(Update 1) We just want to put this here as a reference point to come back to in upcoming posts and discussions.
Naomi Klein is “Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization and of capitalism.” In 2007 she came out with “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.” Her focus is on neoliberal free market policies leading to a deliberate strategy of “shock therapy,” exploiting a national crises to push through controversial policies while citizens are too emotionally and physically distracted by disasters or upheavals to mount an effective resistance.” (See Wikipedia)
The crises could be caused by by any form of disruption, such as war, invasion, economic crisis or natural disaster. Her hypothesis is that during a crisis, the dominant forces in a power structure exert excessive influence to have decisions and policies made in their favor, whether it be greater profit, power or other form of advantage.
This appears to be precisely what is happening now during the summer of 2018 with Vision Vancouver pushing through dramatic changes in zoning guidelines and policies without meaningful public consultation. The vast majority of affected residents don’t know the details of what is going on, nor do they know the implications of policy changes being rushed through, and the financial and other costs and changes to future society and communities. Later we will add links to this post as examples, but one example is the impending changes to RS zones (detached houses) that account for about 70% of Vancouver. Despite the merits or demerits of the idea, there has been no meaningful engagement of the affected neighbourhoods, which could lead to major potential disruptions and unintended consequences without the benefit of a careful public debate. Another example is proposed changes to RT-7 and RT-8 (duplex) zones that are common in Kitsilano.
In 2015 we wrote a post “Unstoppable? Too late to intervene in Vancouver’s housing price escalation? New report: “Booms, Busts, and Normal Times in the Housing Market” showing research that shows early intervention is best. We believe that the current Vision Vancouver regime (in power with absolute majority since 2008) at Vancouver City Hall seriously failed to intervene in meaningful ways to address unhealthy factors in the Vancouver housing market and in fact delayed responses by diverting attention. A precious decade was lost while they were in power from 2008 to 2018, allowing the problems to spiral out of control, and now underpinning their application of the “shock doctrine” for extreme responses.
Now that the negative impacts of extreme housing price escalation and speculation are severe, in the final four months of the current regime, leading up to the October 20 civic elections, Vision is pushing through massive rezoning of large sections of Vancouver during the summer on a very aggressive schedule of public hearings. This was largely powered by a political party that was generously funded by the development industry and unions. That’s known as “regulatory capture.”
The general public needs to be made aware of what is going on.
Links – more to be added
Heads up from West Kitsilano Residents Association on impending “stealthy changes” in RT-7 & RT-8 zones (July 16, 2018 by urbanizta). https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/heads-up-west-kitsilano-residents-rt7-rt8-rezoning/
Impending ‘stealthy’ City-wide rezonings violate Vancouver’s stated values (IAP2) on public consultation (summer 2018) (July 22, 2018 by urbanizta). https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/stealth-rezonings-violate-iap2-values-public-engagement/
Housing Vancouver update in City Council June 19, 2018: Dramatic revisions proposed for city’s housing, citywide rezoning in RS (single family) zones, changes to RT7 & RT8, laneways, much more (June 15, 2018 by urbanizta) https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/housing-update-city-council-june-19/
Watch out: Vision Vancouver using the “shock doctrine” to force through massive zoning and policy changes before Oct 2018 election? (July 30, 2018 by urbanizta): https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/vision-vancouver-shock-doctrine/
Unstoppable? Too late to intervene in Vancouver’s housing price escalation? New report: “Booms, Busts, and Normal Times in the Housing Market” (May 21, 2015 by urbanizta) Exerpt: The statistical analysis of of 20 industrial countries including New Zealand since 1970 has found that housing booms and busts are lasting longer and when governments take a “wait and see” approach to those cycles, they can spiral out of control. The longer the booms like the one Auckland is experiencing last, the less likely it is that intervention will be effective. https://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/vancouver-housing-boom-unstoppable-or-not/