Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Jamie Lee Hamilton, longtime Downtown Eastside activist and Independent park board candidate is expressing serious concern that the north east area of the City could for the first time in fifty years be without a park board representative who champions for this park deficient area.

States Ms Hamilton, "the Vancouver park board historically has always had representation from the north east quadrant of the City advocating our interests and serving on park board, however, the four parties in this election, the NPA, Vision, COPE and the Greens haven't a single candidate for park board who resides in our area and this is deeply troubling".

Citing former Commissioners hailing from the northeast sector of the City from the 1960's to the present, Hamilton names former Commissioners Andy Livingston, Nancy Chiavario, Libby Davies, Connie Fogal, Sue Harris, Donna Morgan, Spencer Herbert, Eva Riccius and others who tended to Vancouver's eastside neighborhoods and were strong champions for the north east areas.

" We are terribly park deficient in the eastside of Vancouver and the parks we do have, we have had to fight really hard for them and even then historically they have been used for other purposes or are at risk of being taken away from us", claims Jamie Lee Hamilton.

Ms Hamilton cites Hastings Community park which was taken over by Exhibition park, McLean Park in the Chinatown area which was eliminated for housing and later restored a number of blocks away as a smaller park. The City also earmarked False Creek park now called Strathcona park for its new City works yard but thankfully this park was saved by strong stewards for the area.

CRAB park also known as Portside has been an ongoing battle since the 1980's to ensure a waterfront park for eastside citizens. CRAB and the Downtown Eastside face serious development pressures, and this park could be lost forever as a community park if a new proposed waterfront stadium gets the go-ahead to develop right beside CRAB.

Running as an Independent for Park board isn't easy. Vancouver citizens has only once elected an independent, Ms Carole Taylor and that was in the 1980's and to City Council.

"I may well be the only candidate who hails from the north east corner of the City who has a small chance of making it onto park board, so it is imperative that citizens vote wisely on November 15 when casting their ballots for park board. It would be a real travesty if our north east areas of the City was shut out from having any representative on Park board", claims Jamie Lee Hamilton.

A number of prominent eastside park stewards have endorsed the campaign of Ms Hamilton.

Founder of CRAB Park, Don Larsen has endorsed Jamie Lee Hamilton as have Claudia Ferris of Hastings-Sunrise, David Wong, former Chair of Fraserview Forest and founding member of Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC and Irwin Oostindie, Executive Director of the W2 Media and Arts centre at Woodwards.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


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