Sunday, September 11, 2005


September 12, 2005

For Immediate Release


"Well leave your money to Councillor Jim Green to spend and that's exactly what he will do", states longtime Downtown Eastside social activist Jamie Lee Hamilton.

Green once again wants to raid the property endowment fund for another $2 million dollars for a project which he has continuously championed and waywardly claimed will solve all the woes of the Downtown Eastside.

"It has become clear the only benefit the Woodwards project will generate is for the Mayoral bid of Councillor Jim Green", claims Ms Hamilton.

States Hamilton, "the rising costs of the Woodwards re-development has reached massive costs overruns before construction has even started. The costs have mushroomed up to $280,000,000 doubling the original proforma numbers. Previously there was a funding shortfall for the non market housing component estimated by the developer to be $7,000,000 but this figure in just 10 months has ballooned to over $20,000,000".

"And the community in the process is being sold out", charges Ms Hamilton.

"For Councillor Green to allow a complete re-design of the Woodwards project is a complete betrayal of my neighborhood. Where in the revised proposal is the day and night food market promised to the neighborhood? Where are the public amenity spaces which were offerred up to the community? Where is the wellness centres and aboriginal healing centre components which were part of the original designs and proposal"? Where are they Councillor Green" demands Jamie Lee Hamilton.

The public report which was just made available on Friday September 9, 2005 shows that there is an anticipated shortfall of $32,000,000 and the developer is only willing to provide $7,000,000 of this shortfall.The issue of the outstanding $25,000,000 and where it will come from hasn't been addressed and someone has to put the brakes on for this massive and out of control mega project.

Ms Hamilton will attempt to address council on Tuesday September 13, 2005 when this matter comes before it.

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For further information contact Jamie Lee at (604) 781-3361


Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside


On Saturday September 10, this blogwriter attended the Davie St Fair Day. It was wonderful to witness a community celebrating its rich history. The only thing missing was a historical booth showcasing the 70's and 80's era when Hookers on Davie reigned supreme. Of course now the Davie Village/West End area is known for being the home turf of those providing indoor escort services. Those highrises are dens of passion after dark folks!

But it truly was wonderful to see neighbors strolling the Village and the businesses with their doors wide open welcoming them in. Lots of community groups had booths set up.

I was particularly pleased to see former Councillor Alan Herbert out lobbying for the Save St Paul's Coalition. Seeing this booth with the swarms of people around it was again a reminder of the impact St Paul's has on the well being of the West End/Downtown core. Re-locating St Paul's to my area in the Downtown Eastside would be disastrous for Vancouver.

Of course, all municipal parties has booths set up. I was saddened to see only one volunteer at both the COPE and Vision Vancouver tables. Its regretable that COPE decided to have its policy convention on this day since many members of their constituency had to decide between a street fair or a stuffy hotel meeting room.

Whereas the NPA, sensing a good thing and wanting to make inroads into the West End neighborhood had at least 9 of their finest candidates working the fair. Notables at the NPA table were their moderate and gay friendly candidates and candidates for nomination. They included School board candidate Michelle Mollineaux, Artistic Director Elizabeth Ball was resplendent in a scandalous Scarlett red scarf. Korina Houghton (a real gem), BC Lee, Kim Capri, Sheryl Williamson-Harms and Park Commissioner Suzanne Anton & daughter Liz worked the crowd. City Councillor Peter Ladner who was frolicking and getting soaked in the Dunk Tank added to the mix. I'd say folks that at least these NPA'rs are not stuffed shirts. In fact NPA council hopefull Valerie Jenkinson who was also present is a real Diva. She brought along and was passing out trader cards. The gay boys of the Village were asking Ms Jenkinson to autograph her cards!

So a terrific day and in keeping in the spirit of history and to cap off the day's highlights, the fabulous Michelle Mollineaux took me to dinner at the Seymour Room at the Bay where I had their traditional and sumptuous roast beef dinner including Yorkshire Pudding. Yummmmmmmm! Folks for the best roast beef dinner in town don't forget this Gem.

I did find out the outcome of the COPE policy conference later on. I received a number of calls from longtime COPE party members. The DIVision members won the day and overrided the previous COPE members vote of not supporting the Vision camp. This time, COPE obviously has once again drop-kicked democracy by allowing a second vote on this matter. Equally sad is that the DIVision members have been allowed to remain COPE members. These DIVisionists had a motion supported by the Vancouver and District Labor Council (funders of COPE) which effectively ruled that COPE would only run 5 council and no mayoral candidate. Particularly troubling was that the chair of the meeting would not allow any amendments from the floor.

The grassroots of COPE were appalled at this crass undemocratic move. The chair was challenged but the DIVisionists, however won that vote as well. I am told that the only Councillor to stand up against this dictatorial move was Dr. Fred Bass. Even Councillor Louis was silent. I'd say watch for troubling times in the months ahead leading up to this November's election.

Jamie Lee Hamilton