Thursday, February 19, 2009


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Even though former Pivot staff lawyer David Eby has moved on to head up the BC Civil Liberties Association, he continues to set his sights on the Oldtown area. Well according to the You Tube video Mr Eby recently posted, he clearly set his sights on the VPD where if one watches the amateur video posted by Eby, he is clearly haranguing the police who were removing belongings left behind in a shopping cart by someone who Mr Eby states is homeless.

Mr Eby can be overheard on the video stating the person is homeless because they have a shopping cart and therefore this qualifies them as homeless.

While there are people who are homeless with shopping carts, there are an equal number of people with shopping carts who are not homeless.

Shopping carts provides an inexpensive mode of transportation for those in the DTES reselling business. This business involves operators selling various goods they obtain from the various charities who receive clothing and other items from generous donors with the expectation that these items will be dispensed to the needy. Unbeknownst to them their charitable gifts are being sold in the flourishing open-air market occurring on almost every street of the Downtown Eastside.

Of course, I'm certain the generous compassionate donors probably wouldn't mind if the items they were donating were being sold for assistance with food needs or rent but in most cases, the meagre profits go directly into the greedy hands of the many drug traffickers lurking nearby. Sad but true.

The Police know this is going on and yet they have been very professional over this open air market and haven't said anything directly negative about these goings on. If they did, Mr Eby and his supporters would accuse the VPD of homeless bashing.

While Mr Eby in the short time he has been living in Vancouver has made a name for himself defending the rights of the drug subculture in this City, the VPD though has a mandate to ensure safety and security for the 60% of Downtown Eastside residents who are not involved in illicit drug activities. The police are duty bound to patrol the streets and ensure they are kept safe for everyone. And if this means the Police need to curb the disorder on the mean streets so be it.

All citizens must feel safe strolling the streets or venturing out into their communities and it is incumbent on the Police to ensure this.

Seniors, Youth and children in my neighborhood should not be afraid to venture outside into our community as they do now.

Mr. Eby is a prominent member of Mayor Gregor Robertson's Homeless Emergency Action Team (HEAT) and this committee must interact with the Vancouver Police Department and the way Mr Eny confronted the police which he videotaped and then posted on you tube is a disgrace. In fact, as a representative of HEAT he has portrayed the team in a very bad light.

Mayor Robertson must take action. Either instruct Mr. Eby to apologize to the VPD or remove him from the HEAT team.

Here is a link to Mr. Eby's video so you can judge for yourself how confrontational he is.

Jamie Lee Hamilton