Thursday, September 30, 2004


Underbelly of Vancouver
Downtown Eastside


Hi All!

A person named Jak posted a comment to my blog. Here is my response.

Hi Jak!

No I never respond with a knee jerk reaction to COPE anymore. My reasons for not supporting wards is I believe in pro-rep. COPE would not allow this as an option on the ballot and this is what I'm really upset about.

My feelings around prostitution and wards is this. Currently, there are seven prostitution strolls in the proposed ward boundaries. I suspect that sex workers will have little clout with politicians. I know politicos never listen to me.

As we know, organizations in these proposed wards are championing wards, because they believe they will have greater influence with the politicians. For example, the city funds BIA's and traditionally these groups harrass prostitutes. Many neighborhood groups also target sex trade workers for victimization. They are going to love having wards. You think a politician will listen to a sex worker over a well organized and financed group? My fear is that these groups will setback the cause I champion.

Already we have seen this. Whether it was COPE Councilor Jim Green saying in the Vancouver Sun "how uncomfortable it made him living next door to a sex trade worker" to Councilor Tim Stevenson of COPE railing against two female COPE councilors who supported my plan not to exclude escorts from a new office/work/live zone. Councilor Stevenson, Green and Mayor Campbell brought so much pressure to Councilors Roberts and Woodsworth that they recinded their own motion. Councilor Roberts to her credit said she learned a valuable lesson in real politik!

And what about former Mayor Owen. Lest we forget his legacy which is not as COPE purports,"the man who lead the way to Vancouver's first needle injection site and paid the price". I can't forget Mayor Owen saying how "he wouldn't fund a prostitution location service", when all the Downtown Eastside Sex Trade workers disappeared. I can't forget the fact, he opposed a reward to capture whoever was responsible for the serial crimes against sex trade workers. I can't forget he refused to meet with the families of murdered sex trade workers. And then we have Mayor Larry Campbell who is championing wards saying what a great guy Mayor Owen is. Ms Nettie Wild also portrays former Mayor Owen as a hero in her film Fix. She conveniently forgets his legacy around the sex trade murders.

And what do the media do to me.They either paint me as a hot-head or malcontent for caring about this issue so much. Councilor Green even went so far as to inform a Funder that their grant to my cause was wrong.

So I could go on and on but I won't.

Jamie Lee

PS Jak, your name is interesting and your blog too doesn't come up when I try to open it! I wonder why!!!


Underbelly of Vancouver
Downtown Eastside

Wards Public Endorsers Primarily Live West of Main

Hi All!

Since Libby Davies raised it, I must go there.

What is this you're asking?

Well on the one hand, COPE is claiming that Vancouver desperately needs a ward system because the eastside hasn't in an at-large electoral system, been properly represented.

This wayward claim by COPE and Libby Davies is as we know bogus. The Eastside has always had strong representation at City Hall through the likes of longtime city councilors Harry Rankin, Bruce Yorke, Bruce Eriksen, Libby Davies, Jenny Kwan, Don Bellamy and Pat Wilson.

Interesting though is that a strong majority of the YES for wards/COPE public supporters for wards, live West of Main street.

Whether its Yes for Wards Chair Darlene Mazari,Mayor Larry Campbell or Dr Fred Bass, Tim Louis or Yes supporters Nancy Chiavario, Alan Herbert, Alayne Keough, Mel Lehan, Heather Deal, Anita Romaniuk or former Mayor Mike Harcourt, all of them reside West of Main. Interesting is that 75% of COPE's public Yes supporters live West of Main street.

Talk about the eastside/westside divide.

Shame on you COPE!

Jamie Lee Hamilton