A few readers have wondered why I keep writing about people in Burnaby battling over the issue of parking.
I write about all sorts of topics, of course, but this one too because it’s just so silly how some neighbourhood dynamics work. No, it’s not the most vital issue facing our community, but it is fascinating.
It’s also ugly, with renters often bearing the brunt of the ire from entitled homeowners who don’t seem to feel any sympathy for the plight of tenants who get mistreated by their landlords. Yes, I said mistreated because not providing parking on the property is egregious mistreatment. It’s just one of many ways that renters are treated poorly in our society.
One such person is A.A., who wrote me recently because she’s literally been threatened over the parking issue.
“I am just shaking now as I write this,” A.A. wrote. “I have been a tenant in the same complex for over 10 years now. During this time, I have endured a lot with my neighbours as a single mother. I continue to put up with a neighbour that has 3 male tenants who have 2 vehicles that park for weeks on end in front of my door, yet claim it to be their property (I rent them).
“The owner of the house has 1 vehicle in the driveway. When I came home today, I had to run in the house quickly to get my phone charger for a night shift as a health-care worker. I was not even parked for 3 minutes and the neighbour came to my door, shook his fist in my face to say that I am in his spot, in front of his house, and he pays taxes. Mind you, he has an illegal suite, he doesn't pay tax, nor does he provide them with parking. The spots in front of his house are occupied and you can see it anytime … again for weeks without moving (tenants don't work). I am a single mother, mind my own business all the time. However, this really stung me, made me very afraid and the hostility was unwarranted. How can I get the owner to understand the parking is not 'his' and that we all pay taxes? I cannot find the bylaws to leave in his mailbox to enlighten him?”
A.A., who already deals with the stress of being a heroic health-care worker risking her life each day during a pandemic, was left in tears by this behaviour.
Like, dude, maybe wait more than three minutes before shaking your fist at someone. You don’t own any spots and, yes, renters, also pay taxes, including (indirectly) the property taxes of landlords.
So calm down, be a grownup and don’t threaten violence towards someone over a parking space.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.