BIL 2015

March 21-22nd at Imperial Vancouver. Doors open at 8am. Opening remarks begin at 9:30AM.

Ruth Meta


I am an “old” person… and an acute observer of human nature… because I am 67 years old, my life has many chapters and if there is a common theme it is about what makes humans tick… I have always lived in inner cities in rather large cities: Washington, DC, New York, Toronto, Vancouver … places where the “press” has created an environment of fear, but those who live there don’t feel that way. I have owned several local, independent small businesses whose main function is to bring life back to decimated areas.

In Toronto I owned a local independent “lefty” bookstore/art gallery. Upon moving to Vancouver, I initiated a literary event for kids in east vancouver modelled on the initial concept of “Word on the Street”… after that, I, and a group of other parents at Strathcona School, where my daughter was enrolled, we started the first new business in the DTES in 2000 when the DTES was a barren strip of boarded up buildings. More recently, I’ve opened an organic florist/plant store/non gmo seed store/ART GALLERY/event space further along east hastings, where IT is now a barren strip of boarded up buildings…
I believe in “common sense”… Jane Jacobs was a neighbour and friend of mine… she was NOT an urban planner… she was a journalist with an astute sense of human nature… I am as well.

Talk Title: The Death of Common Sense

Doesn’t something inside you give you an uneasy feeling when a business wants your business and your money, but doesn’t trust you?
What does that kind of attitude make you feel like doing? My talk would centre around the questions above… I can pretty much guess what the respondents would say… most folks don’t like being watched or being suspected. Common sense tells us that we don’t like being treated like a criminal if we aren’t one. I know that some surveilance has saved many lives and have caught disreputable folks… but not everybody is disreputable… actually, most of us aren’t. I’m merely advocating the valuation of “wisdom” and “common sense”… because “common sense”… isn’t COMMON… Why would anyone want to hear that? Because most folks know it’s true, but they don’t get it acknowledge very often.