Saturday, March 26, 2005


Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside


Hi All!

A community meeting has been organized for Tuesday March 29th concerning the gay parade being moved from its longstanding location. The meeting starts at 7 pm in the Bidwell room at the West End Community Centre.

On March 21, the PRIDE (oversight committee of the parade) board issues a press release saying they were moving the gay parade from its historical home of the last 25 plus years. They did this without any public consultation and the community hasn't had an opportunity to voice its concerns since they had no idea this plan was even in the works.

Luckily for the community, the plan needs approval by city council before it can be implemented. The council will hear this proposed plan at its scheduled meeting on March 31, 2005. Unfortunately, this doesn't give the gay community much time to hear what is going on.

This issue instead of being an operational one has become political, as it should. Councilor Tim Stevenson just last week met with PRIDE officials and the DAVIE BIA. Of course, since the DAVIE BIA opposes the move, one can only hope that Mr Stevenson's intentions were honourable ones.

I believe Councilor Stevenson informed the group to go back and consult with the community. Or at least I hope he did!

In response to the original press release, Jamie Lee Hamilton, concerned over the lack of community input conferred with Jim Deva of Little Sisters Bookstore and together came up with a plan to host a community meeting on Tuesday March 29 at 7pm in the Bidwell room at the West End Community Centre.

The news is travelling fast within the gay community over this meeting. Many are expected to turn out and voice their concerns.

What this issue also brings is the message that it only takes one voice to start a movement. So the lesson here is never be afraid to speak up, because that one voice multiplies and a cause takes root. A cause is born and action whether good or bad comes forward as a result.

Stay tuned for the battle over the parade. Please attend the community meeting!


Jamie Lee Hamilton