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Today's Big Story

Housing Squatters Turfed?

Protests heat up on both sides of the Strait.

By Richard Warnica 24 Oct 2006 | TheTyee.ca

Richard Warnica is a senior editor at The Tyee.

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CBC reported today that police have given protestors occupying a downtown Vancouver building until 1:00 p.m. to clear out.

The report comes a day after Victoria’s men (and women) in blue used tear gas during a housing protest in the Garden City.

The Vancouver squatters say they won’t budge until Sam Sullivan agrees to a sit down, something the Mayor has so far refused. Which is probably a good thing according to the Courier’s Alan Garr.

Garr says Sullivan and his housing point woman Kim Capri have dropped the ball on social housing.

“During Sullivan's 10 months and with Capri taking a lead role on the issue, the number of approved units (155) is lower than any of the past three years (400, 400, and 300),” Garr wrote in a recent column.

Of course, that’s not really shocking since one of the new council’s first acts last January was to gut the non-market housing from the South East False Creek development.

Garr goes on to lay much of the blame for the housing crisis on the provincial government. But, as the Tyee reported in 2004, budget cutting federal governments under Mulroney and Chrétien had a lot to do with it too. 

The jury, meanwhile, is still out on the B.C. Libs new housing strategy, which would put rent top ups into the pockets of low-income families. 

For a some more background on the issue, try this Tyee story on the Vision/COPE housing record, or this one on Sullivan’s mixed support for the Woodward’s project.

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