Friday, April 13, 2007


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


I came to know Kevin Potvin during the 2005 Vancouver municipal election. He spoke boldly on political issues and he wasn't timid in sharing his political vision. Moreover, I found it refreshing that here was this really decent guy who has done lots of community service to make Vancouver a better place and hence I was happy to cast a vote for him.

In the past few days, Mr Potvin, has come under fire regarding a column he penned over the tragic and horrifying 9/11 attacks. In the immediate aftermath of this tragedy, as the events were unfolding before our eyes, as it was for Kevin, he shared his feelings.

Mr Potvin, as a journalist was obviously caught up in his emotions. As a story teller, he informed his readers exactly how he was feeling. He didn't shy away from those real innermost feelings which were rising to the forefront of his psyche. In fact, he titled the op/ed piece a Revolting Confession.

In times of tragedy, stress and trauma, often our emotions fail us. When we should be feeling a certain way, our feelings might play out opposite from what is generally acceptable norms. We do not always necessarily have control over these emotions and they can erupt in a manner which may make us feel shame, disgust, repulsion or remorse.

In the Potvin column, he alludes to this by stating he had a "revolting confession".

I think Kevin should be treated with compassion for opening himself up in such a personal way. Sharing his innermost feelings as they arose for him during the 9/11 tragedy, was probably very difficult and I suspect he knew that his shared feelings, might very well be reviled by the public. Perhaps, these feelings of Kevin's were a coping mechanism. Who knows. But at least Kevin was truthful about them. I'm certain he wasn't alone in his feelings either.

And oh how it has stirred debate. Kevin, is a Green party candidate in the upcoming federal election and people are clamouring for the Green leader, Elizabeth May, to remove him as a candidate. Mr Potvin is under tremendous attack and while I can understand that people are offended by the feelings of Mr Potvin, I would hope though that these people consider at least that Mr Potvin has the right to write about those feelings.

While I obviously had different feelings than Kevin Potvin regarding 9/11, I'm not about to add my name to the growing list of those who are aghast over his feelings.

Mr. Potvin to his credit has clarified for the public that he doesn't support those who have been alleged to have committed the heinous crimes of 9/11.

Mr. Potvin in a moment of great stress, released his feelings as they welled up and spilled over by writing about them. He has issued an apology and I personally don't believe we should be crucifying him, no matter how repulsed we are over his expression of feelings.

I will continue to support Kevin and if I lived in Van-Kingsway, I would not hesitate to cast my vote for him. He is a decent, hardworking family man who has contributed significantly to his neighborhood, the betterment of society and Vancouver. These are the character traits I look at when judging a person. I think Vancouver could do a lot better with many more Kevin Potvin's around and I sincerely hope citizens reflect on Kevin's strong, admirable traits when making their own judgments regarding his character.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

April 12, 2007

Dera Evicting Long Term Tenant Without Cause

In a particularly obscene manner, Dera, a DTES service and housing provider, is evicting long term resident and outspoken Oldtown activist, Jamie Lee Hamilton.

For the same reasons, Dera is crying foul regarding its Chinese Seniors grant being discontinued, Dera is evicting me from my housing on West Pender Street for expressing my political viewpoints on my Oldtown News blog site.

While my opinions have certainly been critical of three affiliated organizations, APC, Dera and Native Warrior Society, whether this constitutes legal grounds for housing eviction is actually quite shameful.

Referring to opinion pieces written by me, which Dera has downloaded from my website and put forward as documented evidence for eviction cause is pathetic housing advocacy on the part of Dera.

I find it interesting that Dera has criticized Peter Ladner and the NPA for allegedly singling them out for punishment and according to Executive Director of Dera, Kim Kerr, for its outspokeness on housing issues. Yet, when someone such as myself, expresses my viewpoints and freedom of speech rights, Dera does an-about face, retaliates and singles me out for cruel and harsh punishment. By forcing me out of my housing and essentially onto the street, is a disgusting, highly personal and obscene attack.

This and other willful actions of Dera, speaks volumes as to whether this group should consider themselves as the representative voice of poor, downtrodden and marginalized people.

The hearing on April 17, 2007 will determine whether Dera has the right as housing providers to evict people nilly willy for simply speaking out against them. Another interesting aspect of this case is that Dera which prides itself on solving homelessness continues adding to its credentials, of creating homelessness.

An interesting fact of this case is how the President of the BC Civil Liberties Association, Mr. Jason Gratl, who is legal counsel for Dera, along with PIVOT, demanded previously that I shut my blog down. And this from a representative of a group which espouses free speech. Shame on Mr Gratl and PIVOT.

Jamie Lee Hamilton