Mass evictions by notorious slumlord prompt call for overhaul of BC’s tenancy system.
For Immediate Release, May 1, 2013
Surrey - Residents of Kwantlen Park Manor apartment building who received eviction notices last month have joined forces with legal organizations and tenants’ rights organizations to call on the province to strengthen protections against unfair evictions and other unscrupulous practices by landlords.
Vancouver - Pivot Legal Society will be holding a press conference this morning to announce the release of "Know Your Rights" cards for people interacting with private security guards. The publication of the cards comes after years of conflict between private security guards and marginalized people in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. The cards will help residents better understand their rights and what they can do when their rights have been violated
Vancouver- On June 12, 2013, Canada’s highest court will hear the case of Attorney General of Canada, et al. v. Terri Jean Bedford, et al. and will be asked to rule on the constitutionality of Canada’s prostitution laws. Sex Workers United Against Violence Society (SWUAV), PACE Society (PACE) and Pivot Legal Society (Pivot) have filed for leave to intervene in the case in order to ensure that the voices and realities of street-based sex workers in the Downtown Eastside inform a decision that will have profound implications for sex workers across the country.
Vancouver - Pivot and the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) have filed a complaint against the VPD after it was discovered that 95% of some By-Law offences have been enforced exclusively in the Downtown Eastside. The statistics, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, show that 1448 tickets were given out in the Downtown Eastside under s. 66 of the Street and Traffic Bylaw over the last four years, with the next closest neighbourhood, the Downtown Core, receiving only 28. Residents continue to report widespread use of the Street and Traffic By-Law provisions by VPD, as well as the Street Vending and Health By-Laws.
Methadone patients excluded from provincial meeting launch ‘rights cards’
For immediate release – January 28, 2013
Richmond, BC - Today representatives of the provincial health authorities and addictions researchers are meeting at the Executive Airport Plaza in Richmond for an event they describe as “an important discussion on how to improve Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) in British Columbia." However, the voices of those actually receiving methadone are conspicuously absent from this provincial meeting. Only one representative from the provincial methadone users’ group was invited, and that was a last-minute addition in the face of pressure from methadone patients. That is why a provincial methadone users group is choosing today release a new “rights card” for MMT patients.
Vancouver- The Province of British Columbia is falling behind other jurisdictions when it comes to criminal justice system innovation in the area of violence against women according to a new report released today.
The report, Imagining Courts that Work for Women Survivors of Violence, which comes in the midst of the BC Justice Reform Initiative and less than two months after the new Provincial Office of Domestic Violence released its preliminary action plan, makes the case that British Columbia’s justice system is at a critical juncture on the path to developing an effective system response to violence against women.
“Despite repeated commitments to addressing violence against women, government has not done enough to engage the anti-violence sector or the community organizations that support women navigating the justice system every day,” says the report’s lead author, Darcie Bennett of Pivot Legal Society. “That is why we are calling on government to make the most of the Justice Reform Initiative by developing partnerships with women’s organizations and community-based agencies that have a wealth of expertise to contribute to project of ‘modernizing’ BC's justice system.”
Vancouver– On Thursday, November 22, 2012, which is National Housing Day across Canada, Pivot Legal Society is filing a lawsuit in the British Columbia Supreme Court on behalf of the homeless. The civil suit challenges the constitutionality of three Vancouver by-laws that prohibit sleeping outdoors on streets, parks, and other City property. The by-laws also prohibit a person from erecting a shelter against the elements.
Vancouver - A new report that labels the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry (MWCI) a failure has been released by three leading BC human rights organizations just weeks before the Commissioner delivers his final report to the Attorney General of BC. The report describes lessons that can be taken from the process that shut out fifteen groups who had been granted standing at the Inquiry, and was picketed for weeks by the very women who it was intended to support.
October 25, 2012
Vancouver- Today, the Supreme Court of Canada announced that it will hear the federal government’s appeal in the case of Attorney General of Canada, et al. v. Terri Jean Bedford, et al. The Court also agreed to hear the cross-appeal filed by Terri Jean Bedford, Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott, the applicants in the case.
Bedford, Lebovitch and Scott initiated this case in 2007, asking the court to strike down s.210 (keeping common bawdy houses), s.212(1)(j) (living on the avails of prostitution) and s.213(1)(c) (communicating for the purpose of prostitution) because those provisions violate sex workers’ constitutional right to liberty, safety and freedom of expression.
For immediate release- October 2, 2012
Vancouver- The 10th Annual Hope in Shadows Calendar will be launched this morning at a community celebration in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
For a decade, Hope in Shadows has been changing lives in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside by providing residents with opportunities to represent their community, build skills, and earn meaningful income. In that time, over 30,000 compelling photos of the Downtown Eastside have been captured on the single-use cameras distributed as part of the Hope is Shadows photography contest each June.
This morning at 10:30am, Downtown Eastside residents, photographers and calendar vendors will gather at the Carnegie Community Centre as awards are presented to the winners of this year’s photo contest. The event will culminate with the unveiling of the landmark 2013 Hope in Shadows Calendar.
After the event, photographers and photo subjects will be on hand to
share the stories behind some of this year’s top images