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Daniel Tseghay's blog
Daniel Tseghay is a writer living in Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples.
Mohammad Mahjoub was arrested in the year 2000. In the years that followed, he undertook numerous hunger strikes. One, in 2005, lasted 76 days. He lost 110 pounds and had to be hospitalized. Another the next year lasted 93 days. He was transferred to the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre, known as "Guantanamo North"; released from detention and put under house arrest; sent back to detention, at his request, because of the effect surveillance had on his family during his house arrest; and then returned again to house arrest, this time living alone.
Start with an ageing housing stock and deteriorating housing conditions. Add shock evictions, growing waitlists, and negligent landlords. Throw in renovictions and gentrification creeping into almost every corner of the city. On top of that, add run-of-the-mill rent increases for people earning stagnant wages, expiries of operating agreements for non-profit housing providers and co-ops, and a precipitous decline in the number of non-market housing units in British Columbia.
Canadians are often at a loss to define and determine the essential nature of the national identity. But this very ambiguity is the source of our special strength. We see ourselves, for good reason, as a nation of nations. We’ve willingly and approvingly become a place where migrants can live and work and become as much a part of the community as anyone else.
But this has been gradually and quietly changing. In 2007, for the first time in Canadian history, temporary resident applications outnumbered permanent.
“The most common way people give up their power,” wrote Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, “is by thinking they don’t have any.” Faced with an extensive catalogue of challenges, British Columbians are told that their options are to stay the course, continue as usual, and ultimately vote into power one of the two parties which has done the most to get us here. But with even a cursory look at our situation, we can agree that the status quo just isn’t good enough.
A post-secondary education is more crucial now than ever. Employment and economic development depend on it. There’s a great social and economic benefit in increasing public investment in our colleges and universities. Given that, it’s concerning that, according to a recent Canadian Federation of Students BC report, almost 35% of 18-24 year olds in B.C. do not pursue higher education due to financial barriers. For instance, the recently presented B.C. Budget proposed that post-secondary institutions would suffer a $45-million cut in core funding by 2015. When accounting for inflation, per student funding for B.C.’s post-secondary institutions is lower than 2001 levels. Eroding per-student funding has consequently driven up tuition fees and led to the largest class sizes in Canada.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives published a new report today titled Canada's Carbon Liabilities: The Implications of Stranded Fossil Fuel Assets for Financial Markets and Pension Funds by Marc Lee and Brock Ellis.
“Come on, American! Come on, white American!” Muhammad Ali was taunting Floyd Patterson, faking punches, dancing around the ring, fighting in what A.J. Liebling once described as his “skittering style, like a pebble scaled over water.” It was November 22, 1965 and Ali was getting back at Patterson, an African-American, for the things Patterson had been saying about him. And he was doing so in spectacular fashion. “Like a little boy pulling off the wings of a butterfly piecemeal,” wrote Robert Lipsyte in the New York Times the next day, “Cassius Clay [as Ali was still being called by many members of the press] mocked and humiliated and punished Floyd Patterson for almost 12 rounds."
In 1963, the new Studebaker Lark could be purchased at dealers for about $2,000. It was considered a compact car for its time. This sedan remains popular today amongst car collectors for its looks and out of a sense of nostalgia.
Also back in 1963, BC Hydro's Burrard Thermal power plant opened. Like the sedan, it was modern for its day. But, unlike the compact car, nostalgia shouldn't play a role in keeping it around.
Burrard Thermal has needed a lot of repairs and upgrades over the past half century. In fact, BC Hydro has spent over $200 million on it in a constant effort to clean up its many harmful emissions and limit its toxic output of particulate matter.