4 min

In brief

Vancouver and national news

CONCERNS NOTED. Mayor Larry Campbell's Olympic consultation report notes that the gay community wants city hall support for development of a community centre, gay pride and a future Gay Games, non-market housing for lesbian and gay seniors and training programs for hospitality jobs. Credit: Robin Perelle


Terry Haldane was back in Calgary court on Feb 28, trying to plead not guilty to the found-in charge he’s been facing ever since police raided Goliath’s bathhouse last December. But the proceedings were once again delayed because the Crown still hasn’t fully disclosed its case to the defendants. So Haldane reserved his plea for a second time, and will have to go back to court on Mar 19 to try again. And he’s frustrated. At this rate, he says, the trial itself probably won’t start until December 2003, a year after the raid. At least the judge lifted the restraining order against him, he notes, so he can visit his friends at Goliath’s and the adjacent Texas Lounge again (though Haldane plans to steer clear of the bathhouse until the trial ends). Meanwhile, the other found-in who, like Haldane, had also reserved his plea at the last court appearance on Jan 23, took the alternative measures route last week. That means Haldane is now the only found-in fighting the charge. He will mount a joint defence with the owners and employees of Goliath’s who are facing keeper charges-if he ever gets a chance to plead. More than a dozen men rallied outside the courthouse again to protest the raid and support the men appearing inside.


Sean Anthony Cole (aka Dallas) is still in police custody, having appeared in court Feb 27 on at least four counts of theft. Cole was arrested in early February in connection with a series of recent drug-robberies against gay men. He is accused of going home with the men on impromptu dates, slipping a heavy sedative into their drinks and then robbing them. He will be back in Vancouver’s provincial court on Main St on Mar 13 at 9 am in room 307.


Another gay man was bashed on Davie St at around 2 am on a Sunday morning, walking home from the Odyssey. Jy Keith didn’t realize he and his friend were being followed on Feb 11 until the man approached them at the corner of Pendrell and Broughton streets. The man asked if he could buy a beer. As Keith moved to comply, the man suddenly yelled “fucking faggots” and punched Keith’s friend into the road, where he briefly lost consciousness. The friend later had to be treated for a mild concussion. Keith suffered several blows to his face and head as well, and emerged with a swollen lip. His assailant then stole his briefcase full of business receipts. Keith describes his assailant as a large, white man in his 30s with short, red, curly hair and scruffy stubble on his face. Police arrived swiftly and gave Keith an incident number at the scene. Insp Dave Jones, the commander in the West End, says the case is being followed up by the assault-robbery unit but, so far, police have no leads on the suspect.


Gay issues are raised in Mayor Larry Campbell’s report on the public consultations he held leading up to the Feb 22 plebiscite on the Olympics. A two-paragraph summary of the Feb 10 gay community forum lists some of the city actions requested by participants: city support for development of a new GLBT community centre; city policies supporting the gay Pride Parade and festival and a future Gay Games; training programs for hospitality workers; and non-market housing for gay and lesbian seniors.


Monika Chappell says she still can’t believe YouthQuest won an award for innovative initiatives at the first annual Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards on Feb 21. “I was stunned,” says the executive director of the rural support centre network for queer youth in BC. YouthQuest does excellent work, she says, but it’s a queer group-and this is the Fraser Valley, commonly known as BC’s bible belt. Now Chappell is hoping the award generates a little money, since YouthQuest ran out of government funding Jan 1. “Clearly, we’re being recognized for our value,” she says. “To have that not recognized in terms of essential funding is very disheartening.” The BC government cancelled its grants to YouthQuest last March then offered two brief reprieves before cutting the funding altogether. Chappell says she’s not sure how YouthQuest will survive until the end of this year, but fundraising efforts are now underway. For now, the 10 drop-in centres around BC will remain open. To adopt a drop-in youth, or help support queer youth in rural areas in other ways, call YouthQuest at 604.523.9115.


For the last two months, the gay safety committee, in conjunction with the Centre, has been trying to raise money for the Centre’s expanded Prideline, which officially added bashing support services to its repertoire Mar 1. About a dozen Davie St (and a few other) bars, pubs and businesses raised almost $1,000 through donation jars and a party last weekend. The PumpJack Pub led the pack. Proceeds will go towards upgrading the Prideline’s phone system, says Det Roz Shakespeare, the new gay programs coordinator for the Vancouver Police Department.


Plans for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) 2004 Vancouver Convention-May 13-16, 2004-are well under way. As the host city for the 2004 convention, Vancouver will soon throw a cocktail reception in Manchester prior to the closing gala of that city’s 2003 convention. Tourism Vancouver has played a key role planning the Manchester reception to promote Vancouver as a gay-friendly destination to the international gay travel community. Mayor Larry Campbell has expressed keen interest in the development of this market and city councillor Tim Stevenson is planning to attend the Vancouver reception in Manchester as deputy mayor, to invite the world to Vancouver for the 2004 convention.