The purpose of this presentation is to encourage discussion about the future of the Downtown Eastside. About a year ago, concerned about what I considered to be the ever worsening conditions in the area, I decided to investigate the situation and see If I could do anything to help. Following a year of research, I have become impressed about the enormous resources being applied by so many dedicated people to the area and the problems it is facing. Yet, despite all this effort, and while there are some measurable improvements in some of the conditions, my impression is that the overall situation is getting worse.
It doesn’t matter what the issues are, and I’ve dealt with many places, with many groups, boards of directors, and communities who have many different issues and people sitting on other sides of the room who frankly just hate each other, but at the end of the day, through the vision of story, we have been able to achieve 100% agreement, because there is a common response to story that people can accept that could support their heritage and their future.
And there is a process by which we can do this. It starts with an understanding of the place we want to create. It starts with an understanding, or maybe researching more about the stories of Strathcona, the stories of Chinatown, and what they might have been, – not what they are now, – but what could they have been had things been different. What is that place that could have been created and could be created now?