So if Horgan really is plotting against Eby, the motivation can only be political. As 1970s NDP cabinet minister Alex Macdonald wrote, “In politics, your opponents are on the other side of the legislature, but your enemies are all around you.”

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