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AHA MEDIA attends part of the Sites of Empowerment Tour by CCAP in Vancouver Downtown Eastside on Saturday Oct 31, 2009

November 2, 2009 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA attends part of the “Sites of Empowerment Tour” by CCAP in Vancouver Downtown Eastside on Saturday Oct 31, 2009

Walking Tour

SITES OF EMPOWERMENT
with CCAP

Saturday October 31, 11:30am1pm
Meet at steps of Carnegie Community Centre, 401 Main

This tour with researcher Wendy Pedersen and volunteers of the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) will start at the front steps of the Carnegie Centre and visit some of the best loved places in the area according to the stories of low-income DTES residents.

Contemplate how these key sites give us clues as to how to build a vision for a safe, healthy and affordable low-income neighbourhood and how this future is threatened by gentrification.

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Below is an aerial photo of the tour of about 50 people which included Vancouver City Councillor George Chow while they stopped at the corner of Hastings and Carrall Street in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside

1 Sites of Empowerment Tour - CCAP

CCAP is building consensus within the low-income community for a vision of the Downtown Eastside that hopefully the city will adopt. Visioning reports and information on gentrification can be found on their blog:http://www.ccapvancouver.wordpress.com. All proceeds to CCAP. $10 for non-residents, pay what you can for local residents

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Below is a close up of an aerial photo of the tour of about 50 people which included Vancouver City Councillor George Chow while they stopped at the corner of Hastings and Carrall Street in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside

2 Sites of Empowerment Tour - CCAP
Part of the Heart of the City Festival in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside
http://www.heartofthecityfestival.com/festival-09/october-31/

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In the next photos and video, Hendrik Beune, Director of AHA MEDIA and Wendy Pedersen of CCAP speak at Sites of Empowerment tour in Vancouver Downtown Eastside on Saturday, Oct 31, 2009

3 Sites of Empowerment Tour - CCAP

4 Sites of Empowerment Tour - CCAP


This was filmed by April Smith of AHA MEDIA on a Nokia N95 mobile cameraphone. April is passionate and skilled in making Nokia films by exploring mobile media production through the camera lens of a cellphone. For a better quality version of this video, please DM April Smith @AprilFilms on Twitter or Facebook.com/AprilFilms

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In this video, Wendy Pedersen of CCAP and Ann Livingston of VANDU speak at Sites of Empowerment tour in Vancouver Downtown Eastside on Saturday, Oct 31, 2009

5 Sites of Empowerment Tour - CCAP

This was filmed by April Smith of AHA MEDIA on a Nokia N95 mobile cameraphone. April is passionate and skilled in making Nokia films by exploring mobile media production through the camera lens of a cellphone. For a better quality version of this video, please DM April Smith @AprilFilms on Twitter or Facebook.com/AprilFilms

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In this video, Ann Livingston and Dave Diewert speak at Sites of Empowerment tour in Vancouver Downtown Eastside on Saturday, Oct 31, 2009

6 Sites of Empowerment Tour - CCAP

This was filmed by April Smith of AHA MEDIA on a Nokia N95 mobile cameraphone. April is passionate and skilled in making Nokia films by exploring mobile media production through the camera lens of a cellphone. For a better quality version of this video, please DM April Smith @AprilFilms on Twitter or Facebook.com/AprilFilms

Double Victory for Pivot in SRO Battle

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Reposted from Pivot Legal http://www.pivotlegal.org

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B.C. College of Pharmacists and Attorney General side with Pivot to create legal protections for methadone patients living in Downtown Eastside hotels

Vancouver, October 29, 2009 – The B.C. College of Pharmacists and the B.C. Attorney General have taken legal positions with Pivot Legal Society against infamous pharmacist and hotel owner George Wolsey, who earlier this year evicted two tenants who refused to buy methadone from him.

In 2008, pharmacist and SRO hotel owner George Wolsey was exposed for offering kickbacks and illegal inducements to attract methadone patients to his Gastown Pharmacy. The Gastown Pharmacy was shut down as a result of the controversy, but that did not stop Wolsey, who also owns the Palace and Wonder Rooms hotels, from requiring all his tenants to buy methadone from him at his hotel. This practice allowed Wolsey to make more than $6000 per year in dispensing fees for each methadone patient at his hotel.

In May 2009, Wolsey evicted two of his tenants on 24 hours notice because they opted to use another pharmacy to fill their prescriptions. When the tenants challenged those evictions at the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB), the RTB stated that the Residential Tenancy Act did not protect them because Wolsey was providing “therapeutic treatment or services” in the form of methadone. The RTB made this ruling despite evidence that no treatment, services or supports of any kind were made available to tenants.

In September, Pivot applied to the B.C. Supreme Court for judicial review of the RTB decisions. Last week the B.C. Attorney General, which represents the RTB, said in a filed response to Pivot’s application that it supports Pivot’s position and agrees that the Residential Tenancy Act should apply to the Wolsey hotels.

“These tenants, who were illegally evicted, spent many nights on the streets as a result of the RTB’s failure to protect them from Wolsey’s greed,” said Laura Track, lawyer for Pivot Legal Society. “With the Attorney General and Pivot presenting a common position to the court, we feel confident the cases will be sent back to the RTB for a full and proper hearing.”

In addition, the College of Pharmacists of B.C., in response to concerns raised by Pivot over Wolsey’s practices, announced that it has amended its bylaws to prevent pharmacists from limiting patients’ choice of pharmacy. The new bylaws make the types of contracts used by Mr. Wolsey illegal. The College also informed Pivot that it has sent letters to Mr. Wolsey advising him of the changes and noting numerous complaints against him for these practices.

“We are very happy that the College of Pharmacists and the Attorney General have responded in the way they did,” said Track. “This kind of exploitation is completely unacceptable, and we hope that Mr. Wolsey amends his practices before we are forced to bring further legal actions against him.”