Maria Wallstam

Articles by Maria Wallstam

NDP stands by 16 years of BC liberal tax breaks for the rich

with Nathan Crompton

The BC NDP 2017 election platform has been celebrated as a bold and progressive challenge to the BC liberals. (…)

Federal government’s message to homeless people: get a good tarp and sleeping bag and prepare to die young

On March 22nd, the Federal government released the 2017 budget. The budget commits $11.2 billion to housing over 11 years. (…)

Homelessness is not a crime – Resistance to the criminalization of homeless survival in the everyday Downtown Eastside

In the week leading up to cheque day at the end of November, the Downtown Eastside had the highest number of overdose-related 911 calls ever recorded. (…)

The only way to survive is to break the law – Vancouver’s DTES Economic Development Plan continues the criminalization of the poor

Over 13,000 people are on social assistance in the Downtown Eastside. 5,803 are on disability, 3,068 are on welfare and another 4,000 seniors survive on pensions. (…)

WALLSTAM - keepwarmburnpinKeep Warm, Burn Out the Warming Shelters

On Thursday, January 12th, Vancouver Parks Board entertained a motion to direct staff to suspend operations of the warming centre trial program in all parks board run community centres, buildings and facilities. (…)

SWANSON - News conference outside Ross House organized by CCAPRoss House tenants fight evictions, rent increases

with Jean Swanson

“The manager bullied me and said “sign or you leave,” Humberto Macias-Carracas told people at a news conference in front of the Ross House on Alexander St. on New Year’s day. (…)

WALLSTAM - Modular homes1City launches more temporary housing on the eve of Quality Inn mass evictions

with Lama Mugabo

Vancouver’s first modular housing building, a housing model borrowed from mining companies, is set to open in mid-February this year. (…)

tentcitypressconferenceNowhere to go – City of Vancouver files for an injunction to displace remaining 58 W Hastings Tent City residents

On Tuesday, October 25th, the City of Vancouver issued a notice of trespass to the residents remaining at the 58 W Hastings Tent City.

wallstam1_activist-origins-of-the-dtes-street-marketStreet market or flea market? Vancouver City Hall continues to politically sanitize the DTES street market

The City is planning to relocate the popular Sunday Pigeon Park Street Market to 501 Powell Street (kitty corner to Oppenheimer Park) in mid-October. (…)

maple-ridge-rally-against-quality-inn_vansunRidgeilantes don’t want low-income people on the streets, in shelters, or in housing

In August, the City of Maple Ridge bought a property at 21375 Lougheed Highway in partnership with B.C. Housing, which has agreed to pay for the construction and operation of a homeless shelter on the site. Maple Ridge property and business owners, who the local street population have dubbed “Ridgeilantes,” swiftly responded by starting apetition against the shelter and organizing their fourth anti-homeless demonstration in a year. (…)

St Pauls New SiteNew St. Paul’s hospital in the Downtown Eastside threatens to displace low-income residents

with Sean Phipps

Last year the BC government announced that it will be going ahead with its $1.2 billion relocation of the St. Paul’s Hospital, only two years after promising to renovate the old location. The 700 bed hospital-campus is set to be built on a 18.5 hectare piece of land on Station Street in the southern part of the Downtown Eastside. (…)

refugee-reaction-housing-exo-emergency-shelter-2-537x405Solutions to the housing crisis may be found in alliance between homeless and refugees

In mid January, resettlement agencies in Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto and Halifax asked the federal government to slow down the arrival of government-assisted refugees. One of the key reasons they cited was that they were struggling to find permanent housing for refugee families. While there is no excuse to delay the arrival of refugees, the government is right about one thing: cities in Canada, and particularly in British Columbia, have hardly any permanent and affordable housing available for working poor and low-income people on welfare, disability and pension; including for refugees and other new arrivals. (…)

foreign-investment_chinatown-mural-defaced_credit-to-ounodesign-copyBeyond the Foreign Investment Debate

with Nathan Crompton

Overlook the billions of dollars freed up for capitalists through tax cuts and tax exemptions. Ignore the woefully inadequate state of rent control in BC. Forget that the federal government stopped funding social housing in 1993, and that in the next 20 years over 36,000 units of affordable housing are set to lose their funding in Greater Vancouver. (…)

srorallyVancouver homelessness forecast for 2016

with Jean Swanson

Homelessness in Vancouver could increase by hundreds next year unless all levels of government act now. For the last two years Vancouver has had record high numbers of homeless people; in 2015 the count was 1,746, down 57 from the previous year but still up 146 from 2013. (…)

endviolence-copyStrathcona sexual assault reveals the safety of some women is worth more than others

with Anahita Jamali Rad

On Thursday March 26th, a woman in Strathcona, Vancouver, was attacked and sexually assaulted by a stranger in her home. During the assault, a man walking by heard her screams and was able to intervene, allowing the victim to escape. The assailant, Caleb Heaton, was later arrested at the site and now faces seven charges, including aggravated sexual assault, breaking and entering, robbery, and unlawful confinement. (…)

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