Pivot Legal Society - Equality Lifts Everyone


July 21, 2011 | By Douglas King

Imagine getting ready to move into a new neighbourhood and being told: “there are already too many of your kind here.”  Imagine facing residents’ associations that want to know your personal history before you move in or neighbours who use emails, flyers and public meetings to question your right to be a part of the community. 

July 18, 2011 | By Darcie Bennett

More than a decade after the Canadian Human Rights Act Review Panel  recommended that “social condition” be added as a prohibited ground of discrimination, neither the BC Human Rights Code or the Canadian Human Rights Act have been amended to afford protection to people who face discrimination on the basis of extreme economic and social marginalization.  Now, two East Vancouver politicians are taking action to address this oversight.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and SPARC BC explore this interesting question in a report released yesterday. They also released a short video that sums up their findings.

July 7, 2011 | By Carolyn Wong
Photo by April Smith of AHA MEDIA

The opening celebration for “Your Story, My Story, Our Story” was bittersweet.  The sweetness was that James Cummings had realized his vision to share a 100 year visual history of the Downtown Eastside. The bitter edge was that James, who passed away last spring, was not there in person to share this moment.

July 6, 2011 | By Paul Ryan
Pivot interns Heather and Naz with phone books.

One of our sponsors, Recollective Consulting, has offered to give us up to $500 if we collect 500 phone books ($1 per book), but to date only 42 books have been collected! We know that many people have piles of these books sitting around in the lobby of their apartment building - if you have the same problem - please let us know when you can collect 10 of them together and we will pick them up!

July 6, 2011 | By Darcie Bennett

As a feminist and a woman who has engaged with the police and courts as a result of male violence, I have to admit to some ambivalence about the role the criminal justice system can play in promoting women’s safety and empowerment. However, in my capacity as coordinator of Pivot’s Jane Doe Legal Network, which provides legal support and education to women whose lives have been impacted by male violence, I have come to recognize that the police and the courts are critical elements of a holistic strategy for addressing violence against women in relationships.

July 5, 2011 | By Paul Ryan
The community votes for the Hope in Shadows photos all week.

We never planned to be here.

Before the meeting got rolling the Chair made an announcement that, as she acknowledged, was out of the ordinary. Special arrangements were made to protect the anonymity of tenants of the Wonder Rooms and Palace Hotels who told their stories at a City Council meeting on Friday. Many have been threatened by the landlord, particularly about the council meeting.

The statistics are bad: between the two hotels there are 265 violations, 20 rooms are uninhabitable, the City building inspectors are often refused access and on their last visit were not allowed to document what they saw.

Wonder Palace Hotel

This afternoon we’re headed to City Hall to participate in a City Council meeting. It’s pretty exciting. After lobbying the City for nearly a decade to have the City make use of the Standards of Maintenance By-Law to protect residents of single occupancy residences (SRO’s), it is starting to happen.

June 28, 2011 | By Darcie Bennett

This morning we filed a BC Human Rights Complaint and a lawsuit on behalf of three men who were allegedly brutalized in the Harbour Centre mall by guards contracted from Fusion Security.