Friday, December 18, 2009

UBC President Stephen Toope Snubs Million Dollar Poor at Christmas

Photo: Christmas Party takes place in background at UBC Learning Exchange on Downtown Eastside while reception staff continue to work

If Stephen Toope drops into the Learning Exchange when there is no media around, does anybody hear?

Probably not. So why bother dropping in.

UBC President Stephen Toope didn't show up at the Christmas party yesterday for the poor at the UBC Learning Exchange on the Downtown Eastside. And neither did the Director of the Learning Exchange, Margo Fryer, whose office is upstairs from the lobby where the party was held. And neither did most of the other 20 people employed full time by the Learning Exchange, a UBC storefront set up on Main St. to grab a share of the lucrative poverty industry.

When journalists from the major newspapers are invited to a Learning Exchange event that could come to the attention of current and prospective funders, Toope and Fryer show up. Last year Toope, who collects $576,000 annually in salary and perks, showed up to give a speech to a sea of camera flashes at the Anniversary of the opening of the Learning Exchange. And last month Fryer was yet again featured in a Vancouver Sun article about this enterprise which has a $2 million annual budget, an enterprise about which she says, "I got drawn in. I couldn't walk away." Priceless.

The Christmas Party was held the day after Welfare Wednesday, a day when Fryer and her staff would, like all povertarians, be aware that most of the poor would be out spending their welfare cheques and wouldn't show up.

P.S. Thanks to Downtown Eastsiders who sent photos.


Anonymous said...

last year Glen at Pathways employment centre (main and hastings) kicked everybody out at 3 p.m. saying staff had an important meeting
we saw him and carol madsen take off to the ubc learning exchange anniversary party where they made an appearance for ten minutes and took off

before that they had their xmas staff party at a restaurant in the middle of the day and the computers at pathways went down and everybody had to wait two hours for them to come back after their lunch party. we weren't allowed to interrupt them

Anonymous said...

Man, you people whine. Not a pot to piss in between you but a great cry of if your inconvenienced for free internet or a subsidized meal. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

....and what pray tell would they be out spending their free money on?
Hmmmm... I wonder.....

Like I hear alot of recipients say in the banks on Cheque day, PAYDAY!

reliable sources said...


"Man, you people whine. Not a pot to piss in between you but a great cry of if your inconvenienced for free internet or a subsidized meal. Pathetic."

Don't blame the poor; they don't submit the grant applications for the millions in funding. They aren't making deals with corporations like HSBC as the Learning Exchange did, and spinning them as partnerships for the poor.

It was CUPE Local head Paul Foaro who represents Carnegie staff (UBC staff are also CUPE) who asked the City to raise your property taxes, not the poor.

The "subsidized meal" is actually going primarily to CUPE members and management staff. At Carnegie they got substantial wage increases whereas the low cost meals they serve to the poor are shrinking; the portions are not only smaller but consist of more refined carbs like pasta, according to people (many of whom are diabetics) who eat at Carnegie regularly.

UBC Learning Exchange gives free meals as bribes, to regularly fill the seats in their flagship Humanities course, which is a non-credit course. If you sign up, you get free restaurant or cafeteria meals.

And UBC provides free coffee at their Learning Exchange storefront operation on Main St. to entice the poor --most of whom are heavily addicted to caffeine -- to drop by and sign-in with their personal info -- name, gender, age, etc.-- which translates into funding.

UBC doesn't give cream or milk with their coffee, just that killer powdered stuff -- Cofeeemate or something -- loaded with hydrogenated fats. Margo Fryer, a vegan who got her Ph.d. in the herbal remedy Euchanasia, would -- I'll use your word here -- "whine" if you ever tried to feed her that poison.

And she would never touch the salami which was the only type of meat served at the party. Let them eat nitrates.

But the worst crap is what Fryer feeds the Vancouver Sun for their fluff pieces. On Nov. 9/09, she was interviewed about scoring $2 million in funding from HSBC. Reporter Janet Steffenhagen paraphrased Fryer as saying that the "regulars" who use the Learning Exchange view it as a "refuge" and "They take pride in belonging to an intellectual community."

People drop in to get a free coffee and to use the internet for the meager half hour allotment. There is no intellectual community at the storefront. Ten years ago, at the old location, there were a few intellectual types who sat on the couch at the back and sipped coffee and chatted while they waited for their turn on the internet. The couch was not moved to the new location -- the bed bug scare has everybody sitting on stiff chairs. Those intellectual types don't show up anymore. One died of a heroin overdose. There is no intellectual community at the storefront

Anonymous said...

don't know bout that one but on the olmpic front check this out.


found it on the net someehere

jack meoff

Anonymous said...

where do you work? nowhere i guess just another welfare bum who got himself nothing better to do. at least some people volunteer. i am on ui and always looking for ways to help people. u make me sick
no blog no time for a site.
a man!

reliable sources said...


"at least some people volunteer. i am on ui and always looking for ways to help people."


If you're volunteering, you're exactly where the well paid UBC staff want you to be. While
Martha Piper was collecting a wage of roughly $350,000 annually as
UBC President, she came to the Learning Exchange and told Downtown Eastsiders they should volunteer. One Downtown Eastsider man asked Piper, "Do you volunteer, Martha?" She squirmed a little and admitted she didn't.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's great that you bring Martha's wage to the masses, but it won't change anything.

I get mad, really mad, sometimes, but blogging about it will not do anything about it.

THe greedy will continue to suck off the little people.
I just don't think whining about everything really helps, does it?

And now I await your response where you quote me and blather on.

Rachel Davis said...

Hi R.S!
I'm sorry to have to leave this post below the other, though i love the word "Blather" I wouldn't think it an accurate description of your work....
in any case.....Happy Birthday!!!
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear R.S.,
Happy Birthday to you!
Have a great new year!
Take Care, and congrats on so many years of anonymous writing, it truly is incredible!