Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kensington Community Centre Deserves Better

October 29, 2014 Attended the Kensington Community Centre Park Board all-candidate mtg last night except it wasn't all candidates as the governing party Vision chose not to send any of their park board candidates. Not one. Campaigns are the time when politicians need to attend these meetings and answer questions around the decisions they have made or will make in the future.. This is called transparency and accountability. And it is sad that Vision candidates think they are beyond needing to be transparent or accountable to the citizens. A familiar refrain last night was Where's Vision? Kudos to Mary Sutherland the longtime President of KCC and Milan for organizing this meeting where residents voiced concerns about the deplorable conditions at the public parks in the Kensington catchment area of which there are seven (7) parks. Mary and Milan presented us with a video of the neglect by Park Board of the Community Centre's facilities because promised funding in the Capital Plans has yet to materialize. The last few capital plans voted on by the public earmarked Kensington as a top priority to receive funds but these promises have been ignored by Park Board. The last few election cycles have produced nothing for this community and that is offensive. When Communities and Neighborhoods are promised funding in the capital plan this becomes a priority. But it seems Vision has other priorities for their pet projects like putting an asphalt bike freeway through a family picnic area and children's playground and they fund projects to divert traffic in an area creating a closed gated community for the very rich in our City. Of course the Mayor lists his own address as being in this gated community which we know has dramaticlly increased the value of his own family home, you know the one he was kicked out of last spring. And you just know this will be part of a divorce settlement and it oesn't hurt to have your home increase its value by a quarter of a million dollars. And this my friends is Vancouver politics for you. Jamie Lee Hamilton

Monday, October 27, 2014

Is BDSM Always Sane, Safe and Consensual?

October 27, 2014 Yesterday many of us learned about the firing of Jian Ghomeshi from CBC and it caused us to pause and think. Was he fired because of his different sexual lifestyle? It was brought to our attention by Mr Ghomeshi himself on a Facebook posting that he likes rough sex and engages in BDSM. I don't think that is a big deal. I read the Toronto Star article where four women have come forward claiming that Mr Ghomeshi acted violently toward them without their consent. As a sex positive advocate obviously I accept that for the most part that BDSM is safe, sane and consensual. Although I have had women engaged in that lifestyle who informed me that some of the supposed safe play went well beyond what they felt comfortable with and or originally agreed to. And therein lies a problem. Mr Ghomeshi went on the offensive yesterday claiming that an ex girlfriend because he dumped her was out to ruin his career. That type of claim I find juvenile since it portrays that women if a guy breaks up with them that women are somehow out to get the guy. I had hoped that we have moved beyond this type of gender stereotyping but obviously Mr Ghomeshi hasn't. I am keeping an open mind to this story and it may be that criminal charges are laid if an investigation is opened as a result of these four women coming forward. As far as I know sexual assault cases do not have restrictions regarding when the assaults took place. Also I do not believe that the victims in sex assaults have to pursue investigations. It is my understanding that criminal investigators can initiate investigations on their own regarding abuse or sexual assault allegations. I know there will be BDSM'ers who think this issue will cause BDSM to be on public display and there is probably no getting around this. I do know that most BDSM lifestyle people engage in safe, sane and consenting play. I hope though that these lifestylers will keep an open mind that while Mr Ghomeshi claims his sexual lifestyle is causing him to be treated unfairly and as a result has cited discrimination as a result of that lifestyle. What these four women though are alleging on the surface looks like the BDSM went well beyond just some rough sex and into the area of abuse, assault and sexual assault. This may well wind up in the courts if Mr Ghomeshi is charged. While Mr Ghomeshi wants us to believe he is entitled to engage in the privacy of his bedroom whatever he wants but whether the public will buy into this claim especially when a number of women are stepping forward suggesting he punched them with a closed fist and nearly choked them to death is yet to be determined. Jamie Lee Hamilton

Friday, October 24, 2014

Vision Needs to Respect Meeting Participants

October 24, 2014 Attended last night the Killarney Community Centre's all-candidates meeting. Great crowd and lots of feisty seniors there. Well thought out questions and concerns being brought forward by them. I suspected the ruling Vision Vancouver candidates may receive a rough going but the audience was respectful to the Vision candidates but did not clap all evening to any of their answers. I was completely shocked though when Vision park Commissioner candidate Brent Granby called the crowd a bunch of conspiracy theorists. Very concerning when a number of Community Centre Presidents and Seniors took the time to attend the meeting and to be treated so disresectfully resulted in me calling Mr Granby out on this. I scolded him and the crowd loved me for it. I was further shocked as was the crowd when Mr Granby said that he supports their in some cases 60 year joint operating agreements to be negotiated through the courts. A number of Community Centres are in the courts because Vision gave them eviction notices if they did not sign off on the contracts Vision was trying to impose on them. Thae courts are no way to negotiate contracts and I'm very displeased that a party and let along a candidate would even suggest this. Jamie Lee Hamilton PARK BOARD CANDIDATE LikeLike · · Share

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Is the Mayor involved in gay quick vote buying?

October 22, 2014 Was the Mayor Involved in Gay Quick Vote Buying? So why was City Manager Dr Ballem's office involved in re-licensing a Fitness Centre to Social Club at 1775 Haro? Well to explain this my peeps I need to first say I'm in favour of Sex positive Clubs. Always have been. I think though if they are to be located right across from a community centre, park or school there needs to be notification to the neighbourhood affected. This did not happen even though there is a city by-law in place which requires this if the City deems it could have some impact on the surrounding neighborhood. How did this club come into obtaining a license and without due notification. Tthe ownership licensed it as a Fitness Centre as they claimed under instruction from the City of Vancouver. We know that a senior Manager at the City is involved with this Club. He may have had something to do with this but who knows. But obviously the City according to the owners told them to license it this way. Commercial establishments must adhere to land use and zoning requirements of the City. Where this club is located allows for a nightclub use and we have known this because previously it housed Denman Station and Club DeBong. The reason though that this sex positive club did not apply for a nightclub license is crystal clear. There is a BC governmental regulation that liquor establishments can not allow sexual activity and booze in the same establishment. Plus if they applied under nightclub there would for sure been a neighbourhood notification process. Another license in the City called Social Club this establishment could not apply for unless it was a non-profit group or is classified under the category of social enterprise which is there to assist marginalized people be self-sufficient. This is a good thing. But what happened here is that all these city processes were not followed. The Club operated under a fitness centre license for one year until the National Post newspaper raised this story because a number of neighbours wondered what was going on there and complained to the City. Their calls were never returned. So once the Post story broke the City under the City Manager's office with Dr Penny Ballem stating in response that they had the wrong license and that the City did not care if sexual activity was happening there. The problem here though is once again that provincial regulation states sexual activity and booze are not allowed in the same establishment. It should be noted that this Club caled 8 x 6 has on many occasions been serving liquor and has applied for these under the special license category of BC Liquor control and licensing branch. These temporary licences are approved by the Vancouver Police Department. This establishment even plans as the Xtra story indicates to obtain a permanent liquor license. I want to say here that I think this liquor regulation is in place for reasons that need wider public policy debate. It was put in place to ensure the protection of women primarily in the stripping business because allowing sexual activity where men fuelled by booze within a workplace is not such a great idea. So as we now know from the National Post story that City Manger Dr Penny Ballem ordered that this Club be re-licensed as a Social Club to by-pass regulatory control. Problem here is the City broke its own policy on who is allowed to apply under this category. The bigger question was whether she was instructed by the Mayor to do this as part of his pinkwashing re-election campaign. Pinkwashing refers to politicians geting political mileage out of an action meant to please a certain group in this case the LGBT community. It is no different than the ethnic vote buying scandal that happened in the last provincial election. But is it proper that all municipal regulations and provincial ones were broken to accomplish the goal of winning votes from the gay community? Whatever happened here stinks to high heaven and needs further investigation . Jamie Lee Hamilton Write a comment...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

HUB Cycling Survey

October 21, 2014 Yesterday I received an email from the cycling group HUB asking me as a Park Board candidate to fill out their survey which only had one question. The question was posed as a Yes or No question. It asked do you support a separated bike path in our parks. Of course this issue raises many concerns and I believe it is impossible to answer with just a Yes or No response. I do not support separated bike paths in parks which take away green space in favour of asphalt. Last year HUB was pushing for a separated bike path in the beautiful Kits Beach Park. This bike path would have cut right through a family picnic area and a children's playground. It also would have taken away substantial green space. I did not support HUB in this case and supported the community of Kits ho were opposed to this plan. Jamie Lee Hamilton

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Robertson's Marital Woes

October 17, 2014 As a candidate for the Board of Parks and Recreation in the November 15 municipal election I feel that I'm being dragged into Mayor Gregor Robertson's marital woes. When I'm out campaigning this matter is being raised and consequently I must respond. I understand the public's concern and I'm very angry with Mayor Robertson and his wife Amy for dragging the public into their sordid mess. The marital woes of the Robertson's sadly has become the central issue of the campaign. The reasons for this is because the Robertson's are drawing the public into their dysfunctional marriage even though their marriage matters don't concern us. Mayor Gregor Robertson and his wife Amy for some reason only known to them announced publicly last spring that they had separated and were living apart. Why they even announced this to the public is bizarre. Now the Mayor's wife has drawn the public once again into their marital problems. This time through filing an affidavit announcing that she still considers their home to be ex hubby Gregor's home. This was in response to the Mayor filing his nomination forms listing their once shared home as his primary residence. Ms Robertson went on to say her separated husband has a key, eats meals with the family and left some personal belongings in the home. The public could care less about these trivial matters.. Again we don't care where the Mayor is sleeping or who he is sleeping with. It is none of our business. But what is a major concern for the public goes to issues that we deem issues of societal importance. Citizens around the world embrace and cherish shared universal values around loyalty, trust and respect. By the Robertson's drawing us into their tangled web suffice to say we are not amused. If the Robertson's want to continue with their dysfunctional ways that is their business but stop drawing the citizens into your mess. It is obvious that the Robertson's have lost their moral compass but that doesn't give them the right to draw us into their dysfunction. Stop it already Mr and Mrs Robertson. Jamie Lee Hamilton

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Jamie Lee Commentary for Georgia Straight

October 15, 2014 Here is the link to my commentary for the Georgia Straight. Enjoy! JLH