We discuss regional planning, education, housing, poverty reduction, and the importance of progressive provincial-municipal policies. In the 2011 Vancouver-Point Grey by-election, Eby came within 600 votes of Christy Clark in the seat previously held by former Premier Gordon Campbell.
David Eby is a lawyer and the former executive director of the BC Civil Liberties Association. He has also worked for Pivot Legal Society and is adjunct professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia.
Highlights from the report include the following:
While the city brags about its housing accomplishments, the housing crisis in the DTES got worse in 2012. Not only were there about 850 homeless people, up from 700 last year, thousands of people are still living in crummy SRO hotel rooms with no bathroom or kitchen, and often cockroaches, bedbugs and poor conditions… which they increasingly cannot afford.
At least 426 hotel rooms that were accessible to low-income tenants in 2011 were lost to rent increases in 2012. That’s one finding of the Carnegie Community Action Project’s (CCAP) latest annual hotel report, called “We’re trying to get rid of the welfare people.”
“For decades, residential hotel rooms in the Downtown Eastside have been low-income people’s last resort before homelessness,” said Fraser Stuart. “People on welfare and disability and seniors with a basic pension have only about $375 a month for rent. This year we lost at least 426 rooms to rent increases above $425.”
Many hotels are now consciously trying to get rid of people on welfare and disability in favour of young workers and students, says the report, which quotes statements like the one in the report’s title that a desk clerk made to CCAP surveyors posing as prospective tenants.
Loic Wacquant is professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley and a researcher with the European Centre of Sociology and Political Science in Paris. His research focuses on comparative urban marginality with a focus on Chicago’s South Side and Paris’s racialized urban periphery. Wacquant’s research also looks at broader issues of urban poverty, ethno-racial domination, the penal state, and social theory. He is the author of many books and articles, including Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality, Prisons of Poverty, and Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity.
On November 1st, 2012, Loic Wacquant gave a public lecture organized by the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Studies and the Department of Geography. His lecture is entitled, “The Production and Penalization of the Precariat in the Neoliberal Age.” This podcast is part one of a two-part series.
On the podcast, urban sociologist Daniyal Zuberi discusses the importance of social policy for quality of life for the working class and working poor in Canadian and US cities. The conversation centres around the socio-economic conditions of hotel workers in both Vancouver and Seattle and healthcare workers in Vancouver.
Professor Zuberi’s research is critically important because it evaluates how social and economic policies enacted at all levels of government – national, subnational, and local – ‘touch down’ at the urban scale and how policymaking at all levels can be implicated in shaping city life. Professor Zuberi joined me in the CiTR studio for a recorded interview in July 2012.
Dr. Zuberi is Associate Professor of Social Policy at the University of Toronto, and he is a research fellow at Harvard University. His focus has been on Canada and US comparative research around labour, education, health, immigration, poverty, and social welfare.
He is published widely on these topics and is author of Differences That Matter: Social Policy and the Working Poor in the United States and Canada. He has two forthcoming books, Outsourced: How Modern Hospitals are Hurting Workers and Endangering Patients and Schooling the Next Generation: How Urban Elementary Schools Build the Resiliency of Immigrant Children.