Jean Swanson responds to Province editorial “The sooner the DTES is fixed up the better”

Poor bashing editorial published by the Province Newspaper
“The best thing that could happen to the DTES is already happening — it’s being cleaned up….[with] the most expensive real estate in Canada.”

Consider writing a response: provletters@png.canwest.com

Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 1:49 PM
Subject: letter to the editor
To: provletters

Dear Editor,

Re: your editorial on “cleaning up” the Downtown Eastside

Coming from the Downtown Eastside where caring and working for social justice are fundamental community values, it is hard to comprehend your editorial.

No one in the DTES is arguing for the status quo. DTES residents desperately want and need social housing, more treatment facilities, and policies about drug use that are based on health and human rights principles.

The Sequel condo proposal will promote gentrification that will push out current residents from the neighbourhood where they do have some services and housing (much of it deplorable, true) and a community that cares about them. No one knows where they will be able to go. The city has promised “no displacement” of current residents. The low income community is working extremely long hours to try to make this happen. Sensationalist editorials that stereotype neighbourhood residents don’t contribute to a rational outcome.

Yours truly,

Jean Swanson