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Posts Tagged "Place"

13Jun

Security measures have made Anita Place feel like a prison: lawyer | CBC News

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Lawyers representing occupants of the Anita Place homeless camp in Maple Ridge are back in B.C. Supreme Court in an effort to get a judge to clarify an injunction order from February.

Advocates for the camp occupants — which now number as few as seven, when there were once almost 200 — claim the security imposed on the camp by the City of Maple Ridge is excessive, and restrictions put the occupants at risk.

“It’s fenced entirely all around, it’s surrounded by security guards at all times, the number of security guards often outnumbers the number of homeless people inside, there’s a security camera,” said Anna Cooper, a staff lawyer with Pivot Legal Society.

Cooper described Anita Place as feeling like a medium-security prison.

She said the injunction ordered Feb. 8 gave Maple Ridge officials powers to ensure fire safety and to assist people to move into housing.

“What we have seen happen instead is that since that order was granted, the city has taken a number of actions which have effectively closed camp and blocked people from visiting and blocked people from accessing harm reduction on that site,” said Cooper.

According to Cooper, the goal of the application before the court is to show the judge what has happened since the injunction was ordered, in the hope that he’ll allow people to return to Anita Place to live, as well as allowing visitors.

‘It’s like a refugee camp down there’

One of the few people still living at Anita Place is Dwayne Martin. He has built a two-storey cabin at the site.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s like a refugee camp down there,” said Martin. “I’ve gotta get my bags checked. I can’t have any visitors.”

Dwayne Martin was at the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Wednesday, as lawyers argued that Maple Ridge officials have been taking an injunction order agains the Anita Place camp too far. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

“It’s not right what they’re doing and I’ve got no problem fighting,” he said, adding that he plans to build additional floors onto his cabin.

Meanwhile, Eva Bardonnex, who lived at Anita Place until she moved into modular housing November, said the fact that there are only about seven people living at the camp isn’t due to the fact that people have found proper housing — they’ve just found other places to camp.

“Those people didn’t go and get homes, a lot of them are in the bush,” said Bardonnex, who does peer support work. “They’re back in the bush, there’s another camp that’s set up — we’re not going to say where, but there’s another camp that’s actually set up. They’re still there. They’re still homeless.”

Jeffrey Locke, the lawyer representing Maple Ridge, argued in B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday that searching camp occupants’ bags is no different than searching bags of people entering a stadium for a sports event.

He told the judge that the practice is “to strengthen the efficacy of your lordship’s order.”

Locke said outside the courtroom that he plans to show the court that the injunction order has successfully made the property safer. He hopes to have the application thrown out.

The court proceedings continue through Thursday.


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9Mar

No place to go for homeless hospital patients after release: advocate

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The Fraser Health Authority says it is investigating after Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove raised concerns about a 76-year-old woman who was discharged from Surrey Memorial Hospital and sent by taxi to the Chilliwack Salvation Army shelter, despite mobility and incontinence issues.

On Thursday, the mayor requested a meeting with Fraser Health CEO Dr. Victoria Lee to discuss “why vulnerable people are being sent to Chilliwack homeless shelters from another community.”

He cited the case of an elderly woman who had no family in Chilliwack, but arrived at the local shelter from the Surrey hospital in early February. Shelter staff were not prepared to care for her medical needs, which included severe incontinence.


Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove has taken issue with a Fraser Health decision to send vulnerable hospital patients to the Chilliwack homeless shelter.

Submitted photo /

PNG

“Constantly cleaning up fecal matter … is a serious concern for both staff and shelter clients,” said Popove in a letter to Lee.

Fraser Health spokesman Dixon Tam said Fraser Health makes “every effort” to find homeless patients a place to go when they are clinically stable and ready to leave the hospital, but “finding suitable housing is a challenge across our region.”

Tam said: “We are committed to continue to work closely with B.C. Housing and our municipal partners to develop more options. At the same time, we need to be careful not to use hospital beds as an alternative to stable housing.”

Abbotsford homeless advocate Jesse Wegenast said he wasn’t surprised to read the Chilliwack mayor’s account in the newspaper, “but only because it’s such a common practice.”

Wegenast’s organization, The 5 and 2 Ministries, opened a winter homeless shelter in Abbotsford on Nov. 1. The next day, he received a call from a Vancouver General Hospital administrator asking if he had space for an 81-year-old patient.

Wegenast said he often says no to accepting patients because the shelter is not open 24 hours and people must leave during the day. He’s had requests to take people with severe mobility issues, as well as those who need help with toileting or washing.

“The people who work at shelters are often very compassionate, and if the hospital says, ‘Well, we’re not keeping them,’ they feel obligated to help,” said Wegenast.


Abbotsford pastor and homeless advocate Jesse Wegenast.

Ward Perrin /

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The pastor said he’s rarely seen people in shelters receive home care or followup care, and it’s also difficult for them to get prescriptions filled.

Wegenast helped a low-income senior on Friday who recently had half of his foot amputated. The man lives in an apartment and was receiving home care to help with dressing changes, but he’d been unable to get antibiotics for five days since being released from hospital.

“When you have people exiting acute care at the hospital and there’s no one to follow that up, it’s bad for that person’s health, and it’s also bad for public health in general,” he said.

Unlike Wegenast, Warren Macintyre was surprised to read about the Chilliwack woman’s situation because it confirmed that the experience he’d had with Fraser Health was not uncommon.

“I really had no idea this kind of thing was going on,” he said.

Three weeks ago, a close family member was admitted to Surrey Memorial after suffering from alcohol withdrawal, said Macintyre. He was placed on life support in the intensive care unit for about 10 days. When he was stable, he planned to enter a treatment program in Abbotsford, but there weren’t any beds available until March 14.

“We were told the plan was to keep him in hospital until then, but I got a call Wednesday telling me he’d been discharged,” said Macintyre.

Surrey Memorial had sent his relative to the treatment centre, where staff repeated they had no space, so he was returned to the hospital. The man, who had been staying at the Maple Ridge Salvation Army before his hospital admission, took a cab to a friend’s house.

His family is hoping he’ll be able to stay sober until he can get into treatment March 14.

“I told the hospital, if he goes back on the booze, he’ll be right back here,” said Macintyre.

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3Mar

City of Vancouver, province open Nora Hendrix Place modular homes

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Albert Briggs plays drums as Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant; and Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver look on at the opening of Norah Hendrix Place.


NICK PROCAYLO / PNG

Nora Hendrix has been described as a remarkable woman who was the glue that connected Vancouver’s early black community.

On Sunday, the provincial government and the City of Vancouver officially opened a temporary modular housing project in Strathcona named after Hendrix, to honour her legacy and that of the black community that was wiped out of the area in the 1960s.

“Ms. Hendrix was a tireless advocate for her community,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson.

The province committed 17 months ago to building 2,000 units of temporary modular housing across the province, with 606 of those units in Vancouver. The provincial government pledged $66 million toward the Vancouver projects.

In Vancouver, 554 provincially-funded modular homes have already been opened on nine sites. Nora Hendrix Place, a three-storey building with 52 units that will be run by the Portland Hotel Society, is the final project to be completed in the city. It’s expected that people will start moving in this week.

“Hundreds of people are living outside with nowhere to sleep, use the washroom or get regular food and water, and this isn’t how you treat your neighbours,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “We’re trying to do everything we can to make sure everyone is included and has a roof over their head.”

Stewart said the modular housing units are a testament to cooperation between multiple levels of government, non-profits and the community, and he looks forward to working on more in the future.

The studio units, built by Horizon North, are about 320 square feet each in size and have a kitchenette, bathroom, and a living/sleeping area. Six homes are wheelchair accessible. The building has an indoor amenity space, commercial kitchen, laundry facilities, administration office and meeting rooms for the staff and residents.

All new modular housing buildings have staff on site 24 hours a day and provide services and supports such as meals, education and work opportunities, healthcare, life skills, social and recreational programs, case planning and needs assessment and help navigating government services.


The new 52-unit modular housing project at 268 Union St. in Vancouver opened Saturday. It honours honours Nora Hendrix, who was a pillar of the early Vancouver black community, which was centred in Strathcona.

NICK PROCAYLO /

PNG

To honour its location in what used to be Hogan’s Alley and the woman it is named after, the housing project will have some services and supports geared specifically to the needs of the black and Indigenous communities, and members of those groups who are experiencing homelessness will be prioritized.

“Let’s call it what it is: This city has a history of anti-black racism, it has history of anti-Indigenous racism,” said Stewart. “It has a long history of racism that we’re addressing through reconciliation but I think today it’s also addressing damage of the past.”

Hendrix came to Vancouver in 1911 and became an important figure in the East End neighbourhood — now Strathcona — and Hogan’s Alley in particular, which at the time was home to Vancouver’s black community.

Hendrix started the Vancouver chapter of the African Methodist Episcopal Fountain Chapel, where people gathered to pray and socialize. She also cooked at Vie’s Chicken and Steak House on Union, which was part of Hogan’s Alley. Her grandson, rock legend Jimi Hendrix, was known to visit the area during his childhood.

Many of the homes and businesses in the community were demolished to make way for the “urban-renewal projects” and the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.

“That monument to our oppression … was what displaced our community,” said June Francis, co-chair of the Hogan’s Alley society, gesturing to the Dunsmuir viaduct. “It displaced our hopes, it displaced our dreams, it displaced our businesses.”

The modular housing site will eventually be redeveloped as part of the city’s North East False Creek Plan, which calls for the black community to be honoured and what was formerly Hogan’s Alley to be a focal point. A black cultural centre is a centrepiece to the redevelopment, and the city hopes to employ land trusts and long-term leases to build the community.

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6Feb

Tour bus driver fined $1,800 for fatal collision at Canada Place

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Patrick Gerard Campbell pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention after his tour bus rolled a short distance, killing one man and seriously injuring several others.


Patrick Johnston / PNG

A tour bus driver whose momentary inattention resulted in a fatal crash at Canada Place on Vancouver’s waterfront has been fined $1,800.

On Aug. 13, 2017, Patrick Gerard Campbell had just picked up a number of passengers in his bus when he noticed the vehicle tilting to the right, causing the front door to contact the sidewalk.

He told a tour coordinator that he was going to “put air into the bus” and moved the bus slightly forward and away from the curb.

While he was apparently focused on the door, the vehicle rolled 13.9 metres, hitting the rear of a rental vehicle.

The Plevyak and Aulakh families were at the curb in front of the bus and in the process of getting into the rental vehicle.

Manjit Aulakh became trapped under the bus, Dr. Michael Plevyak, an obstetrician from Massachusetts, became entrapped in the front wheel well of the bus and Raina Plevyak was pinned between the bus and a concrete pillar.

Michael Plevyak, 49, died of his injuries. Raina Plevyak suffered fractures to her pelvis, a permanent injury to her thigh and scarring to her right leg. Aulakh suffered multiple fractures to both hands, a partial loss of a finger, crush injuries to his bladder, a punctured lung and bruising.

Following an investigation, police concluded that the cause of the accident was Campbell’s failure to recognize that he had not fully stopped the bus.

Campbell, 64, pleaded guilty to the motor vehicle offence of driving without due care and attention.

“In the circumstances, I find that Mr. Campbell’s inattention was momentary and it occurred at a time where he likely believed that the bus was stopped,” said provincial court Judge Reginald Harris. “In my view, this is significantly different than a person who fails to pay attention while engaged in the full process of driving.”

In his ruling, Harris said he had read each victim impact statement several times.

“It is clear that the joy and happiness embraced by the Aulakh and Plevyak families has been lost. They now struggle with grief, emptiness and the profound changes they have experienced. The emotional scars will be with the families for all time.”

The judge noted that the collision had a “significant” impact on Campbell, who suffers from emotional trauma and has symptoms including anxiety, frustration, flashbacks and something Campbell described as “mental fog.”

Campbell has been unable to work since the accident, is on disability benefits and has no interest in returning to work as a driver.

The single dad, who has an 18-year-old son suffering from depression, had no prior criminal record and sobbed during the court hearing.

“Mr. Campbell’s actions and words satisfy me that he is deeply remorseful,” said the judge. “In the words of counsel, ‘No punishment can be greater than the one he imposes on himself.’”

The Crown and the defence agreed that a fine of $1,800, at the high end of the range for fines imposed in similar cases, was a fit sentence, a submission accepted by the judge.

The Crown also called for a six to 12 month driving prohibition, a submission that was opposed by Campbell’s lawyer who argued that such a ban would cause Campbell hardship and was not warranted in the circumstances.

The judge concluded that a ban was not necessary because the public did not need to be protected from Campbell and a driving prohibition was not necessary to achieve deterrence as it had already been reached in part by the higher fine and through the process itself.

A prohibition would also have unintended consequences on Mr. Campbell’s eventual search for work and his ability to care for his son, said the judge.

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26Oct

Town Talk: Record $1.5 million raised for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice

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Karley Rice, Shanni Eckford and Merideth Schutter co-chaired the 14th-annual Gift of Time gala that reportedly raised a record $1.5 million to benefit Canuck Place Children's Hospice patients and programs.



Karley Rice, Shanni Eckford and Merideth Schutter co-chaired the 14th-annual Gift of Time gala that reportedly raised a record $1.5 million to benefit Canuck Place Children’s Hospice patients and programs.


Malcolm Parry / PNG

GIFT INDEED: Chaired by Shanni Eckford, Karley Rice and Merideth Schutter, the 14th annual Gift of Time gala reportedly raised a record $1.5 million for the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. Its title had special significance for Cherie Ehlert, a support worker at the posAbilities Association of B.C. that serves those with development disabilities. In her case, the gift of time applies to daughter and Canuck Place occupant Charlie, who contracted spinal muscular atrophy at age six months. “She was given three months to live then,” Ehlert recalled. “Now she’s nine, and they have developed treatment for her that they never had before.”

Cherie Ehlert, whose daughter Charlie has spent all but six months of her nine years at Canuck place, was feted by medical director Dr. Hal Siden.


Cherie Ehlert, whose daughter Charlie has spent all but six months of her nine years at Canuck place, was feted by medical director Dr. Hal Siden.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

Ehlert well knows Canuck Place’s Detroit-raised medical director and UBC pediatrics clinical professor, Hal Siden, who recalled an odd personal-development practice. It entailed a grandfather teaching him bow-tie knotting, with every error penalized by Siden swallowing a shot of bourbon. The practice likely continued at Siden’s University of Michigan-Ann Arbor alma mater, but not as part of the curriculum.

Luminesque Dance performers surrounded Boobyball organizer Kelly Townsend when the second-annual event benefitted Rethink Breast Cancer.


Luminesque Dance performers surrounded Boobyball organizer Kelly Townsend when the second-annual event benefitted Rethink Breast Cancer.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

JINGLE-JANGLE-JINGLE: The Boobyball’s rip-roaring launch last year spurred Speedo swimwear salesperson Kelly Townsend to repeat it. Restaged at the Main-off-Hastings Imperial, the event reportedly raised $48,000 for the Rethink Breast Cancer charity that “responds to the unique needs of young women going through it. Western-attired under-40s yippie-ki-yayed, rode a mechanical bull, watched a Luminesque Dance performance, and doubtless hoped that breast cancer will be vanquished well within those young dancers’ lifetimes.

TV host Todd Talbot and Kim Wing tried a Kohler tub as hard as what 50 outdoor sleepers will endure while raising some $900,000 for Covenant House.


TV host Todd Talbot and Kim Wing tried a Kohler tub as hard as what 50 outdoor sleepers will endure while raising some $900,000 for Covenant House.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

STREET DREAMS: 50 successful persons are raising at least $15,000 each in order to sleep on concrete pavement on Nov. 15. Covenant House development officer Kim Wing said the Sleep Out: Executive Edition event should raise $900,000 for the organization’s 59-bed crisis program that assists homeless and at-risk youth. At a preamble event hosted by actor TV-host Todd Talbot in Kohler’s Broadway-at-Fir showroom, Wing admitted she’ll catch no shut-eye herself that night: “I’m the security, and its humbling to see executives sleeping outside, knowing that, through the wall, are the youth they are supporting.”

ON A ROLL: Nonchalantly eyeballing a row of important plumbing fixtures at Talbot’s reception, the Covenant House supporter and Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel general manager, Sascha Voth, said: “We’ve got over 1,000 of these Kohler toilets in the hotel.”

Odd Squad Productions originals Toby Hinton and Al Arsenault saw a 20th anniversary event follow the Understanding Fentanyl guide for B.C. schools.


Odd Squad Productions originals Toby Hinton and Al Arsenault saw a 20th anniversary event follow the Understanding Fentanyl guide for B.C. schools.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

STAYIN’ ALIVE: Twenty years ago, Al Arsenault, Toby Hinton and a small group of other Vancouver police officers founded the Odd Squad. With the National Film Board, they documented their on-the-street activities with drug users in a 52-minute movies called Through A Blue Lens. Arsenault retired, Hinton is now a sergeant, and other active and retired coppers have joined Odd Squad Productions. The focus on drug abuse remains, most recently in the Understanding Fentanyl resource guide for every B.C. school. Rather than lecture youths, who die at home more often than on the streets, it hopes to “demonstrate an understanding of (fentanyl’s) danger in our communities.” At a recent fundraising gala, Hinton said a guide and 35-minute video titled Understanding Police Use of Force will follow, co-produced by the Canadian Police Association.

Launa Hinton, Howie Hoang and other Police Judo Demo Team members performed at Odd Squad Productions' Back on Track fundraiser.


Launa Hinton, Howie Hoang and other Police Judo Demo Team members performed at Odd Squad Productions’ Back on Track fundraiser.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

Gala entertainers included the Police Judo Demo Team with Hinton’s black-belt daughter Launa throwing brown-belt member Howie Hoang around. Watching raptly, young girls may have imagined doing the same to their brothers.

ALLEY ECLAT: The HCMA Architecture + Design firm  has received a National Urban Design Award for its More Awesome Now Laneway Activation project that does much to enhance shabby downtown alleys.

Sheida Shakib-Zadeh was honored by Carol Hagan, Mary Jane Devine and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Rockin' For Research attendees.


Sheida Shakib-Zadeh was honored by Carol Hagan, Mary Jane Devine and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Rockin’ For Research attendees.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

THAT’S COMMITMENT: Charity gala chairs sometimes serve second or third terms. Then there’s Mary Jane Devine, who retired last year after chairing 13 successive Rockin’ for Research galas to benefit the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation. Loverboy band lead guitarist Paul Dean sparkplugged that event in 2000 after his and wife Denise’s son Jake developed Type 1 diabetes. A U.S. gig kept Dean away from the recent Casablanca-themed event and its reported $890,000 haul. Devine accompanied the gala committee’s Carol Hagan, who fronted the event. Pizza Hut Restaurants executive Sheida Shakib-Zadeh was honoured for her employer’s $350,000 contribution to diabetes research. Attendees then dined on chicken salad and grilled beef tenderloin, not pizza.

Fish glided by as special-education teacher Shanny Pothier served Ocean Blu's vodka sodas at Vancouver Aquarium's conservation benefit event.


Fish glided by as special-education teacher Shanny Pothier served Ocean Blu’s vodka sodas at Vancouver Aquarium’s conservation benefit event.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

IN THE SWIM: Glass-walled tanks of possibly hungry fish surrounded those attending Vancouver Aquarium’s recent Toast the Coast fundraiser. The ocean-conservation event’s wine-tasting component likely sharpened guests’ appetites further. Happily, 17 Ocean Wise-certified stations offered such chow as Notch8 chef Will Lew’s scallops with smoked sablefish, birch kabayaki, flamed oyster-tip aioli, pickled wild berries, sea asparagus and nori sand. They went well with Ocean Blu’s Coastal Berry vodka soda that reportedly diverts 25 cents from six-pack sales to ocean and wildlife programs. Peering out at CTV News anchor Sonia Beeksma’s glittering, silver-and-gold mermaid gown, Aquarium tank residents may have silently invited her to join them.

Backed by a tank of ever-popular jellies, CTV's Sonia Beeksma and fitness trainer Paul Chung attended Vancouver Aquarium's Toast the Coast.


Backed by a tank of ever-popular jellies, CTV’s Sonia Beeksma and fitness trainer Paul Chung attended Vancouver Aquarium’s Toast the Coast.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Beseeched by a possibly self-serving coalition government to endorse a pig-in-a-poke electoral system, B.C. voters could deliver a poke of their own — in the eye.

malcolmparry@shaw.ca
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