Thursday, July 05, 2007


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Once again, Vancouver seniors are being turfed from their homes just like they were in 1986 from Kerrisdale and the West End. This time, its two West End Seniors, Morris Cohen and Doreen Robertson who have lived in their home at 838 Nicola for 38 and 25 years respectively.

I think its shameful that the owner, Robson Residences Holding Corp is treating these seniors so poorly. I guess this is another crass attempt once again to cash in on the Olympics and this is very unsettling.

While this blogwriter has previously stated that the Downtown Eastside hotel residents shouldn't worry since in my opinion the closures of a few SRO's were not at all similar to the Expo evictions, as a few misguided activists were suggesting and I still stand by my claim.

My real fear though associated with the 2010 Olympics is that West End residents are being subjected to displacement or enormous rent increases as they were during Expo. Vulnerable seniors just like during Expo 86 are being deemed expendable.

So it comes as no surprise that West End evictions are becoming rampant as the City prepares for the Olympics. Once again West End seniors are being pushed around by those profiteers who appear to care less about human life, and who instead think only of the almighty buck.

While its impossible to stop the Olympics, I want people to remember the supposed affordable housing hypocrites who supported the Olympics coming to Vancouver. They knew full well what may well happen regarding rental housing stock yet they continued to support the Olympics.

Former Councillor Jim Green and Housing advocate Linda Mix knew or should have known the potential harm which may come to Vancouver's densest neighborhood where 80 percent of residents are renters and extremely vulnerable. Mr. Green's party, Vision, tries to paint itself as a party which desires to maintain affordable housing stock for renters yet look who bankrolled their campaigns - the developers. These same developers who are now re-moving rental stock from the downtown core. Moreover, Mr. Green became a big booster of the Olympics and Linda Mix sits on the VANOC board.

I say its time for protest. I would like West End residents to come out in force and show our support and love for the vulnerable seniors of our City. Don't allow greedy developers to push our seniors around.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


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