Monday, December 03, 2007


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

Could Play Out at Dera AGM

After continuous complaints regarding livability issues at the Pendera, Kim Kerr, the executive director of DERA has finally demonstrated some spine and moved out the staff who didn't feel it necessary to keep the building clean. The staff in question are ringleaders of the APC gang and most often kept themselves busy with their obnoxious activities rather than carrying out DERA work duties assigned to them.

Aaron Muirhead and David Cunningham (APC) have been transferred to the Tellier Tower (another DERA building) and I feel sorry for the residents of Tellier who will soon witness a deterioration of their building.

Kim Kerr, for whatever reason, has finally appeared to listen to the complaints around APC staff members, however, it should be noted that Mr. Kerr has to tread carefully since APC members remain in control of the DERA board.

With the annual general meeting of DERA right around the corner, I suspect APC will attempt to move onto the board even more of their members. The tenure of Mr. Kerr' employment with DERA will be at the whim of APC.

Mr. Kerr only has himself to blame for APC having this significant influence within DERA since he provided them jobs and brought them onto the board.

As a result, DERA's credibility remains in a vulnerable position with funders and the public. Mr. Kerr has to shoulder this responsibility.

Mr. Kerr had a choice. He didn't need to act-up like APC. After all he was the Executive Director of DERA. Moreover, as an individual, he could have morally supported the APC without involving DERA. Unfortunately and most regrettably, he chose to act against the expressed wishes of the DERA membership and longtime residents of the Downtown Eastside were shut out of the organization, they helped build .

The AGM of DERA on December 20, 2007 will determine the fate of DERA and Mr. Kim Kerr.

If Mr. Kerr was smart, he would be making amends to those people he has wronged and encouraging a change of direction. I suspect he will do neither as he most likely fears retaliation from APC if he steers DERA back to its advocacy roots.

Having said the above, at this point Mr. Kerr did act on behalf of the Pendera tenants, however, whether this one act alone can steer DERA back to its roots and regain its credibility, remains to be seen.

Jamie Lee Hamilton