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