Sunday, February 22, 2009


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


If anyone wants proof that many people benefit from the devastation and destruction in the Oldtown/Downtown Eastside and are out to maintain the area as a drug ghetto need to look no further than the quote listed below from Wendy Pedersen who is an poverty-industry-organizer of the Carnegie Centre.

It is even more shocking that professional writer Frances Bula re-posted Ms Pedersen's writing verbatim on her State of Vancouver blog site without any editorial clarification that there are differing opinions in the DTES other than the one propagated by Carnegie and Ms Pedersen.

Here is the quote:

"I think the open drug market has been a double edged sword too. It has sheltered the 10,000 or so low-income people not in the drug trade from the impact of gentrification because I agree, its just too hard for the upper classes to take. But for those of us willing to live with it, we get cheaper stores, cheaper housing, tight knit community, decades long friendships and a sharing of resources that builds a sense of how to be together that doesn’t exist in other places in Vancouver".

It is just so revolting that Ms Pedersen doesn't understand how drugs harm people and how drug traffickers target vulnerable children and youth for their greed without any concern for the young lives they are destroying.

Interestingly, Ms Pedersen goes on to falsely claim that maintaining the area as it is, brings benefit to the community. She makes unsubstantiated claims around cheaper stores and cheaper housing etc.

In fact purchasing groceries in the DTES is often way more expensive than shopping at Safeway. On Saturday, one DTES Senior woman went to the supposed low-cost Quest Food Exchange and they didn't have any bread or juices. In fact, this longtime resident informs me that the shelves of Quest were pretty well empty. Yet Quest receives all its food by donations and in 2007 had an income of $9 million. Can you ever imagine going to a Safeway and finding the shelves empty?

SRO hotels per sq ft are way more expensive than one-bedroom West End apartments and SRO's don't even provide kitchens or private washrooms. How Ms Pedersen concludes that this is cheaper housing is absolute nonsense.

Is it any wonder the Downtown Eastside continues to be in the mess it's in when you have people like Ms Pedersen in well paid positions who actively advocate keeping people in squalid conditions for what appears to be one single reason. It keeps her and her friends in jobs managing the poor.

What I find really troubling with Ms Pedersen's stance is that she is a Mother and I wonder where Ms Bula is also coming from since she also promoted this obscene idea of maintaining the drug activities in the DTES.

I understand Ms Bula is also a mother and it sickens me to my very core that women who are Moms believe that maintaining a neighborhood with children and youth living there as the Drug and Gang capital of Canada is somehow beneficial to the community.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think that drug dealers are to blame for the state of the DTES you are woefully uneducated. Drug dealers are but a symptom of sickness in our society that is rooted in how we raise our children. The fact that not all children have the same opportunities and access to education and proper nutrition. Preventing drug abuse starts in the womb. Read Dr. Mate's latest book: "In the realm of hungry ghosts: Close encounters with addiction."

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Well I think drug traffickers are hurting people for greed and that is wrong. If this thought makes me uneducated so be it.

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All sorts of people hurt and exploit other people for greed. Read the book - it will open your eyes.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

My eyes are pretty open. I've lived here my entire life so I'm aware of what is going on.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger hopefull said...

someone in power needs to stand up against the poverty industry in the dtes .to build houseing for the weak and addicted in the niebourhood that has all the temptations they need to be away from is bordering on criminal in my can a struggling addict stay sober when outside the front door is a open drug market.for gods sake i hope someone in power has the courage to stand up against the insane idea that the (community on the dtes is something to be cherished ) .the dtes is a very sick place that needs some balance .

At 2:44 PM, Blogger hopefull said...

the poverty industry on the dtes is shamefull,i pray someone in power will stand up and chalenge the notion that the dtes community is something to be cherished . the community is very sick the lack of diversity is pepetuating the misery .the idea houseing for the addicted and weak should stay in the area is insane .how is a addict going to stay sober when he has to make his/her way past all the temptations everytime he leaves his/her room.isint it funny that the people screeming about keeping the area the same are the ones providing all the services.its nothing but another racket .for gods sake someone in power stand up for the people on the dtes not the industry maintaining it.


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