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


A crisis of homelessness
or of public discourse?

From a B.C. journalist, of all people,
comes a challenge to official ideology

Greg Klein | September 8, 2016

Victoria tent city

Another tent city shakedown:
Perpetuating pandemonium pays off.
(Photo: CTV News)


A compliant media might not be necessary for a dangerously flaky ideology to prevail. But as the British Columbia example shows, it sure as hell helps. That makes Black Press legislative correspondent Tom Fletcher all the more exceptional as the province’s most insightful reporter and commentator.

Most recently he’s tackled the “shelter-camper-drug user-thief epidemic that has taken root in many B.C. communities, and the government and media reaction to it.” That’s a subject largely taboo for criticism. He even cites Theodore Dalrymple.

This is by no means the first time Fletcher’s challenged that aspect of B.C. orthodoxy. He’s taking a brave stand, which in no way helps his career prospects. All B.C. politicians, all publicly funded organizations, all “correct” people and almost all media express nothing but bathetic platitudes on the subject. Critics can face organized harassment, as some Gastown business owners have experienced.

There’s money in this mayhem. Encouraging drug use, perpetuating the chaos of certain neighbourhoods and introducing dangerous crime into previously stable communities profits some people. The freeloaders get free homes. Poverty pimps who haven’t already secured a tax-paid salary improve their prospects. Poverty pimps who already have a tax-funded sinecure strengthen their position. “Homelessness” and addiction also hold enormous potential for B.C.’s powerful public sector unions. It’s going to take an awful lot of very highly paid government employees to babysit this growing population of whackos.

There’s also a twisted social engineering agenda at work here, maybe best demonstrated by Vancouver mayor and radical toff Gregor Angus Bethune Robertson.

Read, for example, Barry Broadfoot’s Ten Lost Years and you’ll realize how much today’s homeless differ from the people of the Great Depression. Apart from the mentally ill, today’s homeless include very few genuine hard luck cases. Put simply, most of them are parasites, very aggressively anti-social characters and/or addicts who’ve chosen to live for nothing else but getting high.

The causes, apart from official encouragement, might lie in the decline of what was already an exceedingly superficial society. But Fletcher explains some of it with this comment:

In B.C. the surge of street people is mostly feral males. Not that long ago, most of these guys could have found work in a bush camp, coming to town to blow their paycheques and then heading out again for an enforced stretch of abstinence and exercise.

(That tradition, BTW, goes back to frontier days.)

With far less insight (he works for the Vancouver Sun), Pete McMartin broached the same subject.

In March 2014, when the monstrous Portland Hotel Society finally erupted in scandal, McMartin admitted that he had previously backed down from an interview attempt with PHS head poverty pimp Mark Townsend. Apparently the foreign sleazebag who raked in $120,000 a year plus outrageous perks (as did his wife) spoke aggressively to the reporter.

But last month McMartin showed a bit more tenacity, mentioning that one of the province’s most recent homeless camps was set up by the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. McMartin didn’t acknowledge that VANDU supports drug addicts, drug pushers and drug addiction. But he did note it’s funded by taxpayers.

He also mentioned that Vancouver’s mayor signed a statement calling for free housing to be built for these campers. McMartin added, “It was Robertson who in 2008 pledged—prematurely, rashly, stupidly, pick your adverb—to rid the city of street homelessness. Instead, the numbers have grown.”

The promise was stupid only because it allowed the opposition Non-Partisan Association to criticize Robertson’s failure. Actually the pledge brought Robertson further esteem from all correct-thinking Vancouverites. Supposedly a lofty goal, the commitment to attract the country’s bums to Vancouver represents just one of this guy’s weird social engineering schemes.

McMartin also implied that voters struggling with Vancouver’s cost of living might look askance at politicians handing out free homes to freeloaders.

Maybe, but voters have no choices. Both provincial political parties have committed themselves to unlimited Danegeld towards parasites and poverty pimps. Vancouver’s NPA plays me-too politics with Robertson’s Vision Vancouver and fights elections on their terms. A political opponent would have to be an independent, probably facing enormous hostility from the political and media establishment, not to mention possible harassment and even mob violence.

So here are a few points beyond the very narrow pale of B.C.’s peculiar form of political correctness:

The big homeless camps are shakedowns organized by poverty pimps boosting their careers.

Drug addicts can take responsibility for their plight. Yes, some people have certain predilections. But we don’t excuse that in rapists.

The genuinely mentally ill (and not just people who behave atrociously because they can get away with it) should be looked after. They shouldn’t be on the streets at the mercy of predatory drug addicts and poverty pimps.

Politicians won’t stand on (gasp!) principles because they have none. Motivated by fabulous pay, perks and pensions, they’re just milking the system for everything they can get.

That might explain why they’re so simpatico towards parasites and poverty pimps.

See more posts about
B.C.’s junkie/homeless hustle
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