Downtown East May 2014

Downtown East May 2014



dtenews_centre_spread_v7Anti-gentrification centre spread poster: Lippmanopoloy!

By Kathy Shimizu, with articles by Blair Hewitt and Jean Swanson

bud-copy1Bud Osborn, DTES poet, prophet, and activist (1947-2014)

By the Editors

As the DT East goes to press, we received word that DTES poet and activist Bud Osborn has died. Bud was a founding member of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and was appointed to the Vancouver Richmond Health Board in the 1990s. Bud was the driving force that pushed the Health Board to declare a public health emergency in the DTES because of the raging epidemic of drug overdose deaths. Bud’s work was also instrumental in getting Insite open, North America’s only safe injection site. Bud was passionate and tireless in humanizing people who use drugs, fighting back against the rampant social stigma caused by the war on drugs.(…)

Housing and displacement struggles

graph-homeless-population_color-copyA perfect storm: why the homeless count is no surprise

By Tamara Herman

Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver had to put their public relations experts to work in April when they announced that their biggest election promise was broken. Gregor vowed to end homelessness by 2015 when he was elected in 2008. Instead, the 2014 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count showed that street homelessness had increased by 249% since the last count in 2011. (…)

lippman_alexandercourtnotice-copySROs emptied for hip housing, DTES residents left in the cold

By DJ Larkin

The numbers from the 2014 Metro Vancouver homeless count are in. In one 24-hour period, 538 people in Vancouver were found living on the streets without a home. The City itself admits that this increase is partly due to the loss of affordable Single Resident Occupancy (SRO) rooms and delays in opening new social housing. (…)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo new social housing from the Province: 3 community views

By Harold Lavender, Jean Swanson, and Andrea Craddock

These three articles outline the housing crisis in BC as it is worsening through government policy and market forces. They deal with the crisis overall and in specific communities in BC. (…)

gateway-social-housing-actionWhat do resource pipelines & building cranes have in common?

By Seb Bonet

In colonial British Columbia, there is a lot riding on the answer to this question. The elites want us to think they represent the latest and most visible symbols of prosperity for all. But to many people who are Indigenous or living with low incomes, pipelines and cranes represent the the latest in a long series of displacements. (…)

chau-luen-copy_betterVictory at Chau Luen Tower!

By King-Mong Chan

Victory! With the support and work of DJ Larkin from Pivot Legal Society and MPA advocate Stephanie Smith, the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) dismissed the Chau Luen Society’s application for rent increases – above 40% – at Chau Luen Tower (at Keefer and Gore)! (…)



勝利!因DJ Larkin (樞軸法律協會/ Pivot Legal Society) 和另一位倡權人士的支持
及工作,住宅租務處會 (Residential Tenancy Branch;RTB)撤銷業主(昭倫公所)向
RTB 申請向奇化街325 號的昭倫大廈加租,加租超過40%!(…)

Community and city planning


outhoodourplanDTES Local Area Plan: What did we get? What did we lose?

By Jean Swanson and Harold Lavender

Vancouver has approved the DTES Local Area Plan. What will be its positive and negative effects? Was it worth the three-year effort put in by low-income reps to work with the City? (…)

suntzuSun Tzu (The Art of War) & the DTES Local Area Plan

By Herb Varley

How can an ancient Chinese text and the Local Area Plan (LAP) be connected? Well for starters, I read the book several times while I was co-chair of the LAP process. As I read the book, its teachings slowly entered my mind, and mixed in with my own wisdom and experience. The students of Sun Tzu call this the art of taking whole. (…)

tracey-healing-wellness-centre-copyAboriginal Healing Centre: we’re a person, not an addiction

An interview with Tracey Morrison

During the Downtown Eastside Local Area Planning Process, LAP committee reps Tracey Morrison and Victoria Bull kept bringing up the idea of having an Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Centre in the DTES. When people went to City Council to speak on the Plan numerous people spoke in favour of the Centre and Council agreed that staff should try to put a plan together to get one built. The DT East interviewed Tracey Morrison about her view of what the Centre should be. (…)

Inequality & injustice


beer-bottlingThe funding cut & displacement agenda behind the PHS scandal

By Ivan Drury

The Portland Hotel Society (PHS) is at the centre of a shit storm. The spectacle of the storm has captured all the press: fat cat executives treating themselves to salon treatment, a luxury New York hotel, and a Disneyland family vacation. Taxpayer outrage has focused on these excesses as evidence of Downtown Eastside agency “entitlement” (using well-worn poor-bashing stereotypes of the lazy homeless). BC Liberals, a bunch of media talking heads, and the comment-section-writing public is calling for tighter regulation over non-profits, and declaring that too much public money is spent in the Downtown Eastside (DTES). PHS executives are the visible focus of this shit storm, but are they the real targets? (…)

bill_tour-of-two-cities-outside-vancouver-club-home-of-the-1-copyWe are poor because they are rich

By Bill Hopwood

Finally, the proof we have been waiting for. Most of us have long suspected that the government of BC was in bed with the richest 1%. On April 1, 2014, this was confirmed. During Raise the Rates’ Tour of Two Cities, the Premier of BC married the super rich of the province, putting a $41,000 ring on their finger. The Premier promised to give more and more tax cuts to the richest 1%. They in turn promised to “lounge around in luxury until death do us part” and vowed to be married “for richer and richer, and richer, ignoring the poor.” (…)

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