Vancouver Hub

Prominent Vancouver LGBT Activist Jim Deva Dies in Freak Accident - VIDEO


A sad day for Canada's LGBT community today, as one of Vancouver's most prominent activists died in a freak accident on Sunday. 

Jim Deva, co-owner of Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium, passed away after falling off a ladder at his home. He was 65.

Little sistersReports Vancouver station CKNW:

Most notably, Deva was at the forefront of a battle with the Canadian Border Services Agency to have the right to sell imported books written about LGBT relations, in his store. The same right as extended to larger retailers in Canada.

Eventually after a battle spanning two decades, not only the BC Supreme Court, but Canada’s highest court sided with Deva and Little Sister’s book store.

In a statement, Little Sister’s wrote, “In a freak accident we lost Jim Deva today. Our condolences to his partner Bruce and the many, many people whose lives Jim has touched in the 30+ years of the store’s existence.”

Since the news broke, Canadian politicians have been voicing their appreciation for Deva's activism and expressing shock at his untimely passing.

Tweeted Spencer Chandra Hebert, a member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia:

 Said Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson:

“He was an amazing guy. He always stood up against injustice wherever that was found. He had a strong sense of what was just and unjust.”

Our thoughts go out to Deva's family and friends. 

Watch a 2008 video celebrating Little Sister's 25th anniversary featuring Jim Deva, AFTER THE JUMP...

[photo via Yelp]

Continue reading "Prominent Vancouver LGBT Activist Jim Deva Dies in Freak Accident - VIDEO" »

Anti-Gay Activist Bill Whatcott Crashes Vancouver Pride, Hands Out Fake Condoms

Bill 'Matthew Davidson' Whatcott

For as much as they claim to be about spreading the love of the gospel and hope of Jesus Christ to the fallen, anti-gay wingnuts really seem to put a lot of effort into trolling. Crazy person Bill Whatcott, whom you may remember being "oppressed" alongside Peter LaBarbera at Canada's University of Regina, decided to crash Pride in Vancouver to spread his message of hate. Feeling that the ninth commandment - "Thou shalt not bear false witness" - was more of a suggestion than a command, he dyed his hair pink and went under the pseudonym "Matthew Davidson" to hand out "condoms" that were really anti-gay screeds in disguise.

Only one person actually opened a condom in the presence of "Davidson" and his cohorts. When she became visibly distressed at the bait and switch, Joe Jervis points out that they continued "lying for Jesus" and told the woman that he mistakenly handed her something that he himself had earlier been handed by some homophobe at the parade.

So not only is Whatcott a vile homophobe, he's a coward to boot, unwilling to stand by his convictions when face-to-face with someone in public. And it's actually kind of wonderful. The more spineless lunatics devoid of all integrity on their side, the better. Much like Westboro, it removes the mask of civility from the ugliness of the hate and exposes it for the world to see, and that will only benefit proponents of equality in the end.

Vancouver Hotel Adds LGBT Pride To City Skyline, Permanently


Just in time for Vancouver's pride events in late July and Early August, the city's skyline now features a permanent display of LGBT pride. The Sandman Suites Hotel on Davie Street in Vancouver's gayborhood (Davie Village) has painted a 55-foot wide rainbow on to the very top of their roof.

Vancity Buzz has a quote from Valentina Tang, General Manager of the hotel. She says:

We are proud to call this community our home and want to illustrate our pride by painting the iconic rainbow crowned on-top of our hotel...The concept behind the painting was: A heart of gold is where the rainbow begins. We are an inclusive organization and always like supporting our local communities.

Next time you're flying over Vancouver, keep your eyes peeled!

[Thanks to Lucas for the tip! Image via The Vancouver Sun — Wayne Leidenfrost , PNG]

British Columbia Premier Shuts Vancouver Hospital Ward That Once Served Those Dying from AIDS: VIDEO


Premier Christy Clark along with UN under-secretary and executive director for UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, and Dr. Julio Montaner, director for the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, and Health Minister Terry Lake closed the AIDS ward at St. Paul's hospital in Vancouver yesterday at a major press conference:

“This is a proud day for British Columbians as we mark another milestone in our leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Premier Clark. “Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the community, those at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and health professionals across the province, a ward that once served those dying from AIDS, now supports those living with HIV.”

Ward 10C at St. Paul’s Hospital in downtown Vancouver was originally opened as an AIDS ward in February 1997 during the peak of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the city, when approximately one person was dying of AIDS every day. Earlier diagnosis of HIV, along with advances in treatment and care, has resulted in a significant decrease of AIDS. Patients living with HIV will continue to receive world-leading treatment and care. The focus of the ward will include treatment related to addictions such as various bacterial and viral infections like chronic hepatitis.

“British Columbia’s dedication to the fight against HIV/AIDS has meant that we have reduced AIDS cases in Vancouver by over 80% since 1996,” said Lake. “With continued focus on providing care, treatment and support for those living with HIV and related diseases, more British Columbians will live longer, healthier lives.”

Watch Clark make the announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "British Columbia Premier Shuts Vancouver Hospital Ward That Once Served Those Dying from AIDS: VIDEO" »

Vancouver Man Denied Housing For Being Gay: VIDEO

Jonathan Pretty Ted Salatellis

25-year-old Jonathan Pretty found a great suite in a house in Kitsilano that met all of his housing needs. He spoke with the landlord Ted Salatellis, got all of the paperwork signed, and even paid the damage deposit to prepare to move in. Then he received a call from Salatellis later that day: because Pretty is gay, he felt that Pretty's boyfriend being around would upset his wife and the families with children next door and upstairs, and therefore could not rent to him. When Pretty asked, explicitly, that he was being denied housing because he was gay, Salatellis said "yes."

Global News interviewed Salatellis himself as a follow up to Pretty's claims to get his side of the story. The man provided a bevy of contradictions, saying that he has no problem with gay people and did not deny Pretty because he was gay, but then also saying:

He say he has a boyfriend, and he come in, well you know boyfriend come in and they kiss each other and people live upstairs and downstairs and I no like that.

He also exposed his ignorance of HIV, fearing that Pretty might have it and that he was scared after having been around guests with HIV at a hotel he used to work at, apparently unaware that HIV is not transmissible via kissing, sharing drinking glasses, or failing to wash one's hands after using the restroom.

Pretty has filed a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal for violation of Section 10 of The Human Rights Code, which prohibits discrimination based upon race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability and gender or sexual orientation. An unembeddable video interview can be seen on Global News' webpage.

Vancouver's Gay Deputy Mayor Tim Stevenson To Visit Sochi Olympics Via Private Fundraiser: VIDEO


Tim Stevenson, the deputy mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia will be making a visit to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where he will petition the IOC to add a non-discrimination clause for LGBT persons to the charter. Stevenson, an openly gay man, has received the financial and ideological support of real estate magnate Bob Rennie and developer Peter Wall. The two have each pledged $25,000 to the trip fund, which Stevenson has estimated will amount to $100,000. Ethical concerns have risen, however, and some question the validity of the trip and its donors.

The Province reports:

Simon Fraser University political science professor Patrick Smith said the project seems noble, but could put Stevenson and Vision in conflict-of-interest danger.

Rennie, known as Vancouver's "Condo King," runs Vancouver's biggest real-estate firm. Also, Rennie Marketing Systems has earned millions selling condos at Vancouver's troubled Olympic Village project.

"It's not like there is a conflict, but there is the appearance or potential for a conflict, and both of those are real," Smith said on Wednesday.

"There is an ethical consideration here. This is one of the biggest developers in the city, and a developer that does business with the city. So what will happen the next time something with Bob Rennie comes up? Will Coun. Stevenson recuse himself?"

Smith said he believes the city could make a strong case to publicly fund Stevenson's official trip to Russia: "If the city wants this, the high road is putting your money where your mouth is."

Stevenson has maintained that the trip is not a conflict of interest for any of the parties involved, but rather an important statement about the rights of all humans.

"I just really believe that if they came for you last night, they're coming for me in the morning, and let's just make sure that these things aren't happening on the earth," he said.

Robertson said that at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, "Regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation, everyone was included, everyone was welcome here.

"Sadly, as we are learning, this does not appear to be the case with the 2014 Sochi Winter Games."

What do you think of Stevenson's proposed trip? Would you help fund his endeavor?  


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