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Artists target Mayor Robertson online Bob Mackin

Contributing writer A group of artists is scoffing at a Vision Vancouver website promoting the party’s arts and culture agenda., by comedian Sean Devlin’s TruthFool Communications advertising agency, launched Oct. 17 to hype Mayor Gregor Robertson’s support for Vancouver’s creative community. Robertson is nicknamed “Juice Man” for cofounding Happy Planet Foods, the Burnabyheadquartered organic juice company that closed its East Side office last February. Devlin and Cameron Reed produced the anti-Conservative website critical of Prime Minister Stephen Harper that went viral during May’s federal election. Reed is Vision Vancouver’s digital communications coordinator. In response, the group of artists launched to counter the pro-Vision website. “We are not backed by any party, we are entirely volunteer run,” said spokesman Graeme Fisher. “The [We Don’t Back the Juice Man] site is not paid for by a political party or a developer, which the NPA and Vision Vancouver are.” Fisher said he is part of a collective effort by local artists who argue the Vision Vancouver and NPA-endorsed gentrification of the Downtown Eastside and other areas is driving artists and the working poor out of the city. Fisher accuses the pro-Robertson website of “art-washing.” We Don’t Back the Juice Man mentions the hasty evictions and demolitions at the Little Mountain social housing project,

which is now barren and awaiting redevelopment. “There’s a lot of rumbling in the arts community, but also in the opaque left in the city,” Fisher said. “In a sense the site is trying to repoliticize the debate and make it so artists and the working poor in the city are able to continue to live here.” Reed said the anti-Robertson site is more about housing issues than the arts. “As for protecting artist spaces, that is a key issue for our creative community and Vision Vancouver has a clear platform for that,” Reed said via email. “We feel that being out there in the community as ambassadors engaging people directly is more effective than anonymous websites.” Reed said he was asked by Vision to handle the We Back the Juice Man campaign’s Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blog presence a few weeks after TruthFool pitched the party with the concept. “They provided a bit of funding to get the site going,” Reed said. “We created the content and received submissions. It’s pretty arm’s length as far as control and input.” Images include a painting of Robertson by Robert Mearns and a photo of Robertson’s head Photoshopped onto Canuck Ryan Kesler’s nude body, with a bottle of Happy Planet’s Extreme Green perched on a rock. Videos on the site feature proprietors of The Lido and Little Mountain Gallery praising Coun. Heather Deal, Vision Vancouver’s arts and culture advocate. We Back the Juice Man promoted a “timeraiser” for Vision Vancouver on Monday at the Waldorf Hotel where items were auctioned in exchange for volunteer time. Thirty-three people pledged a total of 336 hours for the campaign. The donors list included entities directly or indirectly reliant on city hall, such as H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, Science World, W2 Media Cafe and bar and nightclub owner Donnelly Group.

The Painful Consequences of Impaired Driving

The following is the content of an email (slightly edited), now widely distributed online as a public service by a contrite BC motorist:

BC has one of the toughest drinking driving laws in Canada, and I found out first hand. As a first time Cedric Hughes offender I immediately (lost) my vehicle. I was polite and cooperative and I was allowed to take a cab home. If not I wouldn’t even want to consider the consequences. First, I have no transportation and I have to explain to everyone that I have lost my licence. I was not yet fully aware of (all) the consequences. When I actually read my tickets and realized I have to pay towing and storage fees for 30 days, for me that was $626. (After 30 days) to reclaim my vehicle I had to go to the Licensing Office and have them fax a release to ICBC (insurer) who then must fax it to the towing office. (Then I had to) contact the towing company to have the vehicle released and in this area they only seem to take cash. Not to mention that you need two other people in order to pick it up as you can’t drive. The next thing that happens is that I received a letter that informed me that I must go to a meeting with a councillor who will determine which course on driving I must take. This course costs approximately $985. I had to be enrolled in this course before the end of the 90 days to apply for my licence. (Next I had to have an) ignition inhibitor installed in any vehicle that I drive. This lovely contraption costs another approximately $700 to have installed, locally it can be done in Nanaimo at the Fountain Tire. This also had


to be installed before I can even apply to get my licence back.

So now I am thinking, ok well at least now I can get my licence, but let’s not forget the $500 fine that came with the ticket, then of course I must apply to get my licence Barrister & Solicitor back which is a $250 fee and the additional $31 licence fee. Wow, that is another $781 but at least will I have my licence back. Now that I have done all of this I can …drive. So now I must blow into this (device) every time I want to start my vehicle and, even more fun, it may request a breath in the middle of a drive. I must pull over within three minutes or the horn starts honking. If I fail or fail (to) comply, it is a violation. This machine has to be monitored monthly at a cost of $105 per month for the next year and you have to at least go to Nanaimo every other month to have it done. If I have bad readings, or violations, or any other issues, then they can extend the requirement until they are satisfied. …All in all my night out cost me over $5,000 between the cabs, courses and other requirements, and it is my first offence…I know most of my family, friends, co-workers and even complete strangers are learning a lesson from my mistake. I hope by reading this you will too. Please drive safely. Road Rules is by Cedric Hughes, Barrister & Solicitor with regular weekly contributions from Leslie McGuffin, LL.B.

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‘JuiceMan’ website focuses on housing, gentrification



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Vancouver Courier November 4 2011  

Vancouver Courier November 4 2011