Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


It has come to my attention today that a Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA) staff member has been locked out of his employment in one of the DERA operated BC Housing buildings.

As my readers know I wrote a piece here on April 15 regarding alleged improprieties at DERA related to staff and board members allegedly being given rental suites at rates which are ridiculously low. One full-time DERA staff member it has been alleged is paying $175.00 a month for a two-bedroom suite in which only his partner and child are listed as occupants of the suite.

This posting has caused a witch-hunt at DERA.

Sources claim a staff member upon arriving at work on Thursday, April 20 found the locks changed at his work office and for two days has been attempting to contact the executive director of DERA, Kim Kerr, to find out what his employment status is. Apparently the union representing DERA workers, CUPE 1004 and its business agent Steve Varty is also attempting to contact Mr Kerr.

If DERA has in fact targeted and mistreated an employee as a result of my blog post, they are on very shaky ground and BC Housing must immediately take steps to investigate the serious allegations spreading like wild fire through the Downtown Eastside.

I'm certain the staff member will be well represented by the Union, however, it seems really unfair that this staff member who has two young sons would be targeted and so poorly treated considering the real issue here involves serious allegations involving housing fraud.

One activist in the Downtown Eastside has informed Oldtown News that the President of DERA on being asked about the DERA employee being locked out of his job, allegedly responded, "good he should be fired for releasing confidential information".

Excuse me confidential information on staff and board members which allegedly involve fraud should never be considered confidential. Its called whistle-blowing and we should be protecting those who step forward with wrong-doings.

I suspect this story is not going away.

Jamie Lee Hamilton