For social housing & against pipelines: Unite struggles against displacement!

Social Housing Alliance Nat’l Day of Action for Housing statement in unity with Burnaby Mountain defenders

November 14, 2014

By Social Housing Alliance

This fight against the destructive resource extraction economy is also a fight against displacement and housing shortages across BC. Today pipelines and other resource mega-projects are causing displacement in Indigenous and working class communities, from Burnaby to Kitimat, where pipeline construction pressures have brought a 0% vacancy rate and mass evictions and rent increases. Social Housing Alliance stands with the resistance at Burnaby Mountain to say NO to ongoing displacement for corporate profits held up by the colonial Canadian state.

Burnaby Mountain is not Canada’s “public” land

On November 14th Supreme Court of Canada granted an injunction in favor of Kinder Morgan, allowing police to forcibly remove protesters so that the company can begin its drilling work. But Canadian courts do not have legal jurisdiction on unceded Coast Salish territories. Burnaby Mountain is not public land for the Canadian state to offer to a U.S. company for resource extraction. It is Indigenous land caught in an ongoing cycle of dispossession.

On top of destroying Indigenous economies and ways of being, short sighted resource economies make lives worse for Indigenous and working class people around the province. Local economies are upended, housing costs increase, sexual and gender violence against Indigenous women spikes, and more pressure is put on low-income residents, all for temporary jobs.

We say stop displacement! They say cut taxes!

Though the government claims that resource extraction projects can fund social housing and social services, this same government is providing tax exemptions for resource extraction companies while keeping taxes low for all corporations. Taxes have never been so low. Today the BC government is subsidizing corporate profits while aggressively defunding social housing. In the next ten years, over 30,000 affordable housing units will lose their funding in BC.

Social housing and social programs are not starved because of a lack of wealth in British Columbia. Tax cuts and government austerity are the product of the very corporations and government that bring us pipelines as a temporary salve to economic crisis.

Corporations and colonial governments are united in their drive to colonize the land and prioritize profits over social well-being. In response, housing and environmental justice movements are standing united in resistance against displacement and dispossession. Let’s together stop Kinder Morgan in their tracks!