Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

'It's not a spin centre': Mayor Robertson

Don't call it a spin centre. Housing minister Rich Coleman and Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson opened the doors to the city's newest Olympic resource centre on Monday.

Downtown Eastside Connect at Woodward's is billed as an international media and tourist centre designed to educate visitors on the social issues facing the Downtown Eastside and, more specifically, the steps that are being taken to improve Canada's poorest neighbourhood. But critics and housing advocates reckon the centre is nothing more than a PR machine to save officials from embarrassment.

"No amount of spin will hide the fact that homelessness has doubled since 2001," said NDP MLA Jenny Kwan. "You won't find that at the kiosk, it's basically an attempt to sanitize what's really happening in the Downtown Eastside."

Robertson staunchly defended the venture and said there's value in highlighting the work of organizations in the area. "It's not a spin centre," he said. "There is no disagreement we have much more work to do. We just want to highlight the work being done."

A small number of Downtown Eastside groups picketed outside the new centre on Monday afternoon, calling it a "propaganda kiosk".

Matt Kieltyka reports for 24 Hours Vancouver.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus