Saturday, February 25, 2012

Regarding Developer Mr Jim Green

Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


I am saddeneed to hear that Mr Jim Green is struggling with Cancer as I would be with anyone dealing with the dreaded C, however, Frances Bula's recent column in the Globe and Mail and a statement on her blog which issues a statement of 'I hope I've made the City a better place', obviously the comment is attributed to Mr Green and it is in this context and an issue coming before the Park Board on Monday February 27that I wish to make comment.

Mr Green started the push when he became head of DERA to lobby for a concentration of housing and social services in the Downtown Eastside. Concentrating all subsidized housing and social services in a really small area has been disastrous for this community and neighbourhood. Having said that, one of Mr Green's most significant contributions to the area and hence to the City was raising awareness of how Expo 86 was in turn creating the displacement of poor people from the hotels in the area. Mr Green should be commended for bringing attention to the gentrification which was happening. Interesting though a few decades later people need to be reminded that while Woodward's was attributed as Mr Green's crowning glory, the impact that Woodward's is having on the DTES community is very noticable. Once again residents of the area are being forced out as Woodward's by most accounts is contributing significantly to the rampant gentrification going on in my former community. It is ironic that while Mr Green lives in a beautiful skybox Penthouse-style and million dollar condo in the Woodward's development, resting somewhat comfortably albeit coping with a terminal illness and yet below those poor people that Mr Green once championed for are being herded out of their community at alarming rates as Woodward's has become the major gentrifying force within this longstanding community.

On Monday February 27 the Vision Vancouver Park Board is bringing forth a motion to create something lasting for Mr Green and it doesn't seem right that Mr Green who has really never been involved in parks and recreation issues is now being considered for something significant to be betowed upon him.

In fact in the Park Board motion the motion states Mr Green was responsible for CRAB Park and Hastings Park which are complete fabrications. Mr Don Larsen was the one individual credited with creating a real available beach (CRAB) and in terms of Hastings Park Mr Green has done nothing for this Park except voting in favour of approving slots in the Park against the neighbourhood's wishes.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


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