Friday, September 17, 2004


Underbelly of Vancouver
Downtown Eastside

Hi Friends!

As you know the No Wards or Wards debates have been launched. Already supporters of wards are telling lies in order to get people to vote yes.

The latest lie comes out of an article written Sept 16, 2004, by gay reporter Jeremy Hainsworth for Gay paper, XtraWest.

In the article, Kennedy Stewart, the Vancouver Centre NDP candidate in the last federal election, claims that the US supreme court in 1973, struck down the at-large system as being unconstitutional. In fact, Mr Kennedy should have said that the US Supreme court in 1973, struck down multi-member wards as unconstitutional.

The reporter Jeremy Hainsworth in his zeal to paint a picture of civil liberities violations and at-large being discriminatory against minorities, recklessly forgot to check his facts as any smart reporter would have done. Instead he quoted Prof Kennedy Stewart's press release verbatim.

Also it should be noted that the XtraWest editor-in-chief, Gareth Kirkeby also didn't check his reporter's story. Any good editor would do this to ensure facts in a story are in fact, accurate. Tsk Tsk Gareth and Jeremy.

The next distortion comes out of well respected Little Sisters owner Jim Deva's mouth. Mr Deva in the same story claims the gay community will lose in an at-large system. He says that more gay community members would be elected in ward elections.

So here is some factual research.

Federal and provincial elections are ward elections. Currently out of 308 ward seats across Canada, there are only three gay politicians elected. They are Real Menard,Libby Davies and Bill Siksay. Provincially across BC we have 75 ward seats. Currently there is only 1 gay politician elected. This is Lorne Mayencourt.

Now we must look to municipal at-large elections. Currently out of 10 politician elected to city council, we have 2 gay city councilors. They are Tim Stevenson and Ellen Woodsworth.

Then if you re-view the 96-99 Vancouver council, we had three (3) gay politicians elected out of 10. They included city councilors Gordon Price, Alan Herbert and bisexual Nancy Chiavario.

Next up, the Vancouver park board. In the 1996 civic at-large election, elected to seven park board seats were two gay and one lesbian park commissioners. They were Duncan Wilson, Alan Featherstonhaugh and Laura McDiarmid.

And if you look at who comprized the 1999 park board, again elected were 3 (three) gay commissioners out of 7. They were Duncan Wilson, Laura McDiarmid and bisexual Roslyn Cassells. So Mr Deva who I greatly admire must check his facts if he's going to espouse that wards will improve representation for the gay community.

All these big lies and bigger distortions. It will be fun exposing the misrepresentation of facts coming from the yes side in the wards or not debate.

Please remember Know the facts before voting. Check for the truth.


Jamie Lee Hamilton
(604) 781-3361


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