Joanne Hammond Profile picture
Jun 3, 2018 13 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
160 years of rampant land speculation and untethered state-led profiteering has finally paid off!

COME BACK WITH ME to 1858, when the BC real estate crisis began... #BCHist #vanre #bcpoli 1/
Meet Edward Bulwer-Lytton, colonial secretary, and James Douglas, the first governor of colonial BC.

BC as a colony was about 5 minutes old when these two kicked off the Great Land Grab of 1858 That Never Really Stopped. 2/
In 1858 BC was broke af. Douglas’ rash proclamation of sovereignty over all the gold turned out to be unlawful even by colonial standards (oops) and forced the creation of the colony before any cash flow existed. 3/
The new colonial administration needed income & hoped land sales would “prove a prolific source of revenue” (Douglas 1858)

What land? Indigenous land, obvs. In the words of historian of the time HH Bancroft, the “wild, and thus far worthless, land, stolen from the savages” 4/
The minute that land was for sale, speculation started. But the government that hoped to get
from selling stolen land then found settlers wanted the same. Leading by example, right? 5/
All kinds of measures were used to try to curb “mere land jobbing” (Lytton to Douglas 1858).

They tried residency laws (once you had your land you had to stay put), an upset (floor) price, caps on contiguous acreages...

Nothing really worked. 6/
In 1858 Lytton wrote to Douglas: “I cannot caution you too strongly against allowing it to be disposed of at too low a sum”. Then the bonanza really got going.

At the first public auction the upset price of $100/lot was wildly exceeded, selling as high as $725. In 1858! 7/
At this point gold-rushing Americans were flooding into BC in numbers large enough to threaten British rule.

And when the gold didn’t pan out (lolz) they looked to the land to make a fortune. 8/
While in 1858 Lytton & Douglas agreed “to attract to this territory all peaceful settlers, without regard to nation”, by 1859 they decided British was best, really:

“We are, therefore, especially desirous of placing before the English public the attraction of cheap land” 9/
Obvs, Indigenous peoples from whom the land was stolen weren’t allowed to claim or buy any, and Lytton repeatedly advised Douglas to keep Indian reserves as small as possible, “so as to avoid checking at a future day the progress of the white colonists” (1859) 10/
But not just anyone should gain. BC could build “a sounder state of society by not encouraging the premature conversion into petty and impoverished landowners of those who ought to be labourers” (Lytton 1859).

A little social engineering to go with your “free”market, lol. 11/
So while it’s fun to blame the former B.C. Liberal govt or newly arrived NDP or Vision Vancouver for the lack of affordable land and housing— this problem is so much bigger and older than all of them.

They’ve merely inherited the result of 160 years of profiteering. #vanre 12/
All the photos in this thread are from BC Archives. The primary docs are from BC LTSA. The Lytton & Douglas communications are from Cail’s 1974, below. 13/13

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More from @KamloopsArchaeo

Sep 11, 2018
This is the Bonaparte Plateau, BC. It’s been stripped bare by logging. The scale of these clearcuts makes size comparisons to football fields seem ridiculous. It’s effing heartbreaking to be here. 1/
Don’t know where Bonaparte Plateau is? Few do. It’s in southern Secwepemculewc. Valued hunting, fishing & medicine grounds for millennia.

You don’t see it from highways, & need a truck to get there. That seclusion has allowed forestry to destroy it, almost unchallenged. 2/
Logging here has been ceaseless since the 1990s. Bits left as reserves after the first, second, third, fourth round of harvests eventually get razed too. Nothing is spared. Gif from Google Earth Engine, 1986-2016. 3/
Read 8 tweets
Aug 19, 2018

The intensity of BC wildfires is directly related to industry-led mismanagement of forests that has been undermining the land’s resiliency for a century.

Don’t blame it all on climate change. Yet. 1/
For >100 years this land base has been operated by and for forest capitalists. A century of clearcuts, monoculture plantations and fire suppression brought us here.

Responsibility for forest management is a GIANT elephant in the BC wildfire room. 2/
Millions of continuous hectares of stunted, debris-choked and dead standing forests are burning, and we blame "Mother Nature", or climate change. Hold up.

Here's the Bonaparte Plateau, which burned last year, being "managed" from 1984-2016. Those are clearcuts. 3/
Read 9 tweets
Jul 20, 2018
“We didn’t get out of the Stone Age because we ran out of stones, we got smarter” - Enviro Minister @cathmckenna

<best ‘Well Actually, Minister’ voice>

The stone age was a wildly, ingeniously stable and successful human adaptation. 1/
The stone age (really the stone-wood-bone-antler-skin-bark-shell-etc age) persisted for 👉3+ million years👈

Since before we were really human.

Sustainable af, and not in buzzword sense. 13/10 on sustainability scale.

Should be of interest aspiring enviro leaders, Minister? 2/
Stone age technologies were steady for thousands, hundreds of thousands of years. Cos *they worked*. For most everyone. Without destroying the world.

The most persistent, successful ways we’ve ever had.

Claiming we smarted our way out is SOME hubris. (@RoyalBCMuseum diarama) 3/
Read 6 tweets
Jul 3, 2018
So the racist pieces of shit who did this are our Kamloops neighbours. Now what? #TRC #TruthBeforeReconciliation 1/
I heard @tult7 on CBC condemning this as “small minded hate crime”, saying he hopes this racism isn’t representative of Kamloops.

I don’t know if I can be as generous as Kukpi7 Ignace. The racism is real and everyday and ingrained. In Kamloops, and the rest of Canada too. 2/
I talk to community & business groups, educators & bureaucrats abt Indigenous history/rights/ all the time. It’s an *understatement* to say people are ignorant of Indigenous issues.

It’s better characterized as flat out denial. A preference for ignorance. And it fuels racism. 3/
Read 13 tweets
May 26, 2018
I have an idea instead of renaming Emily Carr’s ‘Indian Church’.

👉Teach the role of these little churches in Canada’s civilization project. In clearing the land. In cultural genocide.👈 #TruthBeforeReconciliation (AGO pics) 1/
The decision to Remove-the-Indian-From-The-Painting is a decolonizing opportunity lost.

Better to learn WTF an Indian Church is & *why* they’re everywhere (📷VancouverArchives) 2/
Sure, Carr called the painting Indian Church, and that may grate since we’ve now matured into FirstNationsIndigenous vocab... but it actually WAS that.

It’s a thing: a ~Church~ built by missionaries for ~Indians~. 3/
Read 16 tweets
May 24, 2018
Hey Kamloops. We need your help. We’d like to honour Kamloops veterans on memorial street signs this year, to mark the century since the end of WWI.

Can I have a word about remembrance? Honour? Respect? And yes, money. 1/
Kamloops Heritage Commission planned to replace about 50 signs this year, adding poppies to streets named for fallen WWI soldiers.

But city won’t pay the $8,500. Council opted to pay ZERO dollars and drag it out over a decade (watch here at abt 2:07 2/
Some background: 189 men from the Kamloops area were killed in WWI, from a population of around 4,000 at the time.

That’s the equivalent of 4,250 Kamloopsians today.

Imagine if 4,250 of us were killed for our country and we decided honouring them cost too much? 3/
Read 14 tweets

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