Effects of neoliberalism in Canadian cities

Canada doesn’t have its own national social media platform, but it does have a media system that is quite different from the US. We follow the European model. So we do have an arms length national broadcaster, (truthfully the US does too with NPR).

We keep that term broadcaster, even though CBC has a really top notch-online presence, because the CBC/Radio-Canada (oui, nous sommes bilingues ) maintains primitive broadcast structures across Canada, which is the second largest country in the world with about 1/10 the population of United States.

Because media requires economies of scale and so is a natural market failure, private companies will not - cannot - find it economically feasible to supply Canada’s far flung tiny population with the basic infrastructure of radio and three TV channels, not to mention even more. So we have a national broadcaster who does it. Then we have private corporations that are hooked at the neck by CCRTC, and they are most hated. I think Canadians would rather get rid of them, but we have that stupid agreement with the USA and Mexico called NAFTA that our stupid Deputy PM Freeland put in while exchanging cosmetics information with Ivanka, or whatever.

This is what has been erased in neoliberal economies. There are natural market failures. They are called economies of scale and this was recognized in classical economics. This is why there were such things as Crown Corporations, because many economies of scale are in the realm of public goods and the private sector is incapable of providing them.

This isn’t a matter of ideology. The failures of economies of scale across all of NA are extensive and some regions have collapsed into the 4th world because of it. The leaders (and others) who slashed the provision of public goods to the residents of our countries are frauds, carpet-baggers and thieves. The whole idea of providing security to people inside national boundaries is not part of their thinking. That’s the “nanny state.” Come on, that was Trump. He made it very clear that as far as he was concerned, he was there with his bib at the table dining and watching dog eat dog.

This isn’t a joke. The failures of capitalism in Canada are definitely visible and becoming more so. BC has witnessed the entire collapse of its social system, including things like policing and parts of its criminal justice system. The province has turned into a drug dealer for the largest and most dense population of opium addicts in North America. And, just recently, on top of everything else, the NDP party just staved off vote-rigging during the election of its new leader.

To quote the movies in a pointedly absurd way, it’s like Gotham City in VLM.

I was walking down Granville St. one evening back from something I was doing and an Australian girl came up to me and asked me if she could walk with me. She was very upset. Said she’d never seen anything like it in Australia. I told her, on Granville you should be fine, don’t involve yourself with them, they won’t involve themselves with you, but don’t go much further east of here.

DTES in Vancouver has actually turned into a no-man’s land. I went to the SFU Goldcorp right in the middle of it, and even I wasn’t going down there, before I left the province.

In Victoria, I had a guy with a white rabbit mask like in the movie the Purge following me and trying to get me to go somewhere with him, and I had to go into a bank to get away from him and have them call the police.

And I had to leave the province in May, because, well … it’s nothing to take someone’s life for $20,000 there among the people who decided they didn’t like me telling on them. There are over 500 gangs operating in VLM and the amount of murders not reported in the media is astounding.

I have a complaint officially accepted by BC’s OPCC against the NWPD because they (many police officers) told me, they can scrawl RAT on your door, they can throw dead birds outside your balcony, they can build a little crypt there, they can track you late at night in their truck and stare you down in it so you can’t go home, they can enter your apartment in a hoodie and mask and threaten to kill you and WE DON’T CARE. Mobster thug buys my nice building starts tearing it apart and muscling everyone out. I say something to the police and all of a sudden I’m not a victim, I’m a perp.

Sorry, personal rant, but I think you should know the true state of Canada’s neo-liberal economy now. There are thousands of people turned out onto the street in VLM and TO because real estate, in particular, is HUGE MONEY, and whatever people tell you about this place, this country, its provinces are no longer following rule of law.

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This all sounds horrible. Do you know of a good media source for tracking this?

What do you mean? You want information on the state of affairs in VLM?

Vancouver is dying is the #1 most popular youtube documentary in Canada … He’s considered to be Conservative, but we don’t really care. I was involved in getting the Nordic model into Canada re: prostitution (different from Australia, definitely) and we aligned with the Conservative MP who put in our anti-trafficking laws, because the Liberals were “it takes two to tango” and our attitude has always been that it’s sexual exploitation. So we aligned appropriately. BC is EXTREMELY LIBERTARIAN. I come from AB, easily considered to be the most redneck “trumpian” province in Canada, and I was blown away by how all levels of government in BC have completely withdrawn from public accountability.

I also fall on the other side with a non-profit called The Shift which developed out of the work of a special rapporteur for UNHCR on housing. And know all about the matters of violation of International Human Rights that Canada signed on for taking place there. Basic need and fundamental human right for adequate housing, cornerstone of which is secure tenure. BC has the highest eviction rate in Canada over 10% with ON next at just 6%. And +50% residents in VLM rent, because a real estate is prohibitively expensive. It’s over $2000 for a one-bedroom in Vancouver now. Mr. Mobster thug was strong arming everyone in my building because we were stable long-term tenants. The apartment I had is now $1850. I was paying $829. And the City of New Westminster rolled out the red carpet for him.

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So sorry to hear that about Vancouver :pensive: Such a beautiful city…

It’s the same story south of the border, of course…

My friends back in SF tell me that after a progressive DA was appointed, the SFPD threw a temper tantrum and has basically stopped doing their job completely this year (not that they were particularly effective before, mind you) turning the city over to criminals in order to hold it hostage: “See what happens when you defund the police?” -_- Sadly this bald-faced tactic worked -__-


Yes. It is a beautiful place and there are lots of really great people there and lots of good things going on, but government is appalling. Neoliberalism is really, really, really bad. Some of this stuff is Covid19 related … but then some of it is Covid19 related. The province didn’t step in and do anything about housing until Covid19 and then it appropriated two SROs in the DTES. One is being demolished now because it’s completely uninhabitable. That building was being managed by a non-profit run by the wife of the head of BC Housing and they were just caught in a conflict of interest over millions of dollars that he was trying to direct into her non-profit. They’re under forensic audit. There’s all this let’s be happy in wonderful BC PR noise everywhere, but the government corruption keeps bubbling up through it like pus everywhere. No end in sight.

Thank you for listening. And anyway, just so you know.


Somewhat skeptical that sharing right-wing media and aligning with the Even Worse Party is going to help out with this…

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Jen St. Denis, used to be a reporter for the Vancouver Star, now with the highly reputable independent journal the Tyee. Left wing reporting reflective of coastal BC values, I think. I know her. She reported on Mr. Mobster Thug’s renovictions in Vancouver.

She now focuses mainly on the DTES. She was banned from the properties managed by the wife of the ex-CEO of BC Housing.

It’s definitely for real. I was ground zero in the construction with everything torn up around me 360 degrees. This is just the beginnings of the excavation for the four basement suites he put in. And then with all but three tenants on this side of the building forced out, he demolished the rest of the suites around us. And then he set to work on the other side of the building. And on the building next door.

We are one of three torn down this way in New Westminster, my building was the most resistant. There are still 10 tenants there out of 33 suites. Our neighbours, 3 tenants out of 36 suites, and about 5-6 blocks away, 5 tenants out of 25 suites.

According to the City of New Westminster 1) this didn’t happen and 2) even if they did they are not renovictions, because he didn’t issue 4-month notices to vacate.

No. You won’t find this in any media. They reported what the City told them. No renovictions.

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Topic split from

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Initially read the title as ‘effects of neoliberalism on Canadian rites’ and was immediately intrigued :thinking:

I don’t know if it’s any comfort, but neoliberalism is ravaging everywhere, even (especially) in Scandinavia (there’s more for neoliberalism to ravage here).

According to Piketty, IIRC, the post WW2-period ushered in an unusual re-distribution of wealth to ordinary people.

The pendulum seems to be swinging the other way, towards concentration of wealth and power, away from ordinary people.

Growth and decline of societies seems to be a common pattern through human history though. To quote King Pasenadi, what can we do but practice the teachings, practice morality, doing skillful and good actions?

As long as we get reborn, sometimes we live through the growth, sometimes we live through the decline :person_shrugging:


Well, at least on the topic of renoviction, which as a term was coined in Vancouver, and which is becoming more widespread in Canada, Sweden - Gothenberg and Uppsala - is one of the only places in the world where research is being undertaken in human geography and urban policy specifically on what’s now been called “housing violence” in the developed countries. And yes, this is because of the neoliberalization of Sweden’s strong “social welfare” state. I just would like to note that dislocation, dispossession and homelessness affects 70-100 million people in the world, most of them not in the developed countries and I am not sitting crying in my mud puddle of first world problems.

But thank you. It’s really been hitting home in the Scandanavian countries, and you’re lucky you have concerned people there. I have been involved in research coming out of Waterloo and McGill in Canada on this, because it’s starting to come into public view.

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Well, if its any solace… its just the Tytler Cycle of Society in play. Nothing personal! Still sucks, though… but what to do?


Just out of curiosity, why on Earth do you choose to stay on in a community/city/country that doesn’t value you? :thinking:

Sometimes, its best to vote with your feet. From my personal experience, there are many places in the world which still still value and welcome ethical, hard working individuals.


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Are you asking me? I moved. So the - unannounced - excavations started in April 2020. I looked out my window one morning and said what the heck? That was right at the front end of Covid19 and no one was going anywhere. Construction, in BC, was identified as one of the essential occupations. So charming situation (1) us residents were busy trying to adapt to social distancing, working from home etc. for instance while they were busting all the concrete in the basement with jack hammers for weeks.

It’s how he got into the building. It’s a complicated legal discussion, but because there was a bylaw passed in early 2019 ostensibly designed to prevent him from throwing people out, because the province wouldn’t, he couldn’t issue vacancy notices. He didn’t like that very much, so he just started an outright war beating up buildings and people. And of course, in nice Canada, no one believed this was true.

We have someone who died. And I had to call the police for a wellness check on another tenant who went missing. So this is a delicate conversation for me.

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Can confirm that it is absolutely rampant in Montréal. We are well on our way to becoming another Toronto (or Vancouver I guess). It seems that all they’re building is luxury condos (or at least units that are being sold as such), makes you wonder where everybody normal is going to live. Oh well, there, I guess, after the revolution. :slight_smile:

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Yep. Gotta be careful of that word “decline.” The industry favours the term “demise.” That way when they go after buildings in which there has been no decline (such as mine - over $15,000 in capital investments in fact, full water re-pipe with 25-year leak free guarantee, fire ceiling and floor, new balconies, patio doors, my place was already completely renovated when I moved in, just not with a soaker tub, ensuite washer dryer, “marble” counter tops, etc.) they can still create demise. The property value of our building went down $500,000, it’s valued at less than what he purchased it for, which his mind blowing in VLM, so he’s now paying less tax and charging more than double for rent.

Saw quite a number of renovictions in Germany as well, it‘s a hot topic here. There‘s an infamous landlord in the small town I used to live in. Don‘t know if he has any mafia ties, but he (illegally) hired security people who might have been Hells Angels (they own half the town) to deny the tenants entry to their own flats and cut their heating during winter in order to force them out.

Yup. And BC came out with a commission report recently saying that although there’s … organized crime … involved in real estate it’s not affecting housing prices. I have no idea who that commission was talking to. But it has the stamp of approval from a Supreme Court judge so we just all have to abide.

There is some very insightful research coming out of Sweden into what they call the complex “master suppression” techniques being used by renovictioners. What we are experiencing is a lot more violent that what they so far have recorded there.

Yeah, owning real estate brings out the worst in people:

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This is essentially what happened in my city, St. Louis, as well. The city elected in a woefully unqualified, and frankly completely incompetent, DA who’s made a complete hash of the prosecuting attorney’s office. She’s already been sanctioned by the Bar and essentially destroyed any working relationship with the metro pd, who are already understaffed and underfunded. Crime is sky rocketing as a result


Yeah, my general feeling when I look at what’s happening is that people put in positions of leadership, regardless of their political beliefs, are increasingly low social IQ people who cause endless infighting and drama. The result is institutional deadlock or collapse. In the meantime, people with leverage, whether they’re rich investors or small-time crime rings, have a field day running circles around the paralyzed government.


Yes. So this is actually the biggest problem. He’s probably violated every law in Canada. It’s established in Supreme Court precedent that he can’t do this, but …

Despite all the big hoopla about their passing a renoviction bylaw and all these “tools” they could use to deter it, they slid him a bunch of development permits that they knew would push tenants into housing precariousness.

Of course I called the City when I saw the excavation outside my window. My daughter’s a civil and environmental engineer. I took a picture and sent it to her. I told her I thought he might be putting in a window and she said, “that doesn’t look like a window to me. I think you need to find out what’s going on.”

The City refused to give me permit information because they needed to “protect the privacy concerns of the landlord.” It took me about four months of fighting with the City to get even permit information on my suite and only then because his “workers” were cutting leaks into it, and I caused such a ruckus at the City an upper manager agreed to speak with me. I just happened to be lucky that she was one of the only reasonable people I spoke to and she agreed with me that he was vandalizing his own property. And she protected my suite. Other than that, “if you want to stay, you’ll have to make your way around construction as best as possible.”

Now the City was bought out, there’s not doubt about it, but they hung everything on the fact that he’s got property rights.

This man is not a resident. He’s not a tenant. It’s not his home. Under common law and the Criminal Code, I am the one with all the powers, not to even mention my Charter rights. Yet, the City’s opinion, and this goes all the way up to the Province, is that his property rights give him not simply powers of exception, but extra-judiciary powers. The only way I could change that is if I were to take “them” to the Supreme Court, win and get a settlement.

The reason why the New Westminster Police were pulled up on disciplinary charges is because of these exact words: “He can watch you if he wants.” That’s against the very Criminal Code (264 Criminal Harassment) that they “could have” used to charge him with to prevent him from stalking me.

The complaint points to police corruption too, right. And the OPCC acknowledged that. But we lived two years with the police, like the City, telling us over and over, he owns the property and he can do whatever he wants - to you. To you! It’s insane. Of course. How could it have gotten to that point?

Property rights are not included in Canada’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, actively not included, and case law states that commercial property rights, and property rights of a corporate nature ARE NOT PROTECTED by the Charter. Meanwhile my right to safety, security, etc. is.

It was devastating. We were for all intents and purposes brought into modern day slavery within our very homes. And the entire system did it. And it was carried out knowingly and aggressively by individuals across every institution of government I dealt with. Right up to the top of the province.

This is what I mean about BC being libertarian. Sure, there’s all sorts of paper laws, institutions, commissions, tribunals … but the government has downloaded the entire system onto the the individual to go through. It’s a labyrinth and you wander it in any attempt to protect yourself from what is essentially a home invasion being carried out by your landlord.

And I wasn’t successful. I told you. He walked into my apartment in a mask and hoodie and told me he was going to kill me. Of course I got out.