Vancouver Sun Story: Vancouver unveils Marpole Temporary Modular Housing

We would like to point out some very lazy, biased and sloppy reporting in this Vancouver Sun article of an important issue to the Marpole community.

This story has been in the news for months now and the reporter didn’t include even basic public information about this project, and shows a very strong bias in the article in favor of the city.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the reporter didn’t even bother to do a basic Google search on the location of the Temporary Modular Housing as shown by the URL saying the Temporary Modular Housing is in Kerrisdale when in fact it is in Marpole, and Marpole is not anywhere near Kerrisdale.

Several important factual errors in this article:
1 – The Temporary Modular Housing project is NOT blocks away from schools.  It is in fact just 25 steps away from Laurier Elementary schools, no more than 15 meters – across a narrow residential street.

2 – The article fails to mention that the project will house a MINIMUM of 20% of Level 3 individuals.

Level 3 individuals are those who:

  • Non-engagement with treatment and support services
  • Poor housekeeping, hoarding, hygiene
  • Extensive criminal history indicating high risk to re-offend
  • Can create security problems through aggressive and intimidating behavior
  • Episodic dramatic presentation, manipulative, demanding or intrusive behavior, inability to sustain personal relationships
  • Frequent conflict with others, poor communication skills
  • History of property damage

3 – The Mayor said the residents are misinformed, and multiple info sessions are held to “educate” the residents.  Yet, this information came directly from city’s own document – (page 17 & 18).  Is the city saying it is the source of misinformation?

4 – The students who supports the Temporary Modular Housing project are all grade 12 students, and many do not even live in Marpole area.  Thus, they cannot claim to be representing students in supporting Temporary Modular Housing, especially not elementary school children.

5 – There is absolutely no attempt to contact the residents to get their side of the story, or even a simple Google search of existing news stories where residents concerned are clearly outlined.  This is unacceptable in terms of journalist professionalism and integrity in presenting balanced news.

We ask that the Vancouver Sun issue a full apology, and retraction of the story until a balanced story with relevant facts can be released, as well as a public factual error report prominently in its print edition and website.  Failing to take appropriate actions to present a balanced news story, we will be forced to file complaints with the media council ombudsman.

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