Saturday, February 23, 2008

Povertarians Deny Services to the Poor on Friday Night

Yesterday at around 3:30 p.m. the power went off in part of the Downtown Eastside. Hydro workers promised to have it restored by 7 p.m. at the latest. Pedestrians were darting across streets with no street signals as rush hour traffic began.

Carnegie management saw an opportunity.

They and their CUPE cohorts could get a Friday night off with pay. A decision was made that there would be no night shift at the Center which stays open until 11 p.m., although services close at 10 p.m. Staff were telling patrons this so many did not bother return when the power was restored at around 6 p.m. But in the end, Carnegie made a decision to keep the building open.

But it was clinically dead.

The primary services that draw members into Carnegie Centre on a Friday night were shut down. The third floor which houses the computer room was completely locked; nobody could even get onto the 3rd floor. Kereoke in the theatre was canceled, even though the volunteer who was going to handle it was there. And the library was locked. There was a sign in the front lobby announcing: 'No third floor computer room, No Kereoke.'

It is not known whether any staff other than security guards and a receptionist were in the building. The number of service closures would suggest that staff had made themselves scarce. Certainly, there would have been no management staff and no volunteer supervisor on duty if the entire third floor where their offices are located was shut down.

Closing services without adequate justification is a constant problem at Carnegie. Last Saturday, the Learning Center, much in demand for it's computers, was closed.

Mayor Sullivan has been made aware by several people that CUPE is ripping off the taxpayer by locking the poor out of services at Carnegie on a whim. Yet he appears hapless in the face of CUPE.

Bloggers have curbed the problem of service closures somewhat by relentlessly reporting on them. By doing so, though, bloggers face ongoing risk of retaliation by Carnegie staff and Director Ethel Whitty.

[Sorry: When this article was originally posted, it was based on the fact that Carnegie staff were announcing to members that the entire building would be shutting down for the night. Bloggers didn't realize until 24 hours later that a decision had been made to keep the building open, albeit with services almost non-existent. When we got feedback from a reader that the post was incorrect, we double checked with our sources and made the necessary corrections.]


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. Some not so solid reporting going on here. When I went to Carnegie at 7:30 last night. It was open. The library was closed. But Carnegie was certainly open. It's reporting like this which lessens the credibility of this usually good work. It's tough to take anything at face value when such simple straight forward facts as "open" or "closed" are wrong.

Dag said...

Hmmmm. Some not so solid commentary going on here.

The anonymous commentator above isn't interested in reality but in making points-- even if they can't be backed up with reality. And then further, the poisonous tone of another comment shows just what kind of people the Lower Eastside has ruling it. What a bunch of snakes.

Anonymous said...

So.... What happened to the story involving Leith? I read it.... others read it....and then it just disappeared? That isn't journalism!

If you want to be treated like a journalist you have to stand by what you publish, not what you did with the "Povertarian's deny" story that was written rife with factual error, then taken down and re-spun.

That's not how it is done, and you know that, again, if you want the rights bestowed on journalists, you have to ethically act as one.

Get to it, and replace the Leith story and THEN correct it.

Anything else is gutless spin. Much like Dag's comment above. See you at McDonald's Dag, and we can hash it out like we always do.

Otherwise, keep up the good work

reliable sources said...

The error in the "Povertarians Deny" story and subsequent correction is explained at the end of the revised story. I'm not going to go over it again.

You write, "Get to it, and replace the Leith story and THEN correct it."

The Leith story doesn't need correction. It was entirely accurate. It was posted for a limited time as per an arrangement with a source who fears retaliation by a particular povertarian (not Leith) over the long term. (There is a slight possiblity that the story could be posted again, though.)