Simi Sara was joined by Scott Clark in studio today; he is the executive director of ALIVE (Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement) Society, a group that represents Aboriginal people in the Downtown Eastside.
Right now, there are 260 organizations in the Downtown Eastside, according to Clark. He says many compete against one another rather than working together in giving each other information about each case. What’s missing from this system, he says, is the compassion to care for children on the Downtown Eastside.
“This culture needs to change. These people are not clients, they’re not something to be owned. They’re citizens of their community and they have fundamental human rights.”
Clark told Simi the agencies down there need to be held accountable to the residents and the citizens in their neighbourhoods, “and unfortunately they’re not.” He said they brought these issues to the minister in 2012, but not much has changed since then.
According to Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s report into the death of Paige on the Downtown Eastside, there are anywhere between 100-150 children living in the neighbourhood.