Saturday, December 26, 2009

To DERA members: There is a Meeting of Directors for DERA/DERAHS at 6:30 p.m. at 251Union Street January 12 2010. If you can't attend please let me know if you want anything to be brought to the attention of the Board, please let me know. See contact information above.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My sabbatical is now over. This past week three things happened that I feel the members of DERA and the community at large should know about.
  • I attended at a quickly called board meeting of DERA. We were told that it was closed to members. Only two items were on the agenda; one was payment of an account; and the other the status of the elevators in one of the buildings. Both of these were not in any way to my way of thinking confidential. From my readings around the Society Act the only thing that stands out that should be confidential is the negotiations around the hiring of an employee and the negotiations around contracts.
  • On Thursday I attended a meeting with the VPD and BCH and we were told that the Assistance to Shelter Act (on the street known as the Kidnapping Act) is legislated only during extreme weather alerts (a few days a year): 2006-2007 39 nights and 2007-2008 28 nights And, most importantly, the policy of the VPD will be not to use force. The ASA states that the police may use force and VPD decided that means that the VPD has a policy not to use force.
  • On Thursday afternoon I attended at the Law Library and the clerk directed me to a Report by the BC Law Institute - a 500 page document that has been in the process for years, to create a New Society Act. As I glanced over it I was disturbed over some of the sections. If any of you have had gone ballistic experiences with a non-profit or charity please let me know.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I am taking a sabbatical for a short time from DERA or until I hear something that makes me go ballistic.

I had a ballistic experience happen to me this evening December 3 2009 with the police and a woman from False Creek estates. You do something good and the next thing I know I am bombarded with three police cars and five police officers threatening to arrest me for stealing a dog. I thought I was doing a responsible thing by taking the doggie home as it was abandoned in front of Save On Foods at Cambie down from Broadway. It was tied to a railing. The poor doggie was shivering and cold and there was no one watching him and he was there out in the open for a long time and anyone could have taken it. I left my contact numbers at Save on Foods and took the doggie home. I do not have a car so it took me close to three hours to walk home. Dogs are not allowed on buses. Ann had my phone number and email number so why was it necessary for the cops to cater to her hysterial cries unless she is someone important. It was Ann who abandoned her dog while she was apparently shopping. As soon as I got home I telephoned Ann as she had left a message and she said her husband was going to come and pick up the doggie. Instead the swat team arrived because now they had my address. This poor excuse for an irresponsible human being is named Ann Anstee. For four hours the VPD was involved in this crime; whoever is in charge of the police district at Cambie/Broadway should be investigated for allowing this waste of public funding. Doesn't anyone have any common sense outthere. One of the officer's badge number was 2590. Also for the education of the general public, it is line officers that make the decision to send five cops to apprehend a dog; they don't get it approved by a senior officer. These young officers make stupid costly decisions. While the police were at my place I was holding the dog in my arms and Pepper was kissing me. The dog took an instant like to me as though it was starving for affection. The doggie smelled as though it didn't have a bath for a long time and it was skinny, like it wasn't fed very well. Leaving a doggie or a child unattended on the street should be a capital offense. In any event I won't give the police the doggie and then they threatened me with possession of stolen property. I told them I won't give them the dog as I had already made arrangement with the dog's owner that the husband was going to show up and when the husband showed up I told the police I wanted proof of who he was. The police said that isn't the way it works. I told the police to get out of my place or charge me with stealing the doggie and they refused to do either. When the husband arrived, they grabbed the dog and told the husband to run with it and he did. It was comical this overweight middle aged man running down the street holding a doggie being guarded by five police officers from a fat petite old woman on pension as if she would be capable of doing anything. Just for the record, I already have a dog and I don't need another one. At least my doggie won't let any stranger near him. Pepper would go with anyone.

Earlier in the evening I was speaking to a neighbour and he did not understand why I was so upset over the fact that the DERA executive director who is not elected fired so many employees because he is the one who hired them. Am I to assume the E/D has bad judgment when he hires them. Sometimes I do not explain the obvious. DERA has no assets except human assets --people that believe in what DERA should stand for. Therefore if these dedicated people leave then what is left: not much. And who at DERA condones firing? It is condoned by the President of DERA who to the best of my knowledge has been a director/president for close to ten years, who believes such firing are okay for the greater good. Greater good of what. I do not know. And the other directors have no opinion.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I went to Solheim Place 27 November 2009 at 5:30 to 6:30 to greet anyone who did not receive word that DERA cancelled the impeachment. Again DERA in its indifference to members did not post a sign that the meeting was cancelled. What unprofessional impeachable conduct.
During the day I also came across two more former employees of DERA who told me that both of them were fired by Kim and they walked as they did not want to deal with his paranoid behavior. DERA has only 17 employees and it would seem reasonable that one employee a year would leave, not waves. The first flag of mismanagement is turnover of staff and DERA disposes of staff continuously. I still cannot understand why the Board does not question Kim's staffing decisions. It is totally irresponsible.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Impeachment 27 November 2009 Cancelled

There was a sign posted on the DERA window at 12 East Hastings yesterday late afternoon (November 26, 2009) advising that the impeachment meeting on November 27th 2009 was cancelled by DERA. As I was not officially notified by the President earlier (not even with an email) I spent all day handing out fliers on the street and meeting members in the DTES asking them to attend. It wasn't a waste of time as I spoke to a lot of people in the neighbourhood: it made me feel good. But at the end of the day I was exhausted. Democracy is hard work.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

See above blog for more information about DERA from March/April 2009....
use blog search for "DERA"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This is to remind you that the impeachment is on Friday November 27th 2009 at 251 Union Street 9th Floor (gore/union/hastings/georgia viaduct northside) at 6:00 p.m. The boundaries of DERA include the DTES and Upper Granville (clarke/8th avenue/burrard/waterfront). Hope all of you can attend. Remember this isn't about misconduct of a director it is about exposing DERA's mismanagement and its continuing disregard for the law like not giving financial records to directors and access to membership lists.
Addendum 21 November 2009: The fifth reason for my expulsion is for "denouncing DERA publicly including recently at a public seminar put on by Canada Revenue and Tax Services."
Ruth a wanabe DERA employee told Kim that I was there. I asked her for a statement from her of what she told Kim but she has refused to give it to me. The seminar leader said everything in the seminar was confidential so what did she do. So much for confidentiality. I reported on the seminar in this blog earlier.

This whole thing is nothing more than a harassment exercise by Kim to make me resign from the Board like he has done to other directors and many many employees who questioned his archaic management practices. Kim has made it well known that he is in control of DERA and the directors and staff do whatever he wants. Kim should be a mentor not a dictator; he does not know how to work in a dynamic democratic social enterprise.

This is a textbook classic in how a non-profit should not operate. However, I hope my impeachment brings some awareness that the Societies Act has to change. Non-profits cannot continue to be unregulated. The Society Act Registry only files documents; it does not vet them. So there must be thousands of illegal constitutions and bylaws outthere. Non-profits have to be standardized so that we all know how they operate.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Addendum: November 20, 2009. My alledged unprofessional conduct went so far as to publicize personal attacks on the executive-director. I asked for details of these attacks last weekend from the Board and so far I have heard nothing. If I did say anything then I verily believe whatever I said was true. And if not I ask why didn't the executive-director or the Board immediatley bring it to my attention which would seem a rational way of dealing with any untrue allegation. Or are DERA directors under the obligation of not having an opinion and hiding from the members things they should be made aware of.

Addendum: November 20, 2009. Another example of my unprofessional conduct is me contacting the funders and asking them for their files (operating agreements) on DERA. From the beginning I have been asking for documentation from DERA and DERA refused to give anything to me. Under the Societies Act I am responsible apart from the other directors for the good-management of DERA. DERA did not give me information and it would follow that I would seek the information eleswhere and DERA knew I would do this. I was not successful as both of them told me to deal directly with Kim Kerr. The main purpose of directors is to make sure that DERA lives up to its contracts. But then, if the directors are not aware the terms of contracts how can they do their jobs.

I can only speculate that both the funders are protecting DERA as both of them knew a long time before I was elected that DERA was being mismanaged and did nothing and yet when a director (me) wanted to make sure DERA would be managed correctly they refused to give me documents which I consider public knowledge. The funders are BC Housing and the Law Foundation both government agencies that are suppose to be transparent.

Addendum: November 19, 2009. Another example of my shameful behavior is that I defaced the front windows of DERA. What nonsense. I have been been placing information on the front windows of DERA for years. Defacing means causing damage. I never damaged anything. Whatever I put on the windows was easily removed without damage. DERA is using straws to discredit me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Addendum 17 November 2009. I asked for a copy of the Constitution and Bylaws and a copy of the membership list. I sent the request to all of the directors and Kim Kerr last week. When I went to the office on Friday and Tuesday the documents were not there. Kim as well as each of the directors are again ignoring the Societies Act. If this went to court their refusal would be called contempt of court. Remember the impeachment hearing is on Friday, 27th of November 2009 at 6:00 p.m. at 251 Union Street 9th Floor.

Addendum 16 November 2009. I am reading the reasons for my impeachment. Apparently I am a threat as I have undermined the integrity of DERA. What a joke. From my election DERA prevented me from exercising my rights that I have as a Director. DERA is in direct violation of the Societies Act and yet it has the arrogance to say my behavior is not warranted. But then that is what DERA does, it violates laws and common decency and still wants to have integrity. This existing Board is an example of what a Board should not be. I still haven't gotten over the fact that last year Kim harassed ten employees to quit or he fired them outright and the Board did not finch.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Addendum November 15, 2009. I read the Notice of Meeting to Consider a Special Resolution to thrown me off the Board of DERA. DERA is true to its "harassment" reputation. I received an email from a member of DERA yesterday pleading with me to resign from DERA as I had to consider the 500 lives that are affected. This from a gent who previously supported me. Nothing can be any worse than how DERA is managed now. Being a director is a joke. If a director is prevented from receiving financial information, is prevented from talking to staff, and prevented from entering the DERA office but is only allowed to be abused by staff and the board, there is something terribly wrong. There is no avenue to protect the members from abuse or incompetence by staff. A director's job is to report to members and the community to make sure that the non-profit is well managed. A director's job isn't to sanction the Board with its continuing negligence. Remember if you are a resident of the DTES which includes the downtown core from Clark Drive to Burrard or if you are homeless you are entitled to vote at my impeachment and I ask that you do. I find it ironic that Director Susan Neeves in her self-righteousness accusing me of discussing things in public that occurred in board meetings when the board meetings are in fact open to the public.

Monday, November 9, 2009

How is this possible.

Addendum Novembert 14, 2009. At the meeting on November 12, 2009, one of the things that astounded me was when Chris Slater and Alex Burnip pulled out personal voice recorders. In previous meetings when I asked that all the meetings be recorded every director was against it. I wasn't sure why Chris and Alex did this but I was relieved because I dreaded another harsh verbal attack by them and I was hoping the recorders would keep them in line. Both Chris and Alex believe Kim Kerr is above the law and they would do anything to protect him. And yes Chris is an alcoholic and buys drugs on the street and Alex is a drug addict who get criminally violent on occasion. These are the dysfunctional directors who do Kim's bidding. And these directors can't claim that I am using their personal information as they and all the other directors elected themselves into a public position and what happens is at their peril. Even Kim's behaviour is open to inspection. The rule of non-profits is that they are suppose to be transparent, transparent, and transparent.

Addendum November 13, 2009. I was given the letter of the Special Resolution that I was to be expelled from DERA on November 27, 2009, signed by Patricia McSherry, the secretary of DERA who doesn't even know she is responsible for doing the minutes and looking after the membership list. What impressed me the most about Pat was a statement she made in answer to a potential litigation that she would worry about after it happens. Directors are suppose to worry about things before they happen. I asked yesterday that I be provided with a membership list and Kim refused to give it to me. I need the list so I can contact the members to explain my position and to make sure they vote. If I do not know who the members are so how can I defend myself. DERA is not playing fair and has broken the law from the day I was elected by not providing me information which I am legally entitled to.

Addendum November 12, 2009. There was a hasty meeting called wherein I was advised that I would be thrown off the DERA Board for unprofessional conduct. There will be a general meeting after I am given a list of the complaints either in two weeks or three weeks. I hope that each of you renew your memberships so that you can vote at the meeting : at 12 East Hastings. Unprofessional conduct sounds like something a nun would come up with. Do you want sugar with your tea. DERA is corrupt and instead of fixing up their image DERA is attacking me.

Addendun November 11, 2009. I attended an all day workshop yesterday paid for by Revenue Canada. Responsibilites of directors was the main topic as well as accounting for non-profits and charities.

I asked Richard Bridge, the lawyer giving the workshop, if a director was elected and found that a non-profit was in a governance mess was it the responsibility of the director to cleanup the mess. He said yes. Since I inherited the DERA mess and knew of rumours of mismanagement before I was elected, it is my legal duty as a director to clean it up. But the problem for me is how to do it. Since no lawyer so far wants to enter this fray, the only option I have is to appeal to the members of DERA who can demand change and the only way I can is to report to the members who are all those that live in the DTES via this blog, word-of-mouth, fliers, postering. Membership is open to anyone that lives in the DTES so why isn't there a stampede of the good people that live here to renew their memberships and make sure that DERA follows the rule-of-law. The DTES is full of people including Jim Green and Jean Swanson to PIVOT employees who reside here and know what is happening by nature of their politicalness. So where are they.


I just spoke to the woman who has been harassed for two years by an employee of DERA and instead of the harasser being fired she was. Although she was fired two weeks ago, she still hasn't been told why she was fired. During the past two years the executive-director fired or harassed ten employees to quit. There is something seriously wrong when there is only seventeen employees. Very interesting observation is that whenever he fires anyone confidentiality always comes up.

But then when the boss is a self-professed cocaine addict and with it comes a chemically induced bravado he does what he wants. It doesn't hurt when he is supported by a staff of poverty pimps (ex APCers) and directors who are indebted to him. And to top it all off: the government gives him $4/5million a year to "operate" DERA and DERAH.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Threat to sue DERA director by Sister Elizabeth Kelliher, President of DERA

I got a telephone call (7:30 p.m. October 20 2009) from the President of DERA advising me that the Board of the Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA) is going to sue me for defamation for sending emails to board members; the auditor; CUPE; paid staff (Kim Kerr); BC Housing; and the BC Law Foundation. Considering I am a director of DERA therefore part of the whole I do not know how DERA is going to pull that off. But then this is what DERA does threaten members/tenants/employees/directors into silence.

My defense to the alledged "defamation" is that none of the alledged plaintiffs are following the rule of law. I am a legally elected director of DERA responsible to the members and the taxpayers of the Province and the alledged plaintiffs all have refused to allow me access to documents as is legislated in the Societies Act.

I need this information so that I can do my job as a director to satisfy myself that DERA is well-managed and I told each of the alledged plaintiffs that I did not have confidence in the Board or the executive-director and if they refuse to release DERA information to me they are therefore parties to any wrongdoing that has happened or is happening at DERA.

The only one who did not refuse me information is the lawyer for DERA (Jason Gratl) who said it was my right to access his files and he made arrangements for me to review the DERA files he had.

None of the alleged plaintiffs seem to understand the legal concept that I am jointly and severally (separately) liable for whatever happens at DERA. This means that I am entitled to everything even the paper from the shredders to satisfy myself that DERA is well-managed and if they won't give it to me they are accessories in any wrongdoing.

Finally, the invisible are becoming visible (the motto of DERA) but it is the wrong invisible (not the poor) who are now becoming visible.

Directors named in previous post.

Posted Thursday 5 November 2009.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Report to Members

Addendum: November 4, 2009. Went to the board meeting yesterday. A member Rob Morgan, a former DERA board member was there and when I was verbally abused by a director he came to my rescue : what in hell was this director doing as I was a "little old lady" and no one was showing any respect towards me. The problem with the Board is that they all come from abusive backgrounds and those that have been abused abuse. In any event there was a board meeting but the executive director never showed and since he was to report on his activities the meeting was not very informative. I kept some notes and will comment on them later.

Another open board meeting has been called for Tuesday, November 3rd 2009 at Solheim Place 251 Union Street (Chinatown) 9th Floor at 6:30 p.m. Spread the word. These meetings are more entertaining than reality tv.604-685-9987

Addendum: October 31, 2009 (Saturday). I walked up Hastings towards Cambie to view the dressup costumes this evening. Everything was orderly. In front of the DERA office I spoke briefly to David Cunningham who told me I was wasting my time trying to find out why XXX was fired on Wednesday. I told him I was a director of DERA/DERAH and I have a right to know. David then told me that none of the the boards in the DTES have any power so what was the point of I knowing. Only paid staff have power. He mentioned he knew why XXX was fired but he would not tell me the reason. As he was talking to me he was throwing crumpled up paper towels (12 sheets) on the sidewalk in front of 16 East Hastings. I asked him to pick up the sheets but he refused. He has no respect for the lands of the Squamish people. The best part was he called the police to report me postering the windows at 12/16 Hastings. When the police officers arrived I was told I could be be charged with mischielf. I explained to the police that I was a director of DERA therefore I could not be charged. One of the police officers had a name tag called Chu. This whole DERA thing is getting stranger and stranger. Now the truth has come out that janitors are making policy and not the Board. David Cunningham is the son of Russell Cunningham. Russell Cunningham boasted even before XXX was fired to tenants that he was in line for XXX's job. XXX's job is the second highest position in DERA. In defense of XXX, XXX is a new Canadian, has worked all XXX's adult life in Canada, goes to Mexico once a year to visit XXX's aging mother, has three children all going to university (which is a real accomplishment in this day and age), XXX volunteers for the NDP during elections, XXX stands 4"8" weighs 140 pounds and XXX was transferred by Kim from a safe working building Solheim to the terror of DERA being Tellier. For what reason. I suspect to intimidate and harass so that XXX would resign.

Addendum: October 29, 2009 (Thursday). I received an email directed to all board members yesterday that the employee who was being harassed by a DERA employee for the past two years that he/she was fired by Kim Kerr, Executive Director, at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday. I immediately asked that the person be reinstated. The harasser should have been fired not the victim. Kim refused to tell her/him the reason he/she was fired and was told to go to the union. This is what Kim did to another employee in April 2009. And another one in June 2009. When Kim decides for some imaginary paranoid capicious reason that an employee has to go he fires them without explanation. Under BC Law if an employer pays severence the employer doesn't have to have cause. The substantial severence pay does not come out of Kim's personal money, it comes directly out of DERA's revenues. (I asked for an accounting for all monies paid for severence over the years Kim has paid but he refused. One rumour was that he signed a severence cheque for $62,000 for Stephanie). The Board just allows Kim an open cheque to pay and pay and pay. The Board is responsible for this irresponsible, abhorrent and expensive behavior. It is time the elected directors took over the management of DERA and do what they were elected to do: make sure DERA is well managed and regain its reputation of being a transparent and fair organization.

Directors elected April 2009:

Addendum: October 27, 2009 (Tuesday) I attended for the Board of Directors Meeting. Only three directors showed up so the Meeting was cancelled. I was rather disappointed as I wanted to discuss a number of issues: the revocation on October 3, 2009 of DERAH's charitable status by the federal government; wanting all DERA Board meetings to be voice recorded; why BC Housing hasn't replaced the elevators in the Tellier Tower (ten stories high); the allegations of an employee who said she/he has been harassed for two years and wants management (the Board) to do something about it; why the reassignment of the harassed employee from a "safe" family building to a "dangerous" building; a telephone call from a tenant in Tellier asking who was on duty at 1:00 am on Saturday as the lobby area and his floor (with picture forwarded) had passed out females (4) sleeping there; the "new" accounting overseer was not there as promised by the executive-director to field questions; and where are the 2008 financial statements for the housing society that should have been presented at the AGM in April 2009.

Addendum: October 26, 2009I just received notice that a meeting of the Board of Directors will take place at 6:30 at 251 Union Street Solheim Place Vancouver tomorrow Tuesday October 27th 2009. Since all board meetings are open to the community, any of you that are interested should attend.

Addendum: October 23, 2009 (Friday) I received a telephone call this evening from the President of the Board of DERA asking me to cease and detest from communicating with anyone especially funders as that is not what directors do. I do not know what the Board expects me to do when it and the executive-director refuses to give me access to any information that is my right under the Socities Act. A director is like a police office if something is rumoured to be wrong he investigates. If he doesn't investigate he isn't doing his job. If any of you know of a solution, please let me know. I am beginning to think there is a conspiracy out there as no lawyer wants to get involved with this citing legal fees. And PIVOT refused citing some obscure meaningless conflict that had nothing to do with the governance of the Board. And the funders and the auditor seem to be protecting DERA from what I do not know because each one of them refused to release any information to me as well. And no one can say items are confidential as I am a director and all confidential items are to come to me.

Addendum: October 13, 2009 A special board meeting was called this evening. I didnot know that I would be the subject of it. The board wanted me to resign. I refused. A detailed report to follow.

I regret the action of the Board in cancelling the September 08 2009 meeting with the explanation that the president of the Board was not prepared. This meeting was called two months ago. I suspect that there will never be another monthly board meeting as there is no requirement for monthly board meeting in the Societies Act. The directors must be happy now that they are now truly invisible to members and staff (except for the two directors who blindly co-sign cheques for DERA's eleven bank accounts).

On September 8, 2009, a nasty gentleman, told me in front of a group of people, as he walked pass me, that I was crazy, and for me to go back to the asylum. When I asked who he was, he would not tell me. One of the group said he was Russ Cunningham. Russ then repeated in a louder voice that I was crazy, and for me to go back to the asylum. Russ Cunningham is an on-and-off again employee/contractor of DERA and he lives in Solheim Place. If an employee verbally abuses me in this way I wonder what staff has been doing to the tenants most of which are elderly and/or disabled. If any of you have had a negative experience with Russ Cunningham (or any other employee) please let me know.

Russ is the father of David Cunningham of APC fame who walked away from the APC to become an artist. I have known David for five years and I assume what David knows is what his father knows. How else would Russ know I was crazy and I came from an asylum. Not true. David works for DERA and he also lives in Solheim in a three bedroom apartment with Jill and their child. Jill is a director of DERA.

How is it that people who make a union wage can reside in DERA's low income housing. I have asked for a list of the DERA employees who live in DERA Housing but I haven't had a response. Perhaps those of you who live in the towers could assist me. One of my future proposals will be that no full-time DERA employees live in DERA housing. If you agree let me know.

I also put on notice that no one is to take down any notices that I post in the DERA towers addressed to members/tenants of pending meetings like the weekly all towers community kitchen in Tellier each Friday at 5:30 pm, etc. Each time I post something or ask that something be posted it either does not get posted or it gets torn down.

I still have not received an apology from the lawyer-advocates for their behaviors in forcing me to leave the DERA office at 12 East Hastings with the explanation that the executive-director instructed them to do so. Because of their profession lawyers are expected to have a higher standard of conduct than others and they knew or should have known that a director's elected position is paramount to that of a paid employee (executive-director). Their behavior and lack of respect for the rule-of-law is inexcusable.

On September 15 2009 a DERA director accused me of publishing his name, phone number and address as he didn't want anyone to know he was a Board member. This was not done because no one asked me for the information. What a terrible thing DERA has done; it has created a climate where there is no tenant interest in how the towers are managed. He also accused me of telling everyone on the Board what to do via emails. I was doing my job as director as best I could considing no one else on the Board is even attempting to engage in dialogue to better DERA. The only vehicle I have are e-mails. Needless to say he was verbally abusive as well. He was drug/alcoholic impaired

I am still looking for a lawyer who might help me pro bono or do it myself but I feel I am being forced to go to the court of public opinion. I am less than one thousandth of one percent there now with my blog. But a blog won't go very far if no one is aware of it. Such fun in the world of to make the invisible visible (the old website motto of DERA).

Audrey Jane Laferriere,
DERA Director (2009)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

DERA: Following the September 8, 2009 Board meeting

September 29, 2009. DERA called a Board Meeting. If I hadn't checked my email in the afternoon I would have missed the calling. I emailed the secretary who is an elected director after the cancellation of the September 8 2009 Board meeting that if and when a meeting was to happen she is to contact me by telephone, person or email. I told her that I was to verbally or by email personally acknowledge that I was advised of any meetings. This did not happen. I asked for clarification on a number of points and when that happens I will report to the members further.

September 25, 2009. The community kitchen went well this time. I attribute it to me notifying as many tenants as I could. All it takes is a sign of a possible revolt from the members; then staff will become accountable for its behavior. Like I have said, I would propose that no director be elected to the Board unless he has been a resident in one of the towers for at least ten years. That would eliminate new people dropping in from the sky and not wanting to participate in the culture of DERA.

September 18, 2009. I went to the community kitchen at DERA this afternoon and no notices were posted in the residential towers inviting the residents to attend. Either my notices were never posted or staff tore them down.

September 16, 2009. I finally was able to secure another lawyer who is willing to help. After speaking to him I will decide what I should do next. I am hoping he will tell me on how I can legally seek my rights by myself and maybe if the process is not too onerous I will seek out the courts myself. I won't be able to see the lawyer until the week of October 6, 2009.

September 14, 2009. Since there is no requirement in the Societies Act that there be monthly board meetings for DERA, I doubt that any more will be called. They never accomplished much anyways. The Board is only a formality: the process needed for staff to get directors to co-sign cheques for its eleven bank accounts. Now that the signing officers are in place I do not see much need for the Board.

The DERA meeting for September 08, 2009 was cancelled by the president of the board who said she wasn't prepared although she was the one who called the meeting two months ago. I will be reporting on this blog further within the next week.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Invitation to attend 08 September 2009 DERA Board of Directors Meeting

FROM DERA’s MISSION STATEMENT: “To fight the indifference and the corruption which we experience daily or of which we become aware….to co-operate freely and honestly…”

On TUESDAY 08 SEPTEMBER 2009 the Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA), a publicly funded advocacy non-profit, will be having a Meeting of Directors at Solheim Place 251 Union Street Vancouver BC 9th floor (Union and Gore) at 6:30 pm. The meeting is open to members. If you are not a member, you can sign up at the meeting, or at DERA's office (12 East Hastings), or contact me and I will sign you up, or you can attend as an interested party.

At my election in April 2009 to become a director I promised to make good DERA's reputation. There is no way I can do this unless everyone in the DTES participates in its mandate and demand absolute transparency. From day three of my election staff and the other directors have mostly ignored me. Under the Societies Act I am responsible alone and jointly with the other directors to make sure that DERA is well-managed. Just because the other directors have turned a blind eye to what is going-on (or do not understand their duties) does not preclude me from my statutory responsibilities under the Act.

The refusal of staff and the President/Secretary/Treasurer to provide me with information is contra to the statutes (rules) as set out under the Societies Act. A director is to have whatever information she wants in order to do her job and in this case I want everything even the paper from the shredder. Although I have asked for information over-and-over again, I have been stonewalled.

DERA is not suppose to be a secret non-profit. DERA is suppose to be a small version of City Hall accountable to its members i.e. the residents of the DTES and staff is subordinate to its elected officials (directors). The executive-director has no power except to do what the directors tell him. And, the president of DERA has no more power than any other director: her position is to oversee meetings and speak to the media.

The criticisms leveled against DERA over the years are very disturbing. Up to my election I just dismissed them as unsubstantiated but I now suspect that most of the allegations are true. How can I legally do my job as a director if I cannot investigate the allegations of corruption and report my findings to the members? DERA does not have 40,000 employees (it only has 15 employees). There is no reason why the directors cannot be hands-on and know in intimate detail what is going on. DERA is a grass roots organization; not a Fortune 500 company. Ignorance is inexcusable at this level.

At the June 2009 Directors Meeting I wanted to post the names and contact numbers of the directors. I was vetoed. The president said that such information was confidential. She was wrong: the names and addresses of directors are public information and each member should have easy access to them. Although I am a director it took me three months to get the full names and contact numbers from her. Something as simple and legal as this and I was told not to do it. This gives you an idea of what I am up against.

I was told it would cost $60,000 to secure my legal rights through the courts. Since I haven’t the money, the only recourse I have is to inform the members and for the members to force DERA to follow the rule-of-law.

My intent isn’t to destroy DERA but rather to ensure that DERA survives. And it won’t unless the governance changes. My intent isn’t to fire anyone but rather to educate the employees and directors (as well as myself) so they do what they are supposed to do and do it with integrity and honesty.

Unfortunately, not only is DERA guilty of not doing what it should do, other non-profits in the DTES operate in a similar fashion. It might be legal but it is not right. Since one of DERA’s mission statements is to expose wrongdoings in the DTES, we might as well start with it.

I look forward to seeing you at the meeting on Tuesday.

DERA director, Elected 2009
75 – 12 East Hastings V6A 1N1

P.S. On Friday 28 August 2009 upon arriving at DERA a few minutes before closing time, I was given a memo by staff that I was not to access the DERA office. This was not only an insult; it was a humiliation. This directive was enforced by two young lawyer-advocates who acted like paid goons. What surprised me was that they told me that they knew everything that is going on in DERA; however, as a duly authorized elected director (the boss), I know nothing. The tables are reversed. What next: a baseball bat….

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Being a Director

Since being elected a director to DERA this spring this is the first time I felt that I wanted to remain part of this governance. We did a small community kitchen at Tellier Towers yesterday Friday and it was a good feeling. It wasn't much except salad, marshmellows, designer bread and butter, organge drink, and milk and no one was agressive. Of the Directors there: Alex dropped by and helped serve the food and Peter walked through the common area three times observing but not participating. I hope these Fridays become a regular thing for residents in the DTES to drop by and network. We should get some loud Michael Jackson music then the place will rock.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

First Bring Down the Non-Profits

To eliminate poverty the first thing to do is look at the non-profits who are financed by government grants and "compromised" money (i.e. money derived from tax deductions). No non-profit executive director should be earning more than three times the minimum wage. We need committed individuals not those that are retained by excessive salaries and secrecy.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009 2:49 PM
"Audrey Jane Laferriere" View contact details
"Hannah Lee" Streetohome Foundation

I was just advised that for 2007-2008 the City had 52,000 turnaways from shelters. We need shelters not an abundance of costly supportive housing.

You still did not answer my query as to whether or not Ken Dobell was able to persuade the federal government via an order in council to give a special income tax deduction to the rich if they donate money for supportive housing.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Post to Francis Bula's blog

I remember asking/begging the business associations especially the DTVBIA two years ago to support the initiative to Make Storyeum a Minimalist Shelter. None of them had any vision or compassion for the street homeless then. All of them ignored my pleas and now with these minimalist shelters street problems have dramatically decreased. I still go ballistic when I think about this simple solution to alleviate some of the incredible hardship that the street homeless face each day. The Strathcona BIA told me that street homelessness was not their problem: their mandate is the businesses in the area. Others non-profits and organizations in the DTES told me we have to wait for real housing. This is about as stupid as what the police are doing: ticketing the marginalized for bylaw infractions to decrease drug trafficking (Jim Chui) as the paperwork to write a drug offence is too onerous vs a simple ticket. Even now with the looming March 31st deadline approaching there is no talk from the churches or the non-profit in the DTES to demand that these minimalist shelters continue. On March 31st 2009 I estimate there will be 900 street homeless evicted from these shelters and from their sister shelters .

Saturday, February 21, 2009

DERA meeting 23 February 2009

Please attend if you can a community meeting on Febuary 23 2009 at 1:00p.m. at Carnegie Centre (401 Main Street). The agenda covers:
1) Stop Gap Housing.
2) Closure of Shelter Beds on March 31st, 2009
3) DERA just won over $200,000 for tenants. Can DERA do the same for you.
4) The end of hotel tenants rights.
Attend so you are familiar with issues in the DTES.
Bring your questions.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tracey's memorial

I attended Tracey's memorial yesterday afternoon. The Westend Anglician Church had a full mass for her. Only twenty people attended. As far as I could tell no one was from her family. Gregor wasn't there; his wife wasn't there; neither did he send flowers. But then Gregor wasn't at Daryl's memorial service either.

Both Tracey and Gregor died in fires last year trying to keep warm as they were shelterless in the middle of winter and Gregor has used their deaths to support his politicial agenda. Gregor could of made sure that both of them were properly respected. Because there were no flowers to give Tracey the minister asked that each of us place a small a rock to substitute on the alter (a jewish tradition).

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