When C. Laird was using the TD-Canada Trust bank machine in Chinatown on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, he was robbed. He asked the TD-Canada Trust if they would reimburse the money. Their answer was, “No.”

Laird is a low income diabetic living on Disability government assistance, but he is not without connections. He has served on the Board of the Carnegie Centre, a community centre and hub of left wing political organizing just a block from the TD-Canada Trust Bank. A number of individuals at Carnegie wrote letters to the TD-Canada Trust on Laird’s behalf requesting that they reconsider their decision. One was American ex-pat Jean Swanson, an organizer with the Carnegie Action Project (against homelessness and gentrification) and author of the book, “Poor Bashing: The Politics of Exclusion”. Sources believe a letter was also written by American ex-pat Paul Taylor, who for 30 years has been editing the Carnegie Newsletter which has a record of criticizing corporations.

Another letter was written to the TD-Canada Trust by Carnegie Director Ethel Whitty, who has been accused by Downtown Eastside residents in recent months of attempting to constrict their right to freedom of expression. In January, Whitty and her staff barred a local homeless man, Bill Simpson, from the Carnegie Learning Centre for allegedly blogging for the Downtown Eastside Enquirer. The DTES Enquirer has been known to criticize inefficiencies and left wing politics at Carnegie.

Freedom of expression practiced by Whitty and other Carnegie workers in response to the decision about Laird by one of Canada’s largest banks, worked though. The TD-Canada Trust reimbursed Laird his money and sent him a letter apologizing for the inconvenience.

To read the full text of the original article, go to the Downtown Eastside Enquirer

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