Thursday, October 09, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Last night I attended the Van-Centre and Van-East all candidate meeting sponsored by XtraWest and moderated by Robin Perelle. XtraWest employed a community panel which posed questions to the candidates. The panel consisted of community leaders Jim Deva and Janine Fuller of Little Sisters, Ross Johnstone of Out on Screen and renowned Artist, Aerlyn Weissman.

The debate was informative, edgy and showcased differences and different styles between the candidates.

Lorne Mayencourt of the Conservatives, Libby Davies of the NDP, Liberal Dr Hedy Fry, the Green Party deputy leader Adriane Carr and Michael Byers of the NDP are all strong formidable candidates and early on performed well. They all received generous applause from the assembled crowd.

As the evening wore on, tempers flared and Lorne Mayencourt after hissing from the audience, stepped it up a notch and went after Jim Deva and XtraWest, claiming that they were not the only voice of the community. Mr Mayencourt went further, charging that he was tired of the lies XtraWest propagates.

Of course the outburst from Lorne brought more catcalls and expressions of displeasure.

The crankiness of the audience wasn't only reserved for Lorne.

Mr Byers who started out strong also was rebuked by the crowd when he unleashed his unhappiness with Dr Fry, suggesting she has done nothing for the riding. Supporters of Ms Fry voiced their unhappiness with Dr Byers and he seemed to be stunned by the audience reaction.

Libby Davies was as is the usual norm, very popular with the crowd and she continually advanced the NDP platform.

This blogwriter posed to the candidates their positions on the sex trade. All answered well but what was concerning is that both Hedy and Libby articulated how many of their colleagues are not comfortable or on-side in advancing decriminalization as a solution to the rampant harm sex workers face. This is why after Canada-wide consultations and hearings on prostitution, the parliamentary subcommittee on solicitation of which Ms Fry and Ms Davies were members came up with zero recommendations.

Adriane Carr spoke out about her plan as Deputy leader of the Greens to bring forward a policy on de-criminalization at Convention, however, unfortunately the election call came and the Green party convention was scrapped.

This statement by Ms Carr provided this writer re-newed hope. The fact that a major political party albeit without any seats, is willing to push forward a progressive position such as de-criminalization of prostitution makes this race in Van-Centre even more intriguing for me particularly since this issue is a fundamental one of human rights.

I am fiercely loyal to Hedy Fry and I have been impressed by Michael Byers and his passion. I have always liked Adriane Carr and her proposed progressive action regarding prostitution reform leaves me in a quandary regarding my support.

I am fiercely loyal to my beloved Dr Fry yet Adriane Carr offers me hope for the future.

What a horse race Van-Centre is turning out to be. Very exciting and what incredible candidates this riding has produced.

I'm so happy I get to debrief with my Deva tomorrow morning.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


Oldtown News
Vancoover, BC


Besides doing a terrific job as the West End Residents Association President, Brent Granby has been photo-documenting social movements and political rallies in Vancouver.

Mr Granby appears everywhere and has also endorsed a number of candidates in the local municipal election. At this point it seems like him and the Deva from Little Sisters are duking it out for endorser top dog in the City.

I even coveted Mr Granby for an endorsement but I suspect I was a bit late and he had to draw the line somewhere.

Both Brent Granby and Jim Deva do amazing work for the West End and this neighborhood is very fortunate to have these two leaders in their midst.

So check our Brent's photostream at

Check out Jim Deva any day at Little Sisters.

Jamie Lee Hamilton