Residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside are hoping a new street market in their neighbourhood will catch on — and eventually be legalized.
The plan, according to members of the newly formed Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council (DNC), is to provide a venue for locals to sell consignment goods, wares and food items every Sunday afternoon, in order to supplement their incomes.
For future market gatherings, the DNC plans to apply for vending permits as an organization to save individual vendors the cost of application. Yesterday, however, vendors had to sell at the risk of being ticketed.
Lucie Landry, a vendor and member of the DNC, said she believes the Sunday market will provide Downtown Eastside residents with a means to build a sense of camaraderie, restore their dignity and feel good about themselves.
“I think (because of this market) we’ll see less crime in this neighbourhood, and people might look at us a little differently,” said Landry.
The DNC is also pursuing a legally mandated “Bill of Rights for Binners,” which would allow individuals to search through rubbish containers for potentially useful discarded items, store the items and sell them.