Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Is the Mayor involved in gay quick vote buying?

October 22, 2014 Was the Mayor Involved in Gay Quick Vote Buying? So why was City Manager Dr Ballem's office involved in re-licensing a Fitness Centre to Social Club at 1775 Haro? Well to explain this my peeps I need to first say I'm in favour of Sex positive Clubs. Always have been. I think though if they are to be located right across from a community centre, park or school there needs to be notification to the neighbourhood affected. This did not happen even though there is a city by-law in place which requires this if the City deems it could have some impact on the surrounding neighborhood. How did this club come into obtaining a license and without due notification. Tthe ownership licensed it as a Fitness Centre as they claimed under instruction from the City of Vancouver. We know that a senior Manager at the City is involved with this Club. He may have had something to do with this but who knows. But obviously the City according to the owners told them to license it this way. Commercial establishments must adhere to land use and zoning requirements of the City. Where this club is located allows for a nightclub use and we have known this because previously it housed Denman Station and Club DeBong. The reason though that this sex positive club did not apply for a nightclub license is crystal clear. There is a BC governmental regulation that liquor establishments can not allow sexual activity and booze in the same establishment. Plus if they applied under nightclub there would for sure been a neighbourhood notification process. Another license in the City called Social Club this establishment could not apply for unless it was a non-profit group or is classified under the category of social enterprise which is there to assist marginalized people be self-sufficient. This is a good thing. But what happened here is that all these city processes were not followed. The Club operated under a fitness centre license for one year until the National Post newspaper raised this story because a number of neighbours wondered what was going on there and complained to the City. Their calls were never returned. So once the Post story broke the City under the City Manager's office with Dr Penny Ballem stating in response that they had the wrong license and that the City did not care if sexual activity was happening there. The problem here though is once again that provincial regulation states sexual activity and booze are not allowed in the same establishment. It should be noted that this Club caled 8 x 6 has on many occasions been serving liquor and has applied for these under the special license category of BC Liquor control and licensing branch. These temporary licences are approved by the Vancouver Police Department. This establishment even plans as the Xtra story indicates to obtain a permanent liquor license. I want to say here that I think this liquor regulation is in place for reasons that need wider public policy debate. It was put in place to ensure the protection of women primarily in the stripping business because allowing sexual activity where men fuelled by booze within a workplace is not such a great idea. So as we now know from the National Post story that City Manger Dr Penny Ballem ordered that this Club be re-licensed as a Social Club to by-pass regulatory control. Problem here is the City broke its own policy on who is allowed to apply under this category. The bigger question was whether she was instructed by the Mayor to do this as part of his pinkwashing re-election campaign. Pinkwashing refers to politicians geting political mileage out of an action meant to please a certain group in this case the LGBT community. It is no different than the ethnic vote buying scandal that happened in the last provincial election. But is it proper that all municipal regulations and provincial ones were broken to accomplish the goal of winning votes from the gay community? Whatever happened here stinks to high heaven and needs further investigation . Jamie Lee Hamilton Write a comment...


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