Political Commentary and Opinion
FC On Line
Jan. 28th 2011
Dick Freeman & Robert Polton
Free Booze and Drugs, What the Hell?
VICTORIA BC - Just recently, Victoria City Councilors voted in favor of a Housing and Harm Reduction Policy, that will look to further to combat addiction problems in the downtown core and the on going violence problem, that the Victoria police have been dealing with for some years now. The plan calls for increased housing, safe injection sites and a range of other support programs, "like free drugs and alcohol" to those with abuse problems.
This new socialist policy is based on two separate studies, one from the city and one from the Centre for Addictions Research of BC. But where are the studies done by the province itself and the federal government.
Even in Ottawa a researcher in that province says their Mayor is off base on safe injection study: but also in Ottawa, Harm reduction is under fire at an meeting on Ottawa's drug woes
Shipping Containers as cheap housing in Victoria
Another of the idea's that’s floating out there by the City of Victoria and Victoria Cool Aid. and by Krishma Mulder a business manager, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and dedicated mortgage professional. Although Mr. Mulder has always called Canada home, and growing up abroad in such countries as India, Mauritius, South Africa, and several others, who he says has given him a unique understanding of the challenges faced by Canada's new immigrants.
And according to a flyer handed out to home owners in the area where this idea is being put forth to see how those people might react to such housing and where a note from a developer on using those shipping containers as housing says, We are a development team focused on socially conscious business. Our team is excited to invest in a sustainable solution to the lack of affordable housing within British Columbia. We envision the possible development, managed by Cool Aid, to be a flagship project through which we can showcase the benefits of low income housing, build with recycled materials to the Victoria and BC communities. Krishna Mulder, Business Manager
The use of recycled shipping containers for low cost housing sound wonderful...But is this really the way to go in this community, as many, many home owners in Victoria's Blanchard Community, who pay taxes to the city of victoria say no to shipping containers....
As Canadians we have a higher standard in this country for proper housing and even I have to say, "this isn’t a third world country", where shipping containers might work for them in other parts of the world for lack of building materials needed to build proper homes. And what considerations have been taken for health issues on this....That in itself is a big concern, and here is why.. As what comes to mind is turning the area into a slum, to fix the city problems they face and that they have let go unattended for way too many years.
Not surprisingly in third world country's where housing is a total mess, as such conditions of overcrowding have fostered physical health problems such as typhoid fever and bronchitis, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, according to the Human Rights Watch report. In developing countries, overcrowding and poor ventilation can encourage the growth of disease vectors such as mosquitoes, parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Noise and sheer physical safety, including vulnerability to violent crime, contribute to anxiety and depression in both developed and developing countries. Some of the worst environmental health problems associated with housing, especially in developing countries, are unsafe water supplies, lead exposure, and poor indoor air quality (along with related dust and moisture problems).
Unsafe water. The developing world suffers 98% of the deaths resulting from unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities, according to the World Health Organization's (WHO) World Health Report 2002. The report identifies infectious diarrhea as the largest single contributor to ill health associated with water, sanitation, and hygiene inadequacies. In some countries schistosomiasis, trachoma, and other parasitic diseases arise from contaminated water systems. Schistosomiasis is caused by a blood fluke and causes fever, diarrhea, and enlargement of the liver and spleen. Trachoma is caused by a Chlamydia parasite and causes inflamed eyelids, corneal abrasion, and eventually blindness. According to the WHO, 6 million people worldwide are blind due to trachoma, and more than 150 million are threatened with blindness because of trachoma infection.
This is what third world country's face where there are housing problems that are caused by governments mismanagement, and corruption, and greed to get at tax payers money for all kinds of projects.
Take a good look, where 70 million dollars is going to be used to replace the Johnston Street bridge in Victoria, and just think, where portions of that federal money and the local tax payers monies could have been used for real low cost housing in the city of victoria.
The City of Victoria's agenda's are all mixed up, and the people of Victoria need to start expressing what they want their tax money to be used for.
According to Victoria's councillors in office, who think tax payers should foot the bill for everything in this city, while family's and their children live deeper in poverty, and where they the City of Victoria cater to every whim for these drug users, many who have mental health issues on the streets, and are a danger to law abiding citizen's should be locked up. Just where is those in office thinking at.. They need to find solutions without taxing people more and more..Their way at looking at things to shout more funding alternatives urged to ensure bridge with rail; Tax hikes possible as pressure mounts, councillor says, Lucas said. He said the city should consider any and all alternative funding options to include rail, including digging into reserves, short term borrowing or raising taxes. Victoria has to consider all options -including raising taxes -to include rail as part of a new Johnson Street bridge, Coun. Philippe Lucas says. I don't know about you but I'm sick to death of those political crazy's in office who think raising taxes on everyone will benefit everyone, but the truth is, the only ones graining from raising taxes is those in office. These people must think that money grows on tree's and having it printed out by the federal government will only lead Canada down the same road as the US, as in going bankrupt. Maybe that is what socialist are...
Britain and other European governments have been accused of underestimating the health risks from shipping pollution following research which shows that one giant container ship can emit almost the same amount of cancer and asthma-causing chemicals as 50m cars. Confidential data from maritime industry insiders based on engine size and the quality of fuel typically used by ships and cars shows that just 15 of the world's biggest ships may now emit as much pollution as all the world's 760m cars. Low-grade ship bunker fuel (or fuel oil) has up to 2,000 times the sulphur content of diesel fuel used in US and European automobiles. (Source) Then you have the Fumigation of shipping containers (Source) As the one thing that those elected in office are all are forgetting is that those shipping containers would end up having people with serious health problems, like mold problems for starters in wetter climates, and that the type of toxic chemicals used to clean out the shipping containers that wouldn’t be worth the trouble to use as homes.
When Kerry Jang of Vancouver was asked about affordable housing In an ongoing struggle with Vancouver homelessness, and a lack of affordability, he says "The designers who had proposed shipping containers are actually proposing custom built and new units built on shipping container production lines rejigged to build units. Some had suggested recycled containers but that is something we are not supportive. Indeed, the vast majority of designers are proposing purpose built and designed prefab units".....
Harm Reduction Programs.
In Victoria, even though that the recommendations for Housing and Harm Reduction Policy have been approved at a municipal level, plans to meet with the Vancouver Island Health Authority and seek funding from the Province are next on the agenda.
So who is asking the tax payers if they want to fund this program.....
This is so typical of those elected government "well meaning" socialists and others, who think that keeping the drug trade going and supplying alcohol to their clients, will better them in the long run, according to a misplaced and so called study by Centre for Addictions Research of BC that should be called into question, and rather then enforcing statutes in place to deal with on going drug and alcohol problems in the down town core, that led to violence problems.
This is the most bazaar way the City of Victoria's catering to the druggies on the streets and the drug trade that runs rampant in Victoria, while the city holds out it's hand once again to get at more tax payers money from Victorian's to fund this project. Times are tuff right now for everyone in Victoria, and with the cost of heat, food and housing costs rising out of reach for most family's with children, while the city of victoria seeking more tax money for these hair brain programs that are leading BC further in debt, is not going to help this province or the people in local community's the least, let alone monies being spent on homeless experiments for those living in the streets.
They the City of Victoria and others should be putting the homeless with drug and alcohol problems into rehab center's, which work very well and is more sound to have in local community's.
The City of Victoria’s reasoning for pushing the harm reduction program and taking this route is because, they believe it might reduce crime and at the same time spread the issues out to other area's to deal with.
So what about those mental health beds for the mentally ill, by reopening those center's that were closed down long ago by the province and city without the free booze or drugs.
Not only would it give them housing and beds to get them off the streets, but those who have the mental illness’s would get better care in the long run and not out in the streets causing community's problems..
Housing is one thing, or rehab programs with the use of tax payers money, but what the City of Victoria has planned is not only misguided and a abuse of tax payers money in BC. that people will not except this kind of misuse of their tax money.
I don't know what has gone wrong with these elected officials thinking, but rather seeking to have those criminally charged for breaking the laws, who have substance abuse which always led to crimes being committed, they want to reward them on every level.
VicPD has in the past stated the increase in violence in the downtown core is largely the result of a legal substance readily available at hundreds of government locations. Victoria Police say they have seen a growing increase in violence, but they attribute much of that to alcohol use - and that is true.
Now the Victoria police say now they support the mayor’s new agenda on Housing and Harm Reduction Policy, but is this just another way to spread out the problems in other community's, rather than have it concentrated in one area. where crime and violence get out of control
Police don't mind a certain level of crime and fear in our communities, because it helps maintain their monopoly on the authority we delegated them.
Yes, Just think a warm place to sleep, free booze and drugs, all at the cost of you the tax payers. The plan calls for increased housing, safe injection sites and a range of other support programs. The policy is based on two separate studies, one from the city and one from the Centre for Addictions Research of BC. Now that the recommendations have been approved at a municipal level, plans to meet with the Vancouver Island Health Authority and seek funding from the Province are next on the agenda.
According to Maclean's a "complex combination of social problems, unemployment, sexual and physical abuse, and drug and alcohol abuse" were the likely contributors to high urban crime rates.
With all these social issues cropping up right in our own neighborhoods are the people being consulted on this? Not from what I've seen, as the city just doing as they please, while helping themselves. Other then making bandage solutions that often lead to worse problems later on, while misusing using tax payer money for whatever they want to use it for , city officials really believe handing out needles and crack pipes or needles, free booze and drugs, yet not telling the public where they are putting those needle exchanges are going to get people on side. I believe and think they really need a reality check, and giving out free alcohol and drugs will not benefit anyone... What these people need more are beds, housing and Rehab Center's than this socialist experiment being put forward by those who have misguided idea’s.
The city's only fixed needle exchange on Cormorant Street was evicted by its private-sector landlord in 2008 after ongoing complaints from neighbors' about problems such as loitering, public disturbances, discarded needles, and urination and defecation in doorways and private property. Proposals for permanent needle-distribution sites on Pandora Avenue and Princess Street were also shelved because of community fears the failed Cormorant scenario would be repeated.
Walter Cavalieri, director of the Toronto-based Canadian Harm Reduction Network said downtown Victoria is poised to become a much sicker and unstable place. With heroin as the drug of choice, downtown Victoria's addicts were "largely drowsy and slow-gaited". Now, these same users are finding themselves hooked on a powerful stimulant that prompts aggression and paranoia which lead to more violence.
In the past, a spokes person for the VicPD Sgt. Grant Hamilton said "Whether it's heroin or coke or crack, we will see a certain level of violence among street communities,". As a result, crack users will be much more prone to commit petty crimes to support their mounting addictions. Thefts from parked vehicles could also be expected to climb, said Hamilton. Aside from its lower price, users may be lured to crack because of its ease-of-use. Heroin users need to tote around an ample collection of drug paraphernalia including needles, shoelaces, water and cotton balls. Crack users, on the other hand, only need a pipe and a lighter. "We're not hearing from the street community that there's a lack of clean needles," said Hamilton.
Now Hamilton is saying the police support the City of Victoria's new agenda of a Housing and Harm Reduction Policy, that includes free booze and drugs.
Go figure, you might as well say, it's like they are trying to fix the problems with the new political flavor of the day for political reasons!
I'm Dick Freeman and this is my view.
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