When the North False Creek Business and Residents Association filed a petition on change.org asking the City of Vancouver to remove the homeless shelters at 900 Pacific and 1335 Howe Street, they likely did not expect a counter-petition to surface, asking their residents to get out of town.
A petition posted on December 9 titled “Remove the Selfish Yuppies from the City of Vancouver” by Megan Speers is asking Mayor Gregor Robertson to “get this dysfunctional, self-interested “community” out of our city before they destroy the whole thing.”
The call to action is of course referring to Yaletown’s “young urban professional” population of relatively wealthy condominium owners. For context, Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines “yuppie” as “a young college-educated adult who is employed in a well-paying profession and who lives and works in or near a large city.”
“When yuppies started moving into Vancouver, it was expected that they would be good, caring neighbours and compassionate citizens of this city. Instead, they are selfishly stalling all attempts at shelter and housing for all in their growing sense of entitlement to the land that Vancouver occupies, even though it is unceded and really belongs to the Coast Salish peoples,” the petition begins.
The original petition against the homeless shelters urged Robertson that “it is inappropriate and dangerous that two huge facilities housing a high risk population be placed adjacent to schools, playgrounds, and community amenities.”
In response, Speers’ petition claims it is the Yaletown residents that are making the city unsafe.
“Their greed, combined with their lack of empathy, has made Vancouver into a hostile place in which people living in multimillion dollar condominiums’ only attempts at social change are to rally to shut down the few, underfunded cold weather homeless shelters in the city and force the most marginalized people onto the streets.
Now that there are so many yuppies in the city, it is becoming unsafe to be poor here. At every turn, yuppies threaten our housing stability, ruthlessly taking over every neighbourhood they can under the premise of improvement or cleaning things up. There has been a documented spike in renovictions and homelessness as housing prices and therefore the yuppie population grows and thrives.”
While stating that the Yaletown “yuppie” population is need of rehabilitation “to remember how to have compassion and empathy for their fellow humankind,” the petition also asks that Vancouver become a “yuppie-free zone.”
Speers’ anger toward this group of people comment on the original petition’s claim that the homeless shelters caused an increase in crime, including harassment, theft, and break and enters, as well as blatant drug use and used needles discarded on sidewalks and in alleys.
Her petition currently has 181 signatures and needs 19 more to be delivered to the Mayor’s office.
Featured Image: Colink via Flickr