When Downtown Eastside resident C. Laird used the bank machine at the TD-Canada Trust on Main St. in Chinatown recently, somebody was standing behind him watching him punch in his pin number. The man then grabbed Laird's card. Before Laird had a chance to cancel the card, the man had raced to another bank and drained Laird's account.
Laird, a former ambulance attendant now on Disability because he has severe diabetes and other health problems, asked the TD-Canada Trust bank if they could reimburse him. "No", was the response.
Laird is not without connections though. He is a regular at the Carnegie Centre at Main & Hastings and has been a Board member there. Ethel Whitty, Director of the Carnegie Centre -- who has herself been accused of highway robbery for the $104,000 salary she drains from the public purse annually, a salary approaching what the Mayor earns -- wrote a letter to TD-Canada Trust requesting that they return the stolen money. Others at Carnegie wrote letters to the TD as well: Marlene George, Carnegie Seniors Programs Coordinator; Alphie and Sindi, Volunteer Co-ordinators; and Jean Swanson, an organizer with the Carnegie Action Project and author of the book, "Poor Bashing: The Politics of Exclusion". Sources believe a letter may also have been written by Paul Taylor, a member of the editorial committee of the Carnegie Newsletter, a left wing publication with a record of criticizing corporations.
The TD-Canada Trust reversed their decision.
TD-Canada Trust reimbursed Laird the money he was robbed of via their bank machine and sent him a letter a few days ago apologizing for the inconvenience.