Monday, December 18, 2006



Jason Gratl is a lawyer and President of the BC Civil Liberties Association. He is now acting on behalf of DERA as its legal representative. A looming question, however is this. Where is the source of Mr. Gratl's legal fees coming from?

Since DERA is funded by the government ( mainly BC Housing), the legal fees supplied to Mr. Gratl, it seems would most likely be coming from this revenue stream. At stake is Mr. Gratl's refusal to answer this question. Taking funding earmarked for the poor to line your own pocket is poverty pimping ( a term I do not normally use) in its worst form and has to be denounced at all costs.

Mr. Gratl has an association with Pivot Legal Society and as my readers know, Mr. David Eby of Pivot has sent out many press releases with DERA's name attached. Mr. Gratl and Mr. Eby appear to be working in tandem and this raises questions about whether Pivot is also engaging in poverty pimping? I thought Pivot was beyond blemishing itself with this nastiness, and I hope with all my heart that this isn't the case.

Folks, there is big money to be made off of the escalating poverty industry in the Downtown Eastside. Far too often, many folks from outside my area have seen an opportunity to cash in on the devastation of the DTES, while padding their own pockets and this is obscene, especially when you consider the death and destruction of this troubled area.

Mr. Gratl is no exception. He has come out of nowhere, has inserted himself into the politics of the DTES and is making money off the backs of the poor.

I hope, people begin to see through this smoke and mirrors of Mr Gratl and others like Mr. Eby, laying claim of assisting the poor when in actual fact all they are doing is bottom feeding off the most disadvantaged members of society.

Shame on them!

Jamie Lee Hamilton


At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you please elaborate more on this problem / Jason Gratl / Jason Gratl's wrongdoing? I'm very curious about all this, and sick of seeing the poor exploited like this.

At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, talk about harsh. The guy needs to make a living somehow. Would you rather he was living on the street also?

Don't vilify people for making a living, please. He's on your side.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Jason Gratl is a lawyer who is a lawyer acting for DERA/APC.

All I asked is whether any funds to pay Mr. Gratl are coming out of BC Housing funds.

I reject that Mr. Gratl is on my side when he acts for an organization which has engaged in, I allege, fraudulent and criminal activities.

If Mr. Gratl makes a choice to defent those who are robbing from the poor that is his choice, however, these types of unethical activities should be exposed.

That is what I have done.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Leah Plumridge said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Mr Gratl is representing an organization, I allege, which is stealing from the poor.

How Mr. Gratl can justify this immoral behavior is deeply concerning.

Subsidized housing is supposed to be earmarked for the poor, elderly and infirm.

DERA and APC have mis-used the system and are providing this core need housing to their friends and supporters. These young people, many in their 20's with good health and well-paying jobs are not Entitled to this housing.

There are many lawyers long before Mr Gratl came along who have a deep, trusting and long history fighting for the rights of lower-income and downtrodden citizens. These well regarded individuals include Harry Rankin and Michael Harcourt.

Spare me the crap about how Mr Gratl could be earning so much in the corporate sector. It's a stupid argument.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Leah Plumridge said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:04 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Ms Plumridge

I am not ragging on Mr Gratl because he is a lawyer and I understand that not all lawyers make good money. I never said this.

I merely object that he chose to represent an organization and in the process sent out a demeaning & cease and desist letter before having checked facts. Mr Gratl in the process even attempted to block an individual's freedom of speech rights.

You claim that my claims are unsubstantiated without even checking out whether this is true.

Had you done your homework Ms Plumridge you would find that an operational review of DERA was initiated a year ago. Today that review hasn't yet seen the light of day and I allege that DERA is blocking it's release.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, a third party such as DERA can do this. However, it is my understanding there must be written reasons given to the FOI Commissioneris why the review shouldn't be made public.

What we are talking about here is public dollars and allegations of mis-use of those dollars. It is in the public interest that all public funding be held to public scrutiny.

It's too bad Ms Plumridge that you don't see things this way. Actually it is kinda sad.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Leah Plumridge said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Ms Plumridge

Give me a break. My readers will see that you jumped all over me for questioning whether Mr. Gratl, (who was and quite possibly is still acting for DERA/APC), was receiving legal fees out of BC Housing subsidy funds. This is a fair and legitimate question and one which Mr. Gratl chose not to answer.

Further, your defence of DERA/APC and Mr Gratl and your false allegation that claims made by me haven't been substantiated is a joke. You profess to have used Google to verify this and that is troubling for a supposed lawyer.

Your continuous comments in support and defence of Mr Gratl, DERA/APC are duly noted.

The fact is, DERA is blocking the release of the public audit. I imagine they are using a lawyer for this as well.

A lawyer who doesn't have any scruples, it would appear since essentially they are representing a group which doesn't believe in public scrutiny or accountability.

You Ms Plumbridge wouldn't be in cahoots would you?

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Leah Plumridge said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say that Jason Gratl is just working for the poor, and has renounced making money as, for example, a corporate lawyer, is misleading. He's making plenty of money, as a search of cases that he has / is working on reveals. He is also constantly in the news, which I am sure works in his favour in terms of justifying whatever fee he is charging. Until you actually know how much he charges, and is making, in his non-charity type, or pro bono work, as well as his other work, don't assume he's some champion of the poor, and sacrificing income as a champion of whatever. I'm am really tired of people like Jason Gratl pretending to work for "the people" and the little guy, when in fact their work is in service of their big egos, and they are getting compensated, in whatever way, very nicely.

At 5:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have any of you even spoken to Jason Gratl?? Shame on all of you for making such dramatic assumptions about someone you don't know.

At 4:46 AM, Blogger RocktheBoat said...

Just because Mr. Eby is a newcomer to the DTES/Strathcona doesn't mean he can't be a high rollin' real estate specuvestor in his spare time. I hope that someone can confirm this. Apparently, he was/is the owner of a property on Heatley St., which recently sold for a helluva asking price, considering its tiny dimensions, no yard (front or back) and alleyside location (MLS listing price was $650,000). Either Mr. Eby has turned a nice profit in a recent reno flip (how does he find the time?) or, even worse, he is the current owner and and is flogging this Home Depot reno'd shack on Craigslist for a mere $2400/month (utilities not included). Link:
Either way you look at it, he's a friggin' hypocrite.


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