An Open Letter to The Board of Directors of Vancity

Dear Vancity Board Members,

This fall you face an important decision that will have a significant impact on the Downtown Eastside community. Your board will decide whether to continue financial support for the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP).

Since 2005 Vancity has provided more than $275,000 in funding to the CCAP. Two hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars is a lot of money that could potentially help a lot of people in this community. It is a great deal of money to grant to a political action group that has no board of directors and no outward accountability.

This year our community saw the “researchers” and leadership of the CCAP lead and support the pickets at Pidgin and Cuchillo restaurants. We witnessed the thugs they call friends threaten and bully our neighbors and attempt to put young entrepreneurs out of business. Their words and actions have encouraged radical elements in our community, promoted vandalism against local businesses, and undermined support for important initiatives.

We believe these activities do not comply with Vancity’s Ethical Policy. They undermine the good work Vancity does in Vancouver and seriously damage your brand.

Many of the CCAP supporters and protestors are from outside this neighbourhood. They are not interested in building a stronger local economy for the Downtown Eastside. They characterize the working taxpayers of the Downtown Eastside, and many Vancity members, as uncaring “rich people” who are to be constantly insulted and made to feel unwelcome in their own neighbourhood. “Eat the rich” and “burn the condos” the protestors say. We say enough of this destructive influence.

Your slogan “Make Good Money” promotes “doing good things in your community and the world”. Vancity believes that “when the place you live and work prospers, so do you”. These are lofty goals that should be followed up with firm action. Supporting a political action group that attempts to snuff-out new small businesses vital to the renewal of our streets is NOT good business.

We ask the board of Vancity to cease funding the Carnegie Community Action Project. We call on Vancity to “SPEND good money” and support organizations in the Downtown Eastside that promote local economic development and cooperation with all citizens.

Isn’t that what a good local credit union should do?

The Editors

The Gastown Gazette encourages all Vancity members and the general public to contact Vancity and request that they stop funding the CCAP. Let Vancity know – “the CCAP is not for me”.

Contact Vancity by phone: 604-877-7000 or 1-888-Vancity (826-2489)

Contact the Vancity Board of Directors by email:

Contact the Vancity Board of Directors via Vancity’s online comment form:

Contact the Vancity Board of Directors by mail:

PO Box 2120
Station Terminal
Vancouver BC V6B 5R8

Evolve together.  


  1. Barbara-Lynn Pollard says:

    Since you have written this letter I seriously want to know who you think is more deserving of funding that CCAP? It is a serious question and as a DTES working tax payer, It deserves an answer.

  2. I work as a volunteer at the 'Dugout Drop-In' right next door to
    'The Gastown Gazette'. We feed and shelter (daytime only) the less fortunate people of the DTES. And we are in dire need of funding! Perhaps Vancity could pay us a visit and see first hand what we do for our community. Thank You!

  3. Dugout, First United Shelter, WISH, DNC, VANDU, Rain City, UGM, The DTES Street Market, Mission Possible, pretty much any other organization in the DTES deserves funding more than CCAP.

  4. Barbara-Lynn Pollard says:

    Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council Thank you but I would like to hear from the editors, who they feel is more deserving.

  5. Tami Decolonize says:

    Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council More lies and spin from the unaccountable oppressive Roland Clarke and the DNC board that marches to his orders.

  6. Curious. Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council writes that the Street Market deserves funding more than CCAP. Ha ha ha ha! Too late already screen captured. We know the real motivation behind all these posts and who is writing them!

  7. what a terrible smear campaign your on Roland Clarke. how do you sleep at night. no conscience what so ever. just seem to be out for blood arent you. shame. and this nonsense rag is just something to wipe the floor with.

  8. Curious. This was published on the day after this was published:
    Anyone notice a pattern here?

  9. We'd like to formally request that the Gastown Gazette publish the numerous retraction requests we have sent, as well as our communities allies, due to completely erroneous statements. CCAP does not "lead and support the pickets at Pidgin and Cuchillo restaurants". We are not engaging in any threatening or bullying. CCAP conducts essential research on housing in the DTES and supports low-income community members in engaging in the DTES planning process. For more information on CCAP, we enourage all Gastown Gazette readers to visit our website at, or visit us in our office. We'd also like to request that this comment remain on this page, in conformity with standard press practice.

  10. Bruce Clark says:

    The Gastown Gazette is one crappy rag. Nice smear campaign against a group that has worked for a diverse neighbourhood. Sadly this rag is the voice of the high-end food joints and bars. Yup Gastown Gazette let us get rid of the organization that is fighting for homeless and poor so you -and your buddies – can can even more fusion food joints. Shame on you!

  11. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck. The Editors

  12. Alex Grunenfelder says:

    Over the past 15 years there's been an unbelievable flood of capital support for economic development in the DTES. Projects like Woodwards aren't cheap! So a $275K fund to some people who might dare to criticize the nature of that economic development doesn't exactly sound like an egregious force of destabilization.
    People often stress the unquestioned need for "economic development" but rarely explain what kind of economic development they're talking about. Development comes in many different varieties and when it involves record-breaking real estate speculation and the creation of exclusive spaces within a predominantly poverty-line neighbourhood it should come as no surprise that some people will make their unhappiness known.

  13. Mal Fenderson says:

    Except they don't make their unhappiness known, not in any meaningful way. Of all of the people in the DTES who are unhappy with provincial budget allocations, how many are registered to speak at the budget meetings happening around the lower mainland? Are they even aware that such is going on?

  14. Mal, check out this….ccap volunteers with Raise the Rates were here pushing for welfare increases and actually won support for their resolution this year…please do your homework before making gross generalizations:

  15. Dear GG including Roland, why are you afraid to post CCAP's retraction letters? You might want to occupy yourself doing something other than molding and painting false ducks –I think they call those things that you are making —>decoys?

  16. Mal Fenderson I meant to say that I agree with your first statement about the scale of support for resistance $275K divided over 8 years is about $35K/year on average. A very small budget that can only go so far in terms of publicizing all the work that CCAP did to get the word out about the needs in this neighbourhood and to organize with residents who want to struggle for their needs. Check out the CCAP blog for massive lists of all the different types of actions that CCAP did, including attending countless government meetings & published (I worked there from 2006 until August 2012). Sometime around 2003, I was on the Woodwards advisory committee and the first thing that the city wanted us to do was vote for a second woodwards tower to pay for the social housing (they said the developers, at the last minute, would cancel the social housing if we didn't approve the second tower and a taller first tower). At the time I didn't even know what the word "gentrification" was, and I felt sick to my stomach, had nobody to ask questions to — under all the peer pressure in the room, and against my gut instincts, I voted for that second tower and a taller first tower (and Ian Gillespie didn't even have to give me money for one of my projects to do that!). Now I know that it was a huge scam and now thanks to ccap research, we can see that we've lost 4 times the amount of low-income housing in a 1 block radius around the woodwards project compared to the amount of social housing in the building. Low-income people might be poor but they can still do math and know when the wool is being pulled over their eyes (unless of course, they are getting some $$ to be silent or complicit, which happens all over the world, in tons of different situations, totally not unique to here.)

  17. Paul Van Aspert Get in line behind Roland Clarke's Street Market and the current board of the DTES Neighbourhood Council. The main tool in the toolbox for attempting to "take over" funding seems to be "smear campaign." Good luck in your happy endeavors. Full disclosure, I totally support the programs at the Dug Out and have lived next door to it for almost 20 years.

  18. Oops, Mal, I made a mistake, it was Alex that pointed out the scale of funding. I take back my thank you.

  19. Barbara-Lynn Pollard says:

    The Gastown Gazette wow, the level of your arrogance and immaturity is astounding. That is so uncalled for. You cry that everyone is bullying you, but guess what, in reality it is you who are the one doing all the bullying. You are in no way helping the situation that exists in the DTES…There is a very old saying, if you aren't part of the solution, you are the PROBLEM.

  20. I'm definitely screen capturing all my comments to send to Vancity in case they get erased by Roland and editors.

  21. Barbara-Lynn Pollard says:

    I am still waiting for an answer to my question. Who does the Gazette editorial staff feel more entitled to funding from Vancity? As you have put out this call for a not for profit community based organization to have it's funding cut, who do you feel if more deserving of that funding. It is not a difficult questiion.

  22. Daniel Nesseler says:

    The Gastown Gazette, if the members of a grassroots not-for-profit want to protest something they should be able to do so without editorial calls to funding cuts to the non-profit organizations they work with. That just seems like democratic common sense. If it looks like a witch hunt… etc.

  23. Bruce Clark says:

    Gastown Gazette staff you slander a group with zero proof and when questioned about it this is your reply???? Gazette staff I do hope you have good legal help. Your unfounded slanderous statements will get your pants sued off. Offer solid proof or retract your statements – it is that simple. We are waiting for your proof!!!!

    If you stand by your statements then attach your name to these false accusations that you have made. Have some balls boys.

  24. John Brown says:

    poor kids …lots of them don't even get enough to eat in this neighbourhood. yet you think some poverty pimps deserve it…damn…

  25. John Brown says:

    poor kids …lots of them don't even get enough to eat in this neighbourhood. yet you think some poverty pimps deserve it…damn…

  26. Tim Palgut says:

    Vancity Credit Unionare a bunch of amateurs. They keep contacting me about things they've done then act like I'm at fault.
    First case, a few years ago I deposited my pay as I always did. Then a cheque bounced because they held the money. I told them that they've never done that before and I had the paperwork at home to prove it. I had to go home, then come back to the downtown Vancouver branch and show them the proof. The response? "Oh there's only 4 examples, not good enough!"
    I had to contact the president and tell him what happened. He phoned me personally to apologize. Was any of this necessary? No way in hell.

    Then they send me a letter in the mail wanting personal information. Along with a spot to fill in the date. It said "200_". Uhh this looked like a scam I told them, I mean it's 2014. This is an amateur mistake! Nope, I was told it was real and to disregard it. Damn right I will!
    I posted this on their FB page and the response was "Contact us privately". Got something to hide do you?!! How dare I show how bad you really are?

    Then most recently they contacted me to say my credit card statement will be delayed due to their mistakes. It said twice to "you do not need to take any action". Then I find out that my available credit was $0, because I missed a payment. Uhh you said you messed up and to wait for the statement to show up. I did what you wanted to the letter, but somehow I'm at fault?!!

    They are scammers, amateurs and unprofessional.

    I cancelled my accounts with them, enough is enough.