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Media FINALLY Awakening to Destruction of Granville Street Under Vision

February 26th, 2017 · 78 Comments

Vancouver’s Granville Street …. the main north south shopping artery downtown … is now almost completely transformed from Robson to the Granville Bridge  … as a slum.

A disgrace and a growing danger to pedestrians and the few remaining shoppers who dare to brave the street … even during the day.

Vision-controlled city council has not only FAILED to address the deterioration of the area …  I would submit they have CONTRIBUTED to it by its policies.

Parts of Granville are becoming  more like Hastings/Main every day … the decay has been growing like an untreated cancer over the past two years as City Hall has fiddled with logos, bike lanes and social and political nonsense.

Readers may recall I wrote about this last May, after a shocking and disturbing visit to the street to shop …where, even around mid-day, I did not feel safe or that I would ever want to return :  http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/granville-street-turning-into-another-downtown-eastside/.

Well, apparently I was not alone!

On Global’s Newshour Friday, my old colleague Aaron  McArthur reported that 33 stores are now VACANT on Granville Street, creating not only an eyesore but a domino effect as more and more retailers abandon the strip.

“There’s been a concern by patrons to our store,” said one retailer, “about security just on the street …having to walk a half a block and coming up against somebody just on the street that might be high.”

Ironically Hastings/Main these days may even be safer: the Global camera person …just filming Granville …was aggressively accosted and assaulted.

As McArthur added,  Vision-controlled City Hall’s “arduous city permit process”  is holding up those who want to redevelop and revitalize the area and the ease with which absentee property owners interested only in land values can let the buildings decay with impunity .

You can watch the Global piece here: http://globalnews.ca/bc/videos/?video-search=granville+street.

Looks to me like a totally uncaring or ineffective or even incompetent City Council and administration has been fiddling around with logos, bike lanes, bureaucratic overkill, social and political issues while the once-attractive prime downtown shopping area has literally decayed around us.

As Global and other media have now reported Tom Lee Music … after 30 years on Granville’s 900-block … are moving … not off the street entirely, but closer to Georgia, away from the worst area., and where pedestrian traffic is TEN TIMES THAT of their current location.

That traffic differential says a lot!

What McArthur did not get to …but I did in my earlier blog … is how Vision Council added to the deterioration by substantially HIKING the number of social housing units and social services in that area … including not only the old Bosman Motel but even approving modular housing units in their parkade.  All within blocks of a new street youth services centre on Burrard, a youth health services centre right on Granville,  and a drop in centre on Helmcken.

The city no doubt needs these kinds of facilities, but any social planner and/or urban planner should have been able to foresee that adding so many facilities in a relatively small area … on either side of the main downtown shopping artery … would have negative consequences.

It’s all quite an ugly vision on Granville Street now  …   years in the making … and that City Hall couldn’t see coming,  lacked the interest in preventing it … and even contributed to it through its decisions and incompetence.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia · Media

78 responses so far ↓

  • 1 13 // Feb 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Awesome topic Harvey. Vision (an oxymoron if ever there was one) has been spending tax payers dollars like a teenager with his/her parents credit card. (Someone on NW described Vision that way last week, so I cant take the credit.)
    Way back before the Vision bunch ever decided that they knew how people should live , we had an 8 lane bridge heading into a thriving district of retailers , bars and movie houses. Some genius decided that the best thing to do at the North end of an 8 lane bridge would be a pedestrian mall. The beginning of years and years of stupidity and waste. Then the anchor retailers started to close shop due to malls attracting people in cars that could park for free. After all it was hard to lug your stuff from Woolworth’s to a parkade on Seymour St.
    The Vision bunch see a car free zone and they all get giddy with excitement. No cars lets allow bikes to head downtown in concrete encased lanes. Also not good for retailers. No cars, why do we need two fully functioning viaducts. Piss on commuters and those that work downtown. They can just buy a condo close to work. Oops condos downtown are for the rich and famous not clerks at retail shops. Oh well they can take transit from Surrey to their $15 per hour job. 9 hrs at work and 2 to 3 commuting hell its only about 60 hrs a week.
    So the family scrapes up enough money to buy a condo downtown. Hmm only one parking spot the next one will cost about $800.00 per year just to try and find a spot. Oh well you are saving all kinds of money slaughtering chickens which Vision has deemed the food you will eat.
    Frustrated you hop in your car and drive across the Burrard bridge into Kits only to find the road to the Mayors house is off limits to a low life such as your self. If only you had bought an electric car you could park for free in the Visionary land.
    It might drive you to drink. Fear not the “Drinkers Lounge” is going to open in one of the 40 empty store fronts on or near Granville. Right next to the homeless shelter and across from the injection site.
    I hear it over and over “boy am I glad I dont live in Vancouver.”

    (Response: The sad part is I believe Vision has been so ideologically driven, they have not allowed facts to change their determined course in many areas ..and the city and its citizens have suffered as a result. But they DO and WILL get out their vote …until enough people say “Enough”…. and go vote. IF there’s someone else worthy of their vote. h.o.)

  • 2 hawgwash // Feb 26, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Harvey, I think City hall did see it coming.
    City hall has Vision.
    https://goo.gl/images/cKjrTl

  • 3 nonconfidencevote // Feb 26, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    20 years ago in 1997 I was the head of maintenance for two office buildings just off Granville.
    One of the buildings became the APEC security center. We had everyone in there from RCMP to Van City police to Canadian Military to US Secrect service. In the final weeks leading up to the APEC conference the brainiacs at City Hall decided that a “crack down” on Granville Mall was in order…..Needed to “clean up” the street of all the druggies and hustlers while the Worlds Media were in town for 7 days….
    The result?
    Crime moved 1 block east or west of Granville
    All the drug deals started happening in my Loading Bay because apparently it was clean and well lit 24/7.
    Cops wearing their non uniform street clothes that were standing in the loading bay smoking cigarettes would watch the daily “show” with bemused interest.
    “Not their problem” was the reply to my repeated requests to “do something”.
    The city council of Vancouver is a joke and the police barely hide their disgust with the Court system and its politically correct mandate. There is no room at the crowbar hotel for petty criminals so they continue their lives of crime virtually untouched.
    Nothing will improve on Granville until the entire area is gentrified and the dealers and thieves are forced to skytrain to Surrey.
    Time for the Province and Feds to build work camps in mosquito infested Northern BC for some 6 month “tough love” courses?
    I can dream cant I?

    (Response: I fully realize it is the duty of society …and those of us who can afford it …to help provide services and help to the homeless, those mentally ill and/or troubled. But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist …or well paid social or urban planner to realize that when you place so many help centres in a relatively small area, there will be consequences. And don’t forget …although the Vision team apparently did … that it’s not as if these people all head off to work or school each morning..so of course they will linger, congregate, pan handle and even get aggressive with those unfortunate enough to wander their way to shop or dine. Not surprising many do not come back…thus 33 EMPTY stores! h.o)

  • 4 Gene the Bean // Feb 26, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Maybe a “friend” of Vision and maybe a BC Liberal ‘bagman’ Will buy it all at rock bottom prices …… it’ll be redeveloped and beautiful once more……all in the name of progress, of course.

    Not like it hasn’t happened before……..

  • 5 Psuperdave // Feb 26, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Had to go downtown for the first time in decades to go to Saint Paul’s- what an eye opener! The DTES is barely recognizable from what I remember and Granville, while not as bad, was certainly an adventure. I’m over six feet tall and used to install fire hydrants for a living – I was threatened three times in the course of a single city block. No way would I consider bringing family or friends anywhere near the area.

    All of a sudden the suburbs don’t seem so bad.

    (Response: Thanks for this. The DTES is worse than ever and rather than cleaning it up, the city, under Vision, is enabling it all and I believe has even made it worse. when I wrote last May about my shock going down there for the first time in a couple of years, I had no idea of how many stores etc. had closed and how hard it was for those even wanting to redevelop and improve thins. It’s a disgrace..or rather the politicians and bureaucrats who created this situation are the real disgrace. h.o)

  • 6 hawgwash // Feb 26, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Gene at four;
    Even at rock bottom prices, most property owners, and there aren’t that many along Granville Street, will have seen a substantial ROI if they have owned for more than about 5 years.

    I don’t think the pictures I linked at #2 above are that far from what the big money wants Vancouver to look like. Soon.

    Keeping in mind, Richmond considers anything less than 5 storeys and more than 5 years old to be disposable, do a satellite view of the strip Harvey talks about and note the current architecture; mostly what we would call low rise; mostly decades old.

    Moving south from Robson to about Nelson, we see some zero lot line but still old junk. From there to the creek there appears to be as much empty space as structures. Not exactly best use so, let it die.

    That whole strip is enough to make developers drool and spend countless hours off somewhere like Stuart Island or Taku with their best buds and the politicians. They have already started jiggering with city height restrictions which, before long, will be nonexistent.

    Yaletown has filled in nicely for them, as has Coal Harbour. Now all they have to do is fill in the middle; Granville Street, before the dragon can begin chewing up all those west end 4 storey rentals and 40s houses.

    Nothing has been, or is being, done in a sloppy manner. To us peons it may appear so but to those who really matter, it is all part of the game plan.

  • 7 D. M. Johnston // Feb 27, 2017 at 9:00 am

    After having a store in downtown Vancouver for 25 years, I can see why Granville St. is turning slum.

    City hall and Vision(less) Vancouver’s lack of vision.

    Transit is poor, rents are too high and the demarcation that Granville is an “Entertainment zone” has made the area more than flaky, it is down right disgusting.

    One can go on a long tirade about Vancouver, but I offer this, Vancouver is boring; Vancouver caters to the wealthy; Vancouver is ugly; Vancouver is unfriendly.

    Yesterday I drove my son to Connaught park for a Rugby 7′s tournament, though not downtown, it is close enough to see that Vision(less) will do the same with Broadway soon.

    They will ultra densify the area; getting rid of cheaper rent apartments and store fronts, where only the ‘toney’ can live in between their cottage on the island in the summer and/or long stays in Mexico or Palm Springs in the winter.

    Cookie cutter stores and businesses will open and the “fun” shops will disappear. Parking restrictions will chase away any visitors unless there is no other choice, like a sporting event.

    Granville can be cleaned up, but Vision doesn’t want to, in fact they are scared of cleaning it up because it will show that their planning and prostrating to land developers and Condo Kings, is akin to the “Emperor Has No Clothes.”

    http://www.railforthevalley.com/latest-news/zweisystem/the-emperor-has-no-clothes-and-no-transit-2/

    (Response: They have to not get off their bureaucratic backsides in processing redevelopment in the area, but also start saying NO to the aggressive panhandling and NO to people shooting up on the sidewalks and NO to people sleeping in doorways. That would be a good start…and then move most if not all of the housing and services centres for troubled people to other non retail areas …. like Terminal Ave or Grandview or the non residential areas around Second Ave etc. ho)

  • 8 Rainclouds // Feb 27, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Vision and Incompetent sums it up accurately

    If I was paying prop tax and had people sleeping in my doorway and harassing my customers with impunity ……………..Poof, gone .

    Was heartened to see salt trucks out last Friday at NOON on W4th though…….governed by idiots

  • 9 Harry Lawson // Feb 27, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Harvey,

    Great post . Vision Vancouver is truly blind.

    Granville street is the show case for unintended consequences.from all levels of government.

    Vision cut the street cleaning budgets, removed a lot of the waste containers ,raised taxes , removed and raised parking rates etc. The provincial cuts to mental health and addictions in 2002 and 2008 put more ill people on the street ( a whole other blog subject) took more cops from preventing crime to doing social work with a badge. If New York can clean up time square surely we can fix granville

    (Response: How any elected officials or bureaucrat earning fairly high salaries could place so many services for homeless, troubled people on both sides of the main north-south retail artery and not expect problems, including drugs, needles, aggressive panhandling, filth and sleeping in doorways taxes credibility. And theythey wonder why shoppers stay away? ho)

  • 10 BiomassDoug // Feb 27, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    As long as the citizens continue to elect a left wing government with their skewed ideology the city will continue to have these problems. I for one used to love to walk around downtown Vancouver but no longer.

  • 11 D. M. Johnston // Feb 27, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    @Biomass Doug

    Vision is no left wing party, they are a party of opportunists of every political persuasion.

    The wave the free enterprise mantra for developers and then wave the socialist flag for drug users.

    They are a political party of money, about money, for money.

  • 12 BMCQ // Feb 28, 2017 at 7:52 am

    I am very happy to see you Post this Harvey, unfortunately for so many in Business in Vancouver it is far too late.

    Going back close to 10 years I have written NW, the Sun, Province, Columnists, City Council Members, Mayors, and others and warned about this problem.

    Some here may even recall me Posting about the Granville and DES problems on this Blog.

    I was born in St. Paul’s Hospital and I have lived my whole life in Vancouver.

    My Father worked behind the Waldorf Hotel and I spent much of my pre teen days at places in Restaurants like the Waldorf, Ovaltine which was a VPD Hangout, New Zenith Café, Blue Eagle Café, The Only which had the Best Clam Chowder in the World, and other places between the Waldorf and Woodwards and Eatons on Hastings.

    I also spent a lot of time at the Ferry Market which was a Butcher Shop owned by a friend of my Fathers named Jack Cooney. It was located in exactly the exact same Storefront where the Supervised Injection operates today.

    When I was in grade 11 a couple of my friends and I landed jobs at Safeway who had Stores at Bdwy Main, Bdwy Cambie, and Bdwy and Oak.

    I worked there for 4 more years while in HS and College, earning what was then Big Money, Union Rate and between a couple of night Shifts and a Saturday I was I was in the Chips and always had Money in my pocket.

    Almost immediately that Big Money “Set us Free” and allthough we were underage we began to frequent notorious Night Clubs all over Downtown.

    Because we were under age we went to places like the Stratford Hotel at Gore and Keefer, Kubla Khan, Smilin Buddha, Niagra Hotel, Regent Hotel, American, and a few others.

    Because we were underage we sat in the corners and kept to ourselves. The operators did not mind at all, they needed the income.

    Eventually we moved up to the Granville Strip became involved in Music and began to frequent the Austin Hotel, The Cave, Alcazaar, Dufferin, Nelson Place, Luv Affair, Blue Horizon, Rembrandt, Zanzibar, Isy’s, Penthouse, Luv Affair, and eventually the Cecil and Yale eventually owned by my friend Sam Sorich.

    Other friends of mine still own the caprice and Venue on Granville as well as a couple of Pubs and the Celebrities Night Club which is the most successful Club in Vancouver.

    Granville St always had a Seedy Side and a rough Underbelly it was not as obvious as the DES/Hastings St.

    As 13 points out the Slide into a Cesspool of Broken Humanity began way back when Art Phillips was Mayor and he created the Granville Mall doing away with Automobile Traffic and even more importantly Parking which kept people on the Sidewalks all day long 365 days a year.

    There was hardly any crime at all and Police were on the Beat keeping People honest. In those days if a Street cop did not like you or if he was suspicious of your activities he would literally tell you to get off of his Beat and YOU DID! It kept Granville St. more or less safe and low crime.

    Street Cops many like Bernie Smith kept a lid on many different neighbourhoods Downtown and was safe.

    Before the G Mall Granville St. was vibrant, lots of Commerce, Barber Shops, Calhouns Hats, Millers Jewelers, Birks, Orpheum, Vogue, other Theatres, Crack a Joke, Sparlings Sporting Goods, Women’s and Men’s Retail Clothes, Shoe Stores, a Raft of Restaurants, Hotels, and other Store Fronts which were all full, never any vacancies or Empty Stores.

    Art Phillips was a nice man, I got to know him, he was a very bright man, he was very successful, and for the most part he was a good Mayor but Mayor Art in fact was the “Architect of Disaster”
    when he came up with the Granville Walking Mall idea.

    When Cars, Parking, and People were on Granville the street was alive and it was exciting!!

    Granville St. began to suffer when Poverty Pimps took over the City and they lobbied to close the Liquor Store at Main and Hastings. That move forced many Street People to fan out over the rest of the city looking for Liquor Stores so they could access Booze. That move alone caused many of those Alcohol Addicted and somewhat Drug Addled Individuals to move to Granville St. where they could still remain somewhat anonymous like the DES.

    It was the closing of that Liquor Store that really spread Crime all over the whole City.

    Granville really began it’s “Death Spiral” when the use of Cocaine took hold in Vancouver. Once Cocaine became fashionable and people became addicted eventually Injecting Cocaine and Heroin Addicts took over the whole St. very similar to Hastings.

    Of course the whole City of Vancouver is now affected by Drug and Alcohol Addiction, Crime, Assaults and we are on a very Slippery Slope.

    Then of course add to that Fentanyl and the rest we have a very serious problem that we may not overcome unless the Justice System gets involved.

    BTW, it does not matter if you are 6’5″ every single Street person in Vancouver is Armed with at least a Knife, and they will use it.

    Having said that, I will travel to over 40 Major Cities this year, over 30 in North America, they are ALL more Dangerous than Vancouver.

    We have Property Crime in Vancouver but we are not a violent City no matter how bad and dangerous Granville St., and the DES looks.

    But I must admit, those two areas of Vancouver look worse than almost all other Cities I will visit.

    Add to that the Poverty Pimps like Bruce Erickson, Libby Davies, Jean Swanson who has been in the Industry forever, and now more recently like Mayor Gregor, Meggs, Jang, Diel, The DES, Portland Hotel Society and we have the “Perfect storm” the City is “Circling the Drain” and we are going down quickly.

    Contrary to what some on this Blog claim this was no Conspiracy Plot by the Devils you all hate the Business Man it was a matter of too many “poor Decisions” made by Politicians in my once Great City along with a lack of cooperation from Activist Judges.

    Add to the above the totally irresponsibility of an Activist Vision City Council and the Genius that is Mayor who have manipulated Property Tax to Astronomical Levels Retailers can no longer afford their Triple Net Rent.

    Take an hour and walk down Davie from Burrard to Denman, then walk along Denman to Robson St and up Robson to Burrard St.

    You will see close to 60 Empty storefronts without having to look very hard.

    There are two reasons why they are Empty.
    On Line Shopping now counts for about 25% of Retail Shopping today. The other problem for Downtown Vancouver is those Triple Net Rents, because of the Property Tax charged to the Landlord. Contrary to what some will attempt to sell it is not always the “Greedy Landlord” gouging good Business Renters, those Property Owners are forced to increase Rents to pay their ridiculously high Property Taxes.

    Another key factor to the “Death Spiral” of all of Downtown is a Criminal Justice System that does not care.

    About 300 Drug addicted Repeat Prolific Offenders commit about 80% of the crime in Vancouver proper.

    VPD tell us that about half of those 300 are here on Non-Returnable Warrants from other Provinces. It would pay B.C. Tax Payers to send those Offenders back to their Home Provinces to face the courts.

    If we sent those Offenders back and then put the other 150 in Federal Prison for 2 years or more they would receive drug Detox and Treatment and they may then lead Productive Lives.

    We would then in theory see Crime reduce by a dramatic amount and we would not need more Judges, Legal Aid Lawyers, more Police, Crown Prosecutors, Sheriffs, bigger Court Houses, and other support Personnel for the Justice Industry.

    We have done it the other way for far too long, it is time to get back to basics.

  • 13 BMCQ // Feb 28, 2017 at 7:53 am

    “Mr. Mikes” was an “Institution” on Granville St.!!

  • 14 hawgwash // Feb 28, 2017 at 9:44 am

    D.M. Johnston–11;
    Thank you for joining me out in the daylight.

    When the Gregor was an NDP MLA one of his favoured topics was the Canada Line abuse of Cambie St. merchants. That helped get him into the mayors chair where he quickly turned his attention to Cambie St. developers.

    It frustrates the hell out of me when people call the Libs and Vision stupid fools when they have outsmarted almost the entire population. Well, enough to make it count at the polls anyway.

    If Christy and Gregor get tossed any time in the future, I doubt they will privately care too much. They knew the route before they were handed the keys.

    Granville Street today is not the issue. Granville St. in the future is and those in power now, will still benefit after they have left office.

    Smart folks.

  • 15 E. Johnson // Feb 28, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Caught a glimpse of Mayor Robertson on television earlier this week seeming to suggest that the homelessness situation escalated once Christie Clark became premier. Obviously nothing to do with him or his council and their style of governance. Is there any other city in the country that pours millions of dollars into a disaster like DTES with no noticeable improvements? Is there any other city that has managed to squeeze highly educated young people, with so much potential, out of any hope for affordable housing causing them to flee to other parts of the country? The good people who fill the lower paying jobs in retail, etc who struggle to find somethig affordable to rent are not of any concern to this mayor and council. It is totally acceptable, however, to permit a Malaysian billionaire developer to build a luxury hotel/condo and fill it with other offshore billionaires and then insult that same developer by boycotting the grand opening because the Trump name affects the mayor’s sensibilities. The hypocrisy takes one’s breath away.

  • 16 e.a.f. // Feb 28, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    The problems on Granville St. started with Art Phillips taking traffic off the street back in 1970s and it has never recovered. Every council since has just continued with the problem. it just isn’t Vision’s problem. they can all share in it.

    In my opinion what needs to happen to Granville St. is have everything blasted off, open it like it was with on street parking, with meters, and two lanes of traffic each way. Problem solved.

    Part of the problem is out of country land owners who don’t care about their buildings or this city. they are simply waiting for the land values to go up. On the other hand, this is one good way to drive land values down However, I expect land owners are just waiting for the area to become so bad City Hall will permit the razing of some of the buildings so they can put up high rises. those who own the buildings can out wait any political empire.

    the social housing in the area with support isn’t the real problem, its that these social housing projects don’t go far enough with support for those who live there. they provide the housing, but what about physical and mental health support. How is the educational and vocational support coming along. How is the detox support coming along? /right none of it is there. What the housing does is ware house the poor, drug addicted and those who sponge off of them.

    Cleaning up Granville st. starts with returning the street to be like any other street in the down town area, two lanes of traffic each way with street parking. If people can park in front of the stores they wish to go into, they will return.

    As to those who feel a need to sleep in door ways, just pass a by law which requires building owners to put up gated door ways. Not going to happen, but it would help.

    For those who are “high” arrest them. there was a time when people who got drunk in all those old beer parlours would be picked up for drunk and disorderly and placed in the drunk tank for the night. of course that costs money and far be it for Mayor moonbeam to divert one nickel from his precious bike lanes to providing policing for that street.

    Lots of people thought it would be great to change Granville st. back in the 1970s. they wanted to create a European flair. well this isn’t Europe, never has been. never will be. what works in Europe works in Europe. just like bike lanes. bikes work in Europe. this isn’t Europe. we do cars and motorcycles.

  • 17 e.a.f. // Feb 28, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Vision isn’t left wing. they’re an elitist bunch who do what works for them to advance their own agenda and those of their friends and supporters.

    Vision has taken a few progressive projects, to act like they care, but don’t fund it appropriately and don’t go the whole route to make it work. /What you have is a mess. Eventually those who want what they want i.e. massive re development will get what they want. they have the money to out wait every one and everything. they don’t have to live in the area or go there.

    this is part of making Vancouver a “world class city”, one which doesn’t cater to those who live in B.C. but to those who live all over the world. the average person bought into this b.s. line when they started throwing it around. some of us saw the writing on the wall back even then.

    We are where the financial elites come to get fresh air and enjoy life. We who live here all the time get to pay for it.

    gee. BMCQ, you remember the Black Stone and the Austin in their “hay days”. OMG that is funny. How about the St. Helen’s? what time did it open each morning? During all that time, in the 1960s and 1970s that street was relatively safe, even with the number of true criminals who made it their “home” away from “home”–jail.

    What BMCQ also refers to, although not mention it as such, is the growing income inequity within the city. When he cites his job at Safeway and the wages he and his friends made, it may well have been more than people making these days at min. wage. Income inequity has made Vancouver a city of haves and have nots. that does not make for a liveable city. the middle class can’t afford to live there and the working/middle class is gone as are the jobs which BMCQ had as a kid.

    Lets not blame Robertson for all of it. Try Megs. In my opinion he is the archetict of much of this. Robertson, isn’t smart enough. He’s the tool.

    Now as to Bruce Erikson, please don’t refer to him as a poverty pimp, etc. He was committed to the work he did and genuinely worked hard to make things better for people in the City. His work may have been taken over by those who profit from poverty or make a living from poverty, but Bruce Erikson did a lot of good work in the City of Vancouver. His wife went on to make a good and profitable life out of his legacy………

  • 18 BMCQ // Feb 28, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    E Johnson – 15

    Take a Bow!

    That was a Grest Post!

    I hope the Tax Paying VANCOUVER Voters read your Post and I hope they remember that same Post on Election Day!

  • 19 hawgwash // Feb 28, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    e.a.f. ate 17;
    Not sure about the opening time of the St. Helen’s but the West opened at the same time as the loggers agency across the street…9am.

    Had to close at 10pm though because 13 hours max opening was mandated including the one hour close at dinner time.

    Names not mentioned were the Stanley and New Fountain. BM was a softy.

    Granville?
    How about Scott’s and Loves Skillet.

    http://www.vancouverneon.com/p_granville1.htm

  • 20 13 // Feb 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    E J @15 agreat post

    BMCQ When I read your post I was dismayed that you hit many of the Granville stalwarts and I thought to myself “How can he omit Mr Mikes”
    $1.49 Steak diner and they ran an as every year in the back of the VC year book. The ads in those yearbooks are a history of retailers in the 60s

    Hard to believe but aside from the conspiracy theory that the decay on Granville is a plot to allow offshore developers to bargain buy , there seems to be a consensus as to why Granville has become a slum.

    So while Vision isnt responsible for the early problems it certainly hasnt done squat to try and fix it. Its almost like Vision sees the need for an area where the less fortunate can suffer. Granville and Hastings Sts are a better fit for the less fortunate than Arbutus or Dunbar or even Grnaville from the South end of the bridge all the way to Marpole. What do all of these areas have in common
    :no shelters, no injection sites, and the most important difference they all have retailers with parking on the street infront of their stores and restaurants. Dont worry though sooner or later gregor and company will figure a way to scew that up

  • 21 Gene the Bean // Mar 1, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Must have missed the memo re Harvey’s Blog becoming “personal story time – my life in a million words or more ” ………

    I remember this time at band camp……..

  • 22 Edgar // Mar 1, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Heard an urban planner or developer on the CBC describing how much better the urban core was now after all the towers were built. Even said it was called “Vancouverism” and that all major cities were rushing to copy it to ensure a vital, dense, and affordable downtown. Go figure.

    (Response: Affordable? YES …for people in places like Hong Kong, Tokyo, London and New York etc…but if you’re from Vancouver or anywhere within 1,000 km …you’d better hope for a lottery win, death of a rich relative or TERRIFIC job to buy a home or most condos. That’s why the BIKE lanes …you sure won’t be able to afford a car! h.o)

  • 23 nonconfidencevote // Mar 1, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    @#21 Gene the Bean

    good one. Hilarious

  • 24 BMCQ // Mar 1, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    e.a.f. – 17

    My Apologies, I must admit that I sometimes paint with a very Broad Brush. I have no doubt that Ericksen did much good.

    I am just sick and tired of so many Activists here and in other Cities seem to get into Social Activism and or Politics to better their own lives while at the same time they manage to cost the hard working Tax Payer much more than is necessary. You can add “Gold Card” Kwan and Townsend. the Portland Hotel Society, and the DERA to that list.

    Ericksen in fact did better his own live by making some huge changes and for the most part he did good charitable work on the DES.

    Of course some others have done good but I can guarantee you there is much greed and waste that goes along with the good will over the past many years.

    Between the three levels of Government there is over $ 1 Million Dollars a day going into the DES and Granville St. and it is getting worse rather than better.

    The amount of Money put into this is not the answer, we need support from the Justice System especially the Judiciary.

    We must get Repeat Prolific Convicted Felons off of our streets and those that here on Non Returnable Warrants must be sent back to face the Courts in their Home Provinces.

    Those of you that think Granville Strip and Hastings are problematic should take an hour one weekend night at about midnight and walk or drive down Alleys that perimeter those two streets.

    You will not believe your eyes, ears, or nose, it is like a “Living Hell on Earth”!!

    It is like a scene from a “Walking Dead” Movie!!

    It is hard to believe Human Beings can live like that and in fact actually do that to themselves.

    Unfortunately I have seen enough of it in my own family and friends but it still sickens me just the same.

    You are correct, I almost always call Meggs “The Mayor Brain”!

    What people need to understand is the fact that Developers and the “Visionites” use each other.

    The Developers get Zone Relaxation which may include more Stories than the Zoning calls for which gives them more Profit with the allowed more Square Feet on the same size Footprint. That translates directly to a better return on investment.

    In turn the Developer will add more Social Housing which benefits the Social Engineering cause of the “Visionite” Agenda.

    In fact they are not friends, they are more like “Two Scorpions Circling each other in a Bottle”.

    Each using the other for whatever they can get and in the meantime it is the Citizens and Tax Payers of Vancouver that suffer the consequences.

    Why do the Citizens of Vancouver always need to acquiesce to the whims of a handful of Social Engineering Misfits?

    Watch soon for the Burrard Vancouver Aquatic Centre to soon be redeveloped into a Condominium Tower and Social Hosing by that same sense of Partnership.

    A huge problem with the amount of Social Housing and soon to be Migration Tsunami that is about to hit us is the fact that Mayor Gregor and his Minions will encourage a high percentage to come to Vancouver which will cost Tax Payers more and in turn it will stretch already dwindling services to where it will be unmanageable.
    ……………
    Stanley Theatre, Colonial, Capitol.

    West Hotel – Once owned by jack Pronyk.

    Scott’s and several other real great Family type Restaurants that thrived on Granville St.

    Love the Neon! Thank you.

    Bean – 21

    Once again, another thought provoking Post.

    Another amazing contribution!

    How can one person come up with so much interesting content?

  • 25 r // Mar 1, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Maybe Vancouver mayor behaving like BC premier?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqjjiUaAy1w&feature=youtu.be

  • 26 Harry lawson // Mar 1, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    As many of us take the walk down memory lane ,we must remember Granville street always had a seedier side. The big difference today is we truly have less resources the mentally ill and addicted. We have lots of non profits providing contracted services . However many of the severely mentally ill and addicted are not receiving the help they need.

  • 27 Jay Jones // Mar 1, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Is it Vision’s (BC libs, fed libs etc) fault that theirs is the best party their population has produced, or is it Vancouver’s (BC’s, Canada’s etc.) fault that their’s is the best party the population was able to produce.

    If parents hire a 6 year old to babysit a bunch of 2 and 3 year olds and things go horribly wrong, is that the 6 year old’s fault?

    Canada’s education system clearly needs a major upgrade to bring it, and many of Canada’s political parties, into the 21st century.

  • 28 13 // Mar 1, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Usually I couldnt care less re GTBs observations. I suppose if the HO Blog was used to discuss unrelated personal history you might have a point. But having read the post and having spent many years working at CPT 44 W Pender, meeting and Marrying a woman that worked at Grassie Jewellers
    meant I spent a lot of time in the DTEs and on Granville. I referenced Woolworths because it was my grandparents favorite store on Granville.

    So the discussion is the decay on Granville. The stories are peoples memories of Granville. Without a point of reference how do you decide if Granville has decayed. Even your pal noncon related his APEC job history.

    Some people have a vibrant past and a knowledge
    gained from life experience.
    Some Do Not

  • 29 hawgwash // Mar 1, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Harry lawson;
    The big difference is, back then the mentally ill were housed. Fed. Cared for. Meds monitored.

    Horrors! They were institutionalized.

    Somebody cut them loose.

  • 30 D. M. Johnston // Mar 2, 2017 at 6:33 am

    @ Edgar

    There is a great divide within the planning community about densification and to give an idea of the rift, on one side is the SkyTrain, towers, developers, SFU (Vision Vancouver) lot and on the other side the light rail small densification (3 & 4 story apt/condos), local input UBC lot.

    Sadly Granville is caught in the middle.

    I have to laugh at states such as; “that all major cities were rushing to copy it to ensure a vital, dense, and affordable downtown.”, because they are more of a heavy imagination than anything else.

    No one copies Vancouver. Se many SkyTrain Lines around? No? Ever wonder why?

    Clink onto my name from my earlier post and you will get what an overseas professional says about Vancouver.

    Back to Granville.

    As Vision Vancouver continues to destroy the fabric of Vancouver by allowing their developer friends to tear down affordable buildings and build mega towers in their place, the poor are forced to move away (demovictions) to areas of cheaper rent, poorer transit and sadder lives.

    Mayor Moonbeam and his Armani crowd have let lower Granville deteriorate to such a point that everyone will be screaming; “tear it down, tear it down” and viola a a nest of high density towers will be built in their place.

  • 31 BMCQ // Mar 2, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Harry – 26

    Please keep the following in mind before we all go off “Lighting Our Hair on Fire” and Blaming the B.C. Government.

    Social Engineering Poverty Pimps and others such as B.C. Opposition Members would angle to have the “Great Unwashed” believe that the BCL Government has opened the doors of many Mental Health Care Facilities and pushed the Mentally Ill out onto the Streets of YVR where they are taken advantage of by the usual Predators.

    We MUST NEVER lost sight of a few things.

    Contrary to popular belief almost all of the Mentally Ill on the street are Mentally Ill because of the fact that they made many bad choices which included becoming users of Hard Drugs of all kinds.

    The use of the Hard Drugs eventually triggers the Psychosis and Mental Illness. Depending on the individual Addiction and Psychosis may happen fairly soon after that first few experiences.

    Most that are Mentally Ill would never experience any kind of Mental Illness if they lived a normal life with no consumption of Hard Drugs.

    Once the Drug Addled become Mentally Ill they are opening themselves up to a life of Hell.

    I have seen the results of Hard Drug in many Friends and Family members.

    Then of course there are the Poor Souls that do suffer Mental Illness and end up on the DES or Granville Strip, become involve with the Street Life and fall Prey to the Street Thugs and Dope Dealers.

    Yes we need Services but we must also do everything we can to Educate Young People and we must do every thing we can to encourage people to never get involved with any Drugs.

    It is a little too late but The AMA and others are now beginning to figure out that early use of Marijuana may have a life long affect on young people who become users.

    What we must never forget is the fact that it is not uncommon for the Pot Dealer to add any number of stronger more addictive Drugs to his product.

    Once the user begins to enjoy the “Higher High” of say a little Chrystal Meth that same user begins to seek out more potent Drugs and they become addicted and quite possibly end of with a Psychosis.

    Let me ask a couple of questions.

    If The Injection Site worked so well and if the soon coming Drinkers Lounge worked so well in The EU why do we keep ending up with more Drug addicts and Drinkers visiting the Lounges each and every year?

    People tell us that the “Drinkers Lounges” in the EU are successful because they have more VISITS each year.

    How could that be considered successful?

    Would success not be a “Drinkers Lounge” with fewer Visits each year?

    If our type of Treatment Methods employed today were so wonderful why do our Deaths by Drug Misadventure keep climbing each and every year?

    Why would we not encourage total abstinence rather than “Please do Drugs with a Buddy”?

    Why do we not look more serious at a 12 Steps Program similar to Alcoholic Anonymous?

    As I have stated before the Street Drug Problem has become an Industry for Poverty Pimps and Social Engineers that make a very good living from their efforts, without the Drug Addicted, the Alcoholic, and the otherwise Mentally Ill the people that work in the Industry have no Employment.

    Bean – Did you Scroll Down?

  • 32 Gene the Bean // Mar 2, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Nothing wrong with adding historical references, personal anecdotes and interesting tidbits to enhance EVERYONES experience on Harvey’s blog….

    The astute people know where this is going ……

    This was a piece about the de-evolution of an important part of an important city and the local government that seems to willfully allow it to happen ….. it isn’t an opportunity to blather on and on and on about ridiculously infinitesimal personal details, insights, opinions and lame observations that have nothing to do with the topic ….. TRUST ME, no one else here cares (as much about you, as you ) …….

  • 33 hawgwash // Mar 2, 2017 at 9:58 am

    31…”almost all of the Mentally Ill on the street are Mentally Ill because of the fact that they made many bad choices….Most that are Mentally Ill would never experience any kind of Mental Illness if they lived a normal life with no consumption of Hard Drugs.”

    Those, right there, are the two most astoundingly ignorant comments I have read on the HO or any other blog.

    Ever.

  • 34 hawgwash // Mar 2, 2017 at 10:10 am

    D.M. Johnson at 30.
    Excellent comments and SFU/UBC analogy.

    Are you and I the only ones who see Granville Street rot, not as a result of incompetence but of a well thought out long term plan? Gosh, could we be wrong?

    I am a fan of your rail ideas and in fact salivate at the prospect of a Taiwan HSR, 300kph type rail line from Van to the Wack and back.

    Haha…this is the tenth slowest one;
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBHJt2ZzuQ4

  • 35 ISLAND LOOKOUT // Mar 2, 2017 at 11:55 am

    YET ANOTHER REASON…

    …for not being a Vancouver real estate owner/resident.

    At least things haven’t got THAT bad, in my adopted city Victoria, along Government and some other cross-streets Street in downtown Victoria where there are some store vacancies and few street people. So far so barely adequate.

    BUT back to Granville Street.

    I remember in the early 1970s, then mayor Art Phillips proposed transforming Granville Street north of the bridge, for several blocks, into a pedestrian utopian paradise of chic shops, groovy this and far-out that.

    Vancouverites got the far-out OK meaning anybody with any sense will want to be far-out and away from that place for their own safety. And for a goodly time at that.

    Successive city councils have been unable to cage that monster, so it grows like a cancer on the wallets of Vancouver property owners and the soul of the city.

    Vision Vancouver is yet another Leftie organization of tired and wornout social justice warriors/tax- kleptomanics of the whose reason for living has truly expired.

    Good comment Harvey.

    But it won’t change a thing.

    Kind of like the US Democrats trying to sink Trump with trumped-up BS about alleged Russian involvement in last year’s US elections which the Dems LOST.

  • 36 Diverdarren // Mar 2, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Harvey, there’s no point in me restating my view from your last post on this issue. My opinion hasn’t changed.

    Vision was elected on a platform that included poor people into the downtown urban design. And yes, the rougher part of Granville has “street people” in the doorways of the empty shops. But development and bringing people to the area is still part of Council’s plan. Just look at the completed development at the old Yale and the upcoming massive development at the Granville St. Bridge, Vancouver House.

    If there is an area to criticize the city, it is their records of Development Permits.

    The building from the Global news story is 855 Granville St. It had a COV development permit #DP-2016-00472.

    Good luck finding any info active on that permit number on the city website. And for some reason the city doesn’t archive development permits. The sign on the building says it was from Sept 2016 but the Development Permit Board hasn’t put it on it’s agenda, so I can only guess that the developer has withdrawn their request. But there still is a website maintained by the developers http://www.855granville.com/

    This lack of info about Development Permits isn’t a new issue. The blog City Hall Watch complained about this lack of records back on Jan 3.

  • 37 Harry lawson // Mar 2, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Bcmq I am not lighting my hair on fire you raise some valid points, as do others . I am not attaking the liberals I am questioning their decisions. I am equally hard on the NDP as well as the previous administrations.

    Poverty is a industry now,

    The enabling has been truly disabling and it is wrong hence my comment earlier about unintended consequences .

    My opinions are based on my life experiences.as are yours and others . However all parts of society have to own the issue . Over a million dollars a day goes into dtes and yet the issues are worst than ever . We truly need to do a reset on our thinking and delivery of services.

  • 38 e.a.f. // Mar 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    hagwash 29, yes, horrors, but the government promised to provide services, yes they were going to provide all these really great group homes and community services. well we know what happened then. Budget cut backs, who cares they don’t vote, etc.

    Yes Granville St. was a tad seedy, but it wasn’t down right dangerous and that is what it is today.

    of course with the fent. and mentally ill people being a tad more out of control than back in the day, and people dying, well that has gotten expensive. it makes the news when people die on the street, so out go the first responders and that is costing a bomb but still not as much as providing adequate care. I really don’t expect to see any changes until developers want that land and then the police will be sent in to move every one along. Providing ADEQUATE care, is not going to happen any more than increasing rates for children who live on welfare, disability pensions so people can live with some dignity, or providing better services for children in care. I’m sure Christy is keeping her fingers crossed no kids die in care during the election. So Granville St. will continue to look like it does because its cheaper than doing something constructive and really in the end, it contains the “mess”. As long as the “mess” is contained it keeps property values up every where else.

    Is Moonbeam responsible, no more than any other mayor. They’ve all had a hand in it. Its just Fent. has come out and its a bigger problem.

    This would all be over tomorrow morning if there were political will. there isn’t any, so until the developers force the politicians to have the political will Harvey could be writing this column next year at this time.

    Yes, BMCQ many become mentally ill because they do drugs, but the question is why now, why so many. Perhaps some of it is the B.C. Lieberal’s fault. How many teachers, teachers aids, counsellors, etc. were taken out of the school system and how many of those kids got into drugs and a lot of other things. When schools can’t operate at optiom levels there are repercussions;. Have a look at the ages of these drug addicts. Remember the B.C. Lieberals have been driving this province into the ground since 2001 when el gordo organized the largest mass firing of women workers in Canada by firing the HEU staff in hospitals. Did that help fuel the drug problems we see today? perhaps. parents working two jobs to make the same money they once did at one.

    The welfare rates haven’t gone up in a decade. Poverty may not turn people into addicts but it sure doesn’t help and it doesn’t make life easy and drugs do help a lot of people escape their lives until its too late. Wonder if kids and families had some dignity in their lives if there were fewer drug addicts? Yes, I realize drug users come from all walks of life but only those without financial resources have to stay in the life because there aren’t enough detox and rehab facilities in this province nor sufficient follow up. Not every family can afford $20K and up for rehab. and if you and/or the kid aren’t in a 3 month re hab with follow up its not really going to work and hence we will have drug addicts on Granville St. as long as Granville st. is there. Once the developers have taken over Granville St. they will move some where else.

    Almost each of us is responsible for Granville St. and the social problems we have. We either look the other way, don’t want an increase in taxes, blame the victim, etc.

    Oh, and let us not forget the kids on Granville St. who went there because getting paid to be sexually abused is better than not being paid for being sexually abused. Most homeless kids are on the street for a reason.

    Moonbean has at least tried to house many, not adequately, but at least its more than Christy Clark and her B.C. Lieberals have done, remember all the kids who died on her watch.

  • 39 r // Mar 2, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Mayor gingo too busy out of town on taxpayer dime to notice?

  • 40 hawgwash // Mar 2, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Great discussion going here.

    Been some chatter here about how dangerous Granville Street is. The word scary might have been used, not sure. Anyway, Vancouver is dangerous.

    A small business operator in Yaletown shot.
    UBC students assaulted.
    Bus drivers beat up.
    Today, 4 people attacked in the Broadway, Main/Cambie area.

    Used to be you could stagger around anywhere, any time and never be bothered.

    We live in a big city now.
    Danger goes with the territory except for those in their limos.

    Diverdarren…hmmmmm.

  • 41 BMCQ // Mar 2, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Hawgwash – 33

    Do not listen to me, talk to a Member of the VPD that works down on Granville or Hastings DES.

    Talk to any VFD Member, ask them about Drug induced Mental illness Psychosis.

    My own Sister suffered from it because she was a Drug Addict, she is now Dead.

    Wife’s Sister has been a Heroin and almost any kind of Drug Addict (any Drug that was available) for her whole life, they are/were both Mentally Ill. Neither were Mentally Ill before the use of Drugs.

    People begin to party, they make Bad Choices, they enjoy the High, and they become Addicted to the High and in many Cases the High and the Drug. It is a very poor Life Choice.

    http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/drug-addiction/psychosis/

    You might also find this interesting

    https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/drug-induced-psychotic-symptoms/

    And by the way Hawgwash, I do not expect a reply of any kind.

    Unlike myself who easily admits when I am mistaken almost all of the rest simply choose to “Hide Under their Desks” when they are incorrect.

    This is what is very much responsible for the Carnage that is Hastings DES and Granville Strip Mall.

    In the cases of the already Mentally Unstable and or Mentally Ill that end up down there the addition of the Drugs mentioned is compounded.

    “Small Ball”!!
    ……………………………….

    e.a.f. – 38

    No matter how we would like to “Spin” it some people make bad choices all on their own and they are not forced into Drug Addiction by the B.C. Liberals.

    As I have pointed out, my own Sister died from a Drug overdose, she simply loved to Party, got to involved with Drugs and she succumbed.

    You talk about Teachers.

    Please keep in mind that there are now 70,000 Fewer Students in B. C. than 10 years ago. At 25 Students on average per Class that means we require roughly almost 3000 fewer Teachers than 10 years ago.

    Vancouver proper has 7000 fewer students than 10 years ago, at 25 Students per class that translates to 300 fewer Teachers required.

    By the way, where have all of the Students disappeared too? Have they vanished like the Salmon?

    How can you not see that the biggest culprits to blame for Drug Addiction is Poor Choices and in many cases Poor Parenting and lack of Structure in the Home?

    Again If the judiciary put Drug peddlers in Jail and in turn Jailed Repeat Offenders that may have 30, 40, 50, or more Criminal Convictions People would get Treatment and they may become contributing members of Society.

    We must stop blaming the B.C. Liberal Government!!

    Yes we can begin to blame a succession of various Governments at three Levels, parenting, Societal changes, the Summer of Love “69″, and many others but let’s at least admit “Bad Choice” also comes into play here.

    When you talk about mayor Gregor housing some of them.

    Keep in mind that at least of the time he is continue to House Drug Addicted Criminal Felons that come to B.C. to Sell Drugs, Steal your Car, or break into your house.

    On that Count at least he is doing just a real Dandy Job!!!

    Wake UP People!!

    I must take my Leave, I feel like I need a Shower!!

  • 42 BMCQ // Mar 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Harry – 37

    I not necessarily criticizing you for “Setting your Hair on Fire”, the reference was meant to address so many that Post here that seem to blame the B.C. Liberal government for almost anything, including the next upcoming Pregnancy of Kim Kardashian!!

    I think it is most important that we recognize that we cannot continue to turn to government of any kind to demand they fix any and all problems we encounter in life.

    Something like Emergency Room Service which is over burdened because People will show up with a Hang Nail, it does not help our system cope.

    Fact Checkers here may correct me but I believe about 8 0ut of 10 that Post on this Blog are Ideologues that simply Hate Federal Conservatives and they Hate the B.C. Liberal Party.

    It is not that simple, we cannot blame those two parties for all of our problems.

    I am very sorry but sometimes we must blame our own very poor choices for the life we have.

    Bean – Bang a Gong (Get it On)

    Oh I forgot you do not read my Posts.

  • 43 Harry lawson // Mar 2, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Well this a great discussion, i agree with what so many has said. However if we are going to give kudos to Gregor and vision for more social housing we need to also give kudos to rich Coleman and yes the liberals. Mr Coleman has really been a advocate for social housing. Kudos to him

  • 44 13 // Mar 2, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    With Beans permission.
    My wife had 3 older sisters. Two have passed away. One died while in rehab at the Union Gospel Mission. She was addicted to coke , heroin etc. The other died on the DTEs from alcoholism. My wife and the other surviving sister were raised by the same parents (dad was a city worker for Vancouver) as the two dead sisters. I knew my inlaws and they were decent hard working people that didnt deserve the hell that the drug addicted daughter put them through.
    Fault? God only knows. The drug addict gave birth to an addicted baby girl. (my niece). She has grown up to be a successful sober adult.
    Point of this bit of personal history is these women died before the BC Liberal party came to exist. They both made personal choices that led to their demise. As much as everyone in our family always felt that maybe we could have done more to help them the fact is they chose the lifestyle that led to their untimely deaths. My gut feeling is that many of the people on Hastings and Granville streets are there for the same reasons…poor lifestyle choices.

  • 45 Joe Smith // Mar 2, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    @ comment # 3; and pray tell why do you think Northern BC would want Hong Couvers problems? Clean up your own mess.

  • 46 e.a.f. // Mar 2, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    well if its personal choices which cause people to take drugs and die, there must be something in the water, because at the rate people are dying from drug over doses, there are a lot of addicts and drug related deaths, so it still comes down to we have a problem. That problem comes to live on the DTES and on Granville St.

    whether it is personal choices, lack of social services, etc. we do need to figure out what is causing it.

    As to people coming from the same family and some turn out great and some turn out dead from drugs, not all are created equal. There is the small matter of genetics also at play here.

    Perhaps we are more aware of the issues today because of media attention. Perhaps we are aware of it today because there are more problems but perhaps if we looked at it on a pro rated basis, there aren’t any more addicts/deaths today than there were 20, 40, 50 years ago. That would be interesting to find out. Must have Norm Farrell figure that one out. he does the numbers.

    Yes, in some families you have the problems and the non problems, but are they the exception or the rule? is it nature or nurture. What ever it is, we need to deal with it. Policing and sending people to jail isn’t going to happen. Tax payers would revolt. that costs so much money. Hell the country can’t even get enough serious crooks to trial. Alberta had to “stay” proceedings for 200 criminals and we know in B.C. serious offenders/charged walk on a regular basis, i.e. Victoria’s court house didn’t have a sheriff to walk some one from the basement of the building to the court room. If we can’t get enough staff to run trials for serious crimes then how are we ever going to arrest “freaked” out addicts on Granville St. and send them to jail.

    A lot of what the politicians are doing today is simply band aids. housing shelters, to prevent people from dying and freezing on the streets, giving drug addicts drugs so they won’t die from the wrong ones, spending lots of resources to keep over dosed people alive………….

    what if we just let them die and forget about it. problem solved Granville St. and the DTES cleaned up. Not acceptable? Do I sound crazy? Am I serious? What is the solution then and how much are we willing to spend to get things right? Granville St. isn’t the street of my childhood, my teen years, or any of my years up until recently. We can’t just shift people from one street to another, but right now it seems like the DTES has moved to Granville St. and which street is next, besides some streets in Surrey.

  • 47 nonconfidencevote // Mar 3, 2017 at 6:54 am

    @#45 Joe Smith
    “pray tell why do you think Northern BC would want Hong Couvers problems?”
    *********************************************
    Gee, took a while for a response….

    I dunno.
    May some steady work as a prison guard at a new prison at the old Cassiar mine might be a boon to the northern economy?
    Or another prison in Prison in Ft St John?
    Just to spread the employment around.
    While you wait for Christy’s billions and thousands of jobs from LNG?
    We could build prisons all over the North cause there’s no shortage of drugs and crime down here
    Not to worry, you can send em all back to us when their time is up breaking rocks into gravel for the Alaska Hwy. Free gravel…..
    And the up side is if any Northerners get thrown in prison you wont have as far to go for visitation day!
    A win win

  • 48 nonconfidencevote // Mar 3, 2017 at 6:59 am

    @#46 e.a.f.
    “what if we just let them die and forget about it. problem solved Granville St. and the DTES cleaned up….”
    **********************************************
    Well judging by the 6pm news the other night highlighting a pregnant addict that overdosed and needed SEVEN shots of antidote to revive her……
    I’d say they are trying pretty hard to “cull” themselves.

  • 49 BMCQ // Mar 3, 2017 at 7:26 am

    e.a.f. – 46

    What our so called Political Leaders, the Justice System, and the Judiciary have been doing for the past many years has not worked.

    We currently have a “Catch and Release” Program, it obviously does not work because the problems continue to grow.

    I will say this once more, society needs to create deterrents and we have no time to waste.

    These criminals are the same ones that are wandering the Granville Strip and Hastings DES.

    Again, in Vancouver proper VPD tell us that it is approximately the VERY SAME 300 people that commit about 80% of the Crime. I am quite sure a Fact Checker will prove me wrong for a percentage point or two but please humour me just this one.

    Those 300 are Repeat Prolific Offenders with 30, 40, 50, 60, or more Criminal Convictions and mostly Drug Addicted.

    If our Learned Judges were to sentence them to sentences over 2 years in the Federal System those individuals would receive Drug Treatment and some may be cured and become contributing members to society.

    By removing them from the Streets you would be removing Drug Dealers, Car Thieves, B & E Criminals and many others and in theory Crime would drop dramatically.

    In theory we would then not require more Police, Sheriffs, larger Court Houses, Legal Aid Lawyers, Crown Prosecutors, and most importantly we would not need more Judges.

    You talk about costs to build Prisons, I do not know anyone with half a Brain that would not be happy with lower Crime Rates, fewer Tax Dollars for Judges, Police, Legal Aid Lawyers, etc. that would not be very happy to build larger Prisons if their Families, Cars, Houses, and Granville and Hastings Streets would be SAFER!!

    We have done it your way far too long and we have nothing to show for it but VERY DEAD BODIES!

    Again, we also need to take immediate steps to send those here in B.C. on Non-Returnable Warrants back to their Home Provinces to Face the Courts.

    And Finally

    Your PM Justin is in town today for a Photo Op and important News Conference.

    If he really wanted to address the Fentanyl Problem he would announce Legislation that would propose a Mandatory Minimum Sentence
    of 10 Years in the Federal Prison System for ANYONE that was convicted of Possession of more than One Ounce of ANY Drug with any amount of Fentanyl in that Drug.

    When you have more than Ounce of any Drug you are a Dealer/Pusher.

    Please remember I said any amount of Fentanyl in the Drug, that could be a very minute amount.

    Legislation like this would pass through Parliament very easily with the support of most Liberals and Conservative MP’s.

    The NDP would be against it but who really cares what they think.

    Legislation like that would take courage but the PM would have a huge majority of Canadians on his side on this one.

    Ultimately people that now spend their days and nights on the Streets and Alleys on the Hastings DES and Granville Mall may have a fighting chance to get off, stay off Drugs and live a normal life.

  • 50 Guy in Vic // Mar 3, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I don’t have a long drown out story about life in Vancouver because I never saw the attraction to want to live among drug addicts and thieves. Like many other social problems facing various cities, it boils down to who will have the courage to put an end to it in a way that doesn’t upset the bleeding hearts. I’m quite sure that Vancouver politicians would love to move all these addicts to another part of the Province and then watch the city regain it’s safe streets & prosperity. But just who has strength to get it done. Not these career politicians that’s for sure.

  • 51 e.a.f. // Mar 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    BMCQ, O.K. here goes, yes I agree with you. Now don’t have a jammer.

    Putting Fent. in drugs is like killing someone or handing them the gun to shoot themselves, when you know they are going to shoot themselves. In Alberta a drug dealer was charged with murder or manslaughter when they were able to trace a death to his “product”. Personally if they find dealers with Fent. in their drugs, just charge them with attempted murder. However, they will get released on “bail” with an order to appear and be back at “work”.

    I agree, there same people are committing the same crimes. They may never be better. They are too far gone.

    I DO NOT agree with putting these people in a prison. Not the prisons we have now. I would suggest a confined facility more like a sanitorium, Is that going to happen? NO. Will there even be enough room in current prisons to take an additional 300 people? NO. Will tax payers go for money being spent on “facilities”? NO, because the majority are not effected. They avoid the DTES, Granville St. and its not happening to their families.

    Would I pay for an increase in taxes to have people go to facilities when convicted of attempted murder for selling Fent. if they have a long criminal record? YES, however, I would like more money spent on fixing water systems and schools and health care in the North at the same time. neither of those things are going to happen. There is no political will.

    Now, please, no one cares what the NDP thinks? Not so. some of us do. Today’s social programs were first advocated for by the CCF/NDP

  • 52 nonconfidencevote // Mar 3, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    @#49 BMCQ

    You’re not going to get much arguement from me.
    I’d say that the United States version of “3 strikes your out” Law is a tad harsh but when we have the same offenders in front of a judge 40, 50 , 100 times? Enough.

    (Edited…off topic. h.o.)

  • 53 Lew // Mar 3, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    As you say Harvey, you wrote about this last May, and since then the situation has actually worsened. The intractable problem of drug addiction always at the center of these discussions has been with us for much longer than that. There has to be political will to effect any meaningful change and so far there has been no outcry large enough from the voting public to drive the politicians to any focused effort beyond grandstanding.

    Last election the BC Liberals included this, and only this, on page 64 of their election platform: “Recognize that additional addiction services are required in the province and work with provincial health authorities and the not-for-profit sector to create an additional 500 addiction spaces by 2017.” No $ were allocated in “New priorities platform costing” on page 84.
    https://www.poltext.org/sites/poltext.org/files/plateformes/bc2013lib_plt.pdf

    The NDP’s platform said this, and only this, on page 21 of theirs:
    “Enhance treatment and outreach services for children and youth, and renew funding for Community Action Initiatives to provide mental health and addiction outreach services.” $45 million was allocated on costing on page 53.
    https://www.poltext.org/sites/poltext.org/files/plateformes/bcndp2013_plt.pdf

    Neither party had the issue as anywhere near a priority.

    A Province news article announcing the creation of a centre for substance abuse contained this regarding the 500-space promise:
    “In terms of publicly funded addiction treatment beds in B.C., the numbers are in flux. The premier promised to have 500 additional beds by 2017, yet information provided by the Provincial Health Services Authority, which oversees the majority of them, currently lists 162 available to people with combined addiction and mental health problems.” Note this is space available, and since there were at least some existing at the time of the promise, it’s possible none have been added. The NDP claims there are actually less spaces for youth now than when the promise was made.
    http://theprovince.com/news/local-news/b-c-aims-to-streamline-addiction-treatment-as-evidence-grows-for-case-specific-therapy

    Meanwhile, Vancouver’s fine mayor is pointing fingers:
    http://www.vancourier.com/opinion/vancouver-mayor-blames-province-for-war-on-the-poor-1.10681189

    But will the fairly recent introduction of Fentanyl and Carfentanil to the drug scene be a change maker? Have we been making enough noise to get some serious attention? Will it force the politicians to act in more meaningful and cooperative ways? There may be a hint in the respective platforms for this election.

    If neither gives it high priority we can expect more of the same, and not just on Granville.

    (Response: I agree we should do more to help the homeless, , those with mental issues, those in financial stresses those from no fault of their own and those on drugs who WANT help. BUT I also believe it’s a sign of incompetence to locate so many of those facilities and services in such proliferation along both sides and so close to a struggling retail core avenue… ridiculous in fact. Even a deliberate insult and abuse of people who invest their life savings in stores/outlets in the area and hire hundreds of workers. h.o)

  • 54 13 // Mar 3, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    @eaf

    Your willingness to pay more in taxes , some might find noble. Personally I think that increasing our level of taxation and expecting to achieve any level of success is naive to the extreme. All 3 levels of government in this country waste tax dollars at alarming rates.
    The problem with judges that will not sentence
    criminals properly and parole boards that see fit to put Vincent Lee back on the street are not going to act any different because we pay more tax. If you feel the need to throw cash at the problem may I suggest donating to the Union Gospel Mission. (we do). They do incredible work and they dont have a defined pension plan.
    @guy in vic
    Im curious to know what the solution is that you claim to have that the bleeding hearts are standing in the way of.

  • 55 BMCQ // Mar 3, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Lew – 53

    You have pointed out several unkept pledges by different unkep Political Party Platform Promises/Pledges.

    Unfortunately many Pledges from Campaigning Political Parties are only talk and never materialize after Election Victories.

    Sadly I think we in ALL of B.C. Are suffering from the affects of an Activist VANCOUVER Mayor Gregor that seems intent on inviting Drug Addled Criminal Felons to Vancouver from every other Province in Canada to take up residence in Government Housing while at the same time taxing too many other Government Services.

    We then see the result of that manifest itself in other B.C. Cities when those Criminal Felons spread out like seeds blowing in the wind.

    We need to demand that Vancouver Mayor stop inviting those unneeded and unwanted Criminal Felons to Vancouver and at the same time demand he use the hard earned Tax Dollars from Vancouver Residents to take action restoring Downtown Vancouver back to what the good people of the YVR deserve.

    At the same time the Province needs to deport those same Felons back to their Home Provinces to Face the Justice System.

    NonCon – 53

    You make a very valid point, somewhere between 3 Strikes and 70 Strikes our Justice Sysrem and our ridiculous Activist Judges must find a point where they take
    Life Long Drug Addled Repeat Prolific Offenders and get them off the street.

    Hard working Tax Paying Law Abiding Canadians deserve much better!

    e.a.f. -52

    It should be very obvious to anyone that wants to see the caraage playing out on our streets that we have been going the wrong direction for far far too long.

    It is long past time to begin to take our Cities and Streets back, Jail Offenders, get the Drug Addled into Treatment, and demand more from our Justice System and Judges.

    We cannot continue having the silly Serious Discussions talked about Silly Activist Politicians like Mayor Gregor and PM Justin, it is time for them to put on their “Big Boy Pants” Roll Up Their Sleeves and get to Work!

    We have had Enough Talking, it is time to show Canadians why they were Elected!

    As the man once said to Kevin Costner

  • 56 BMCQ // Mar 3, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    ‘Build it and they will come”

  • 57 e.a.f. // Mar 4, 2017 at 12:41 am

    I wrote I’d be willing to pay more taxes if it was to provide care to deal with the issues, not toss money around. My point was/is that many simply are not wishing to see any increase in taxes to deal with social issues. It might be required. now in this province, there is enough money, it just goes elsewhere. As we saw on tonight’s news some major hospitals are very short staffed when it comes to nurses in the ER so to expect extra beds for detox and rehab just is wishing for things which will never happen with this government.

    The fent. crisis was happening for quite awhile. I do recall the Chief Medical officer saying we had an emergency but the premier and her cabinet were silent. It wasn’t until it was on the news almost daily that people were dying that suddenly the premier started talking as if there were a problem but not doing enough. the little she promised just is a drop in the bucket.

    why that woman ever had the provincial gang task force broken up is beyond me. they were having some success and suddenly they were gone.

    When things go wrong in society, it must be working for some one, most likely not the voters or the people who had shops on Granville St., but the problem is working for some one. You can’t have this many people dying from drug over doses and still not having a provincial government act like its a really, really big problem.

    wanting the federal government to declare a health emergency is just trying to pass the problem on. B.C. has the money. It has a $2B surplus. Christy just doesn’t want to use it for social programs or policing to deal with the drug issue or have more court staff or jails or rehab. There will more more Granville Sts in the province and that is the tragedy. Not only for those condemning themselves to this life but to the shop owners who try to run a business and make some thing happen.

    to all those parents who think their kids are getting into drugs, pay some attention. worrying doesn’t get it done. you have to invest time in your kids. letting them go out every night, etc. is easy for you, but you just don’t have a clue about what your kids are up to.

  • 58 Edgar // Mar 4, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    @ D. M. Johnston
    I agree with you on the division between urban planning communities as to how to best achieve density and how to develop transportation corridors but I think we can agree that the SFU group and the current developers have control and are better at promoting their views with government and through the media. Harcourt had a column in the Sun today.

    I believe this would be a mistake to think continued densification is going to address our economic and social problems in either the short or long term. For the average working British Columbia BC’s economy has been on a steady downward trajectory. BC’s per capita income has gone from being 8% greater than the Canadian GPI in 1975 to currently (2014 figures) having 3 out of 4 Census Metropolitan Areas with a median income below the Canadian average. Abbotsford-Mission has the second lowest median income in Canada out of 30 CMA’s, only Trois-Rivieres is lower. Victoria is the only CMA in BC that is high than the Canadian one but $16,000 lower than Calgary’s and $6,000 lower than Saskatoon’s median income. Both with substantially lower costs of living. Vancouver has the 7th lowest median income in Canada, $3,000 below the Canadian median income. This is all available from Stats Canada.

    This is my way of saying the physical and personal security problems on Granville may be fixed by redevelopment but I personal don’t believe densification will fix the problems of economic inequality – whatever the cause, these problems will simply be shifted to another region of the city or the GVRD.

    Whether go or bad I will leave it to others to judge but our only national and provincial strategy for economic development at this time appears to be population growth. Canada now leads the G7 in population growth. At this period in time it may been better than no strategy at all but on past evidence it is not likely to provide us with the means to address our social problems. With respect to transportation Vancouver always seems to make the wrong decisions as compared to other Canadian cities. In Montreal you can now travel across the entire region either by rail or metro.
    By way of interest on densification a quick Google search indicates while population and land mass numbers differ the GVRD is now as densely populated as London.

    Great discuss piece h.o.

    (Response: I really enjoy when we get a good discussion of issues and points of view going … on topic hopefully … after I blog. Wait till you see the next one ….should get another good one going! :) h.o)

  • 59 Lew // Mar 4, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    http://www.innercityyouth.ca/about/partners/
    1260 Granville Street
    Partnership between St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation and Covenant House. Operated by St. Paul’s. Support from BC Housing, BC Provincial Government and its partners on the Provincial Health Action Plan. Research program in partnership with the Institute of Mental Health at the University of British Columbia.

    http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/gathering-place-community-centre.aspx
    609 Helmcken Street
    Run by City of Vancouver. Relies on volunteers to fill many roles, and on financial support from donors to fund programs. Programs and services would not be possible without volunteers and donors. Serves vulnerable populations, including people on lower income, people with disabilities, seniors, people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, the LGBTQ community, youth, and people who are homeless.

    http://directionsyouthservices.ca
    1138 Burrard St.
    A division of Family Services of Greater Vancouver. Board of Directors here: http://www.fsgv.ca/about/ They don’t look like poverty pimps to me.
    Wide range of services for vulnerable youth in need 13-24 years old, including medical, alcohol/drug issues and detox program for youth.

    Are these really the folks people should be suggesting are responsible for exacerbating the problems on Granville Street?

    Or should it be these folks?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sarah-miller2/bc-surplus_b_7821072.html

  • 60 hawgwash // Mar 5, 2017 at 5:59 am

    “Most that are Mentally Ill would never experience any kind of Mental Illness if they lived a normal life with no consumption of Hard Drugs.”

    Mr. Q.
    I just cannot get passed that sentence without thinking about people such as Corey Hirsch, Patrick Burke, Robin Williams and many, many, others whom we only know of because of their public lives. How many tortured souls, unknown to us, suffer greatly or have left this place?

    All, I’m sure you would say, “lived a normal life with no consumption of Hard Drugs.”

    It doesn’t take a very deep dig into the world drugs and mental health to understand that, in the case of dual diagnosis, knowing which came first is far beyond any brains this blog has to offer.

    You, MR. Q, are not even close to being a mental health specialist or you would constantly remind us and I have yet to read that bit of your CV.

    There are many people on the streets of Vancouver and most other cities, living with mental illness without benefit of hard drugs.

    They also live among us, just one circumstance away from the street where they MAY then succumb to substance abuse.

  • 61 nonconfidencevote // Mar 5, 2017 at 8:50 am

    @#59 Lew

    Your final link to the “Huff Po” was a great read.

    Well done.

  • 62 BMCQ // Mar 5, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I believe it is widely accepted that over $ 1 Million Dollars of Tax Payers Money is injected (no pun intended) into the Hastings DES, Granville Strip and other challenged neighbourhoods of Vancouver proper each and every day of the year.

    I also believe the vast majority and people that work in various Agencies that take services to those same areas do a masterful and caring job delivering those many services.

    I also believe that for the most part the People that live in those neighbourhoods, the poor, Elderly, Drug Addled, Alcoholic, Mentally Ill and others benefit greatly from the work performed by those various Agencies and their dedicated staffs.

    I still am adamant there are poverty Pimps like Mayor Gregor, Meggs, the rest of their Visionite Minions, people like Townsend, Swanson, Davies, Kwan, and so many others past and present that take advantage of the system and hard working Tax Payers and build their own Empires and benefit greatly themselves.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ndp-mla-jenny-kwan-s-disneyland-trip-paid-by-vancouver-charity-1.2581039

    I know far too many on this Blog are more than happy to deny the facts, but even the “Pin Ball Wizard” of “The Who” Fame himself could not be unaware of what took place then and even now!!

    Come on people a little honesty here!

    http://globalnews.ca/news/1224678/8-red-flags-from-the-portland-hotel-society-audit/

    Let’s at least make an attempt to be somewhat honest and recognize the facts, please!

    I own every single share of my Companies, we are very successful, I travel World Wide and I would never ever think about spending anything close to what the local Poverty Pimps spend when they use Tax Payers Dollars to Finance Dinners, Hotels Limo’s, and the rest either locally or during Travel.

    This is FRAUD and this is THEFT!!

    I defy anyone on this Blog to justify this abuse of Tax Payers Money!! and do not come back at me about the Basi/Virk deal, I am already on record saying that there should have been a Special Prosecutor on that case and there should have been jail time for many.

    The Federal Government, the Province of B.C., and the City of Vancouver put Hundreds of Millions of Dollars into the discussed areas each year and the Tax payers are being taken advantage of and it is grossly unfair and in fact it is Illegal, it is Fraud, and it is Theft, no matter how Apologists on the Harvey Blog wish to Spin it!!

    FAct Checkers I am sure will be quick to point out that the VAST Amount of the Funding that is injected into Downtown Vancouver comes from the Hard Working Tax payer of B.C. and through the Liberal Government YOU ALL here love to Vilify every chance you get!

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/half-of-downtown-eastside-homeless-residents-are-from-out-of-town-study/article28069065/

    Vancouver Mayor Gregor wonders out loud why Homelessness has not be eradicated, he muses out loud, “We do not understand why there are still 18oo Homeless People on our Streets when we have invested in more than over 10,000 SRO’s over the past 6 years”?

    Even My Golden Doodle Buck has a better understanding than Mayor Gregor as to why we have a problem building enough Social Housing for our Drug Addled and Criminal out of Town Guests!!

    Has anyone thought to tell him that the reasons the numbers are growing is because he is acting like a Greeter at a cheap Las Vegas ALL Day $5.00 Buffet inviting and welcoming anyone and everyone from any Country in the World or any other part of Canada to “Come on Down”!!

    Don’t you think that might give him a bit of a clue as to why the numbers of Guests are climbing astronomically?

    Just wait until up to 1 Million Convicted Felons from that originated in many World Countries come to Canada and Vancouver in particular from the U.S. rather than face Deportation back to their Home Countries like Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Turkey, Syria, France, Venezuela, and so many others.

    Here is what you might expect.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS-13

    And please do not be surprised when your PM Justin and Mayors like Gregor greet them with open arms.

    By the time Justin and Gregor and you The Great unwashed” realize what they have unleashed onus it will be far too late!

    Just like The EU!

  • 63 e.a.f. // Mar 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    LEW, NICE RESPONSE!

    the organizations you list are the ones making up the difference between what the government ought to be doing and what people need to improve their lives!

  • 64 BMCQ // Mar 5, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Hawg – 60

    So you are rejecting the published
    Reports about Drug Induced Psychosis/

    If so that could well mean that ALL that read this Blog and others could do the same for ant Published Report Posted including the Huff Post recently attached by your friend Lew who for some silly reason now refuses t address me by my BMCQ or at least a BM or even a Q.

    Then where would we be?

    The attachments speak for themselves.

    Do not know much about Hirsch or Burke but I certainly have sympathies for the Burke Family and respect Hirsh for presenting himself the way he has, more people of notoriety should do similar.

    As to Robin Williams, I do not know the History but I do know WILLIAMS was well known to be a huge user of many different Illegal Drugs.

    My wife’s oldest Sister works in the Film Industry and she knew WILLIAMS very well and said he was quite often two different people but a wonderful warm person. I suppose you will reject that comment.

    FYI – I clearly stated that there are far too many people on the Street that are first Mentally I’ll and then fall into the Drug Death Spiral, my own Sister and my Wife’s Sister fit that definition.

    One became Mentally Ill and Died, the other became Mentally and now lives in a Dream World, si,pile facts.

    As to my qualifications? So now ALL Posters are required to provide Proof Of various Degrees each time they Post?

    BTW, your OWN last line in Post 60 makes my own point quite nicely, you and others may want to re-read that again, it could be the most important message for any one individual of any age contemplating becoming involved in Drug use of any kind!

    In closing I would like to suggest that when Harvey has his “Keeping It Real” BBQ this Summer I want him to seat me at the same Table as you, Bean, Aghast, and Lew, I think we would get along very well!

  • 65 Harry lawson // Mar 5, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    The passions are evident in people’s positions, all I know is what we are doing does not work.

    We need to get back to the basics.

    1/ enforce the laws send people to jail, ensure rehab as part of the justice system from all levels of the system.

    2/ have all mental health treatment programs brought back in house by the ministry of health.to much is contracted out to service providers .
    Regretfully not all service providers are ethical, or effective. There is virtually no effective client complaint procedure with non profit providers.

    My opinions are based on over 30 years working in advocacy with people with disabilities, more than 14. Years as a board member and ,or committee member of major non profit service providers. I would urge anyone to observe their local criminal courts for a period of time,it truly is a eye opener.

    If anything ,I hope this great blog discussion will result in an effective change.

    This is not about ideology .this is about fixing human misery. That is the one choice that we all can make.

  • 66 13 // Mar 5, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    @65 Mr Lawson

    “weve got to get back to basics”
    The rest of your short essay is dead on point. Sadly the people currently in charge of this misery are not committed to back to basics. Gregor and Justin are both failed social engineers.
    Your suggestion to spend a day in a court house and observe our justice system in action(oxymoron) is probably the best suggestion Ive seen on the blog in some time.

  • 67 Lew // Mar 6, 2017 at 9:20 am

    @13:
    Interesting that you name Gregor and Justin as the culprits in charge here, and by inference suggest someone named Christy or Gordon has no responsibility. You omitted for some reason those actually in charge of the level of government that contracts out too many of the services with no effective complaint process as Mr. Lawson suggests. The level that closed 24 out of 68 courthouses, 10 jails, 85 per cent of legal aid offices, and are responsible for cases being thrown out of court because of delays and severe shortage of staff, especially sheriffs. And the level that appoints the judges to the court hearing most of these cases.

    Shouldn’t Christy at least get a mention, and be rewarded in the voting booth for her efforts on this matter you hold so important?

  • 68 e.a.f. // Mar 6, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Like this is Trudeau’s fault, get a grip. they guy hasn’t been in office for two years and the B.C. Lieberals have been there since 2001.

    As to Mayor Moonbeam, its not his responsibility. As much as I don’t care for him, and he is in my opinion on the right track at least the guy tried to put a roof over people’s heads while the B.C. Lieberal government did NOTHING! this mess can be laid at the door of the B.C. Lieberals. When the B.C. Medical officer said there was a medical emergency what did Christy Clark do? NOTHING. It took months for her to say anything and that was only after the children of middle class families were dying.

    Now BMCQ, why can’t I join you with Lew and et al?

  • 69 BMCQ // Mar 6, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    E.a.f. – 68

    You are welcome to join us as long as you take my side in the Food Fight!

    Please keep in mind that the B.C. Government and Minister Rich Coleman have created more Social Housing than any other Federal Or Provincial or Municipal Government in B.C. History, it is well documented and until the recent beginning of the Provincial Election Campaign Mayor Gregor acknowledged that fact.

    Is not Politics Fun? It brings out the best in people, don’t you think?

  • 70 BMCQ // Mar 7, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Today March 7 2017 is the Official Vancouver Homeless Count.

    What will results be?

    I would like to recommend that Mayor Gregor, his “Visionite” Minions, every single one of the Non-Profits,the Provincial Government, the Federal Government, B.C. Judges, and each and every Single Tax Payer read the results of that Official Count and then quickly come to the “Keeping It Real Blog” and find out just what is really taking place in Vancouver Hastings DES, and Granville Strip and the rest of the City.

    Not everyone that Posts on this Blog have agreed in all opinions on this particular subject but there is plenty of information in the 70 or so Posts already up that Politicians, Judges, and Bureaucrats could at least begin to see what the real problems are in those areas.

    We have had enough Studies, it is long time to quite talking and begin to make changes that actually mean something.

  • 71 13 // Mar 7, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Your right Lew . I regretted my blanket endorsement of Mr Lawsons post after I sent it. Good for you for catching it.
    My vision of bringing mental health care back inhouse would be to follow the mayor of Coquitlams suggestion of reopening Riverview and creating a world class facility for treatment and research of mental illness.
    As far as attending court . My hope would be for the public to see how far left the judiciary has moved and how soft on crime we have become. Activist judges and a legal system bogged down by process fueled by bureaucracy gone wild.

  • 72 Harry lawson // Mar 7, 2017 at 10:47 am

    A clarification on what I mean by bringing services back in house. I am saying that all funded mental health services be carried out by the ministry of health. It has to do with the quality and accountability of the service not with the bricks and mortar, services should be available in every community and every neighborhood. As mental health and addictings neither recognizes location or socioeconomic status

  • 73 Lew // Mar 7, 2017 at 10:52 am

    @13:

    Yes, the suggestions for Riverview should be examined at the very least as one of the options for a facility to help those who are at the point of recognizing they need help. Too often when that rare point arrives, individuals are faced with a waiting list for scarce facilities and have relapsed by the time help is available.

    Hard to get any sense of committed direction from these articles:

    http://globalnews.ca/video/2408714/riverview-hospital-to-reopen-in-2017

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Reopening+Riverview+Hospital+answer/8964824/story.html

    I’ve been snagged by jury duty a couple of times and watching and being impacted by scheduling issues was maddening. I think the law provides sufficient room for judges to send a message; they just aren’t doing it in a lot of cases. But although some of the repeat offenders might look at probable sentence and balance the risk to some extent, addiction will always trump any rational thought, and the message sent through stiffer sentences might not get through. It’s a very complex issue, and not as easy as just locking up non-violent offenders for lengthy periods. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world (about six times higher than ours) and the drug problem there is just as serious as it is here.

    Drug addiction is at the root of a very high percentage of crime, and targeting that addiction through jail time has not proven to work. I’d like to see very high sentences for drug dealers, especially the ones that aren’t addicted, and very high effort made by society to tackle drug addiction through other measures than jail time. In short, I see addiction as a very serious illness, and exploiting that illness as a very serious crime.

  • 74 BMCQ // Mar 7, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Harry – 65

    Interesting Post.

    (Edited… off topic. h.o)

  • 75 BMCQ // Mar 7, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I thought I was on topic because the actions of the Judges, the Courts, the Criminal Lawyers and the Accused have in my opinion a direct affect on the Hastings DES and the Granville Mall.

    I suppose poor Harry will think I slagged him when in fact I found his commentary interesting and insightful and thought it would be interesting to learn more.

    I thought this had been a very good discussion and I am puzzled how my Post is off Topic.

    Having said that I acknowledge this is your Blog and………………

    But then what do I know?

    Is Bean ever of topic when he does nothing but attack anyone that has any kind of a Conservative thought or opinion?

    What has he ever contributed to this Blog?

    (Response: Don’t be elitist. Everyone who writes contributes to this blog, even when others may disagree with them. I try to be generous but your questions to Harry in my view were TOTALLY off topic of the Granville mall. h.o)

  • 76 BMCQ // Mar 8, 2017 at 7:14 am

    I suppose you and I see this differently.

    As I said, it is your Blog.

    I agree, you are very generous If any of us happen to veer off topic and yes I must admit I can be guilty of that more than most.

    Thank you.

  • 77 e.a.f. // Mar 8, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Lew 73, yes that about sums up my opinion in far fewer words than I use.

    Norway has a much more progressive system and we might want to look at that. The American system sure hasn’t worked. They have more people in prison than Communist China.

    It might help if we “front load” social services so that kids don’t move into drugs

  • 78 Lew // Mar 11, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Did someone say something about poverty pimps?

    http://thebreaker.news/news/4257/