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Local Directory for Ottawa, ON


The Sex Trade Worker Rally

After work today, GC and I attended two very different events: Marion Dewar’s Lying in State at City Hall, followed by the Sex Trade Workers Rally on Parliament Hill.

The lineup inside City Hall led directly to Marion Dewar’s five children, where we could offer our condolences before filing past the closed casket and signing […]

The addiction stranglehold

Conservative politicians seem to think it’s a simple enough matter to quit doing drugs. Just quit, that’s all. Just stop doing them. Just say no. They believe a more punitive approach to drug use will yield the desired results. If we wield a big enough stick, addicts will decide drugs aren’t worth it, and will […]

Damien Trimingham’s story

Tony Trimingham was one of two speakers last night at a public forum at the Ottawa Public Library. He came all the way from Australia to talk about harm reduction programs, and to tell us about his son, Damien, who died of a heroin overdose twelve years ago at the age of 23.

It was […]

Ideology trumps evidence: Conservative drug policy

InSite is the only supervised drug injection site in North America, and it’s located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

“Insite is supported by a broad range of organizations and individuals including the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health, Premier Gordon Campbell, Minister David Emerson, Senator Larry Campbell, Vancouver Police Chief […]

Crack kit program gets an infusion

Good news for Ottawa’s crack addicts and those who care whether they live or die: the province has stepped in with funding for our Crack Kit Program.

As you may recall, Ottawa City Council withdrew its share of funding for the program earlier this year. Evidently Council thought the lives of all of our addicts […]

The Mayor and Me at the Homelessness Forum

Somehow the Mayor and I ended up at the same community forum today. I stayed all day, while he just made an appearance. Too bad: there was much he could have learned, since homelessness is one of his more conspicuous areas of ignorance.

The Mayor said some nice things about the work of the Alliance […]

The Crack Kit Community Forum: Part Two

Part Two was the Open Mic – questions and comments from people in the audience. It was actually pretty interesting, because there was a real mix of attitudes and opinions. Until this point, I got the sense this was one of those “preaching to the choir” things, since everybody seemed to agree with each other.

There […]

The Crack Kit Community Forum: Part One

I’d estimate the turnout at about 200 or so. Even though it was held in Council Chambers, as far as I could tell there weren’t any councillors there.

My note-taking skills are rusty. I’d try to write something down verbatim because it was so interesting or eloquently stated, but by the time I’d faithfully recorded […]

The real reason I support the crack kit program

I used to be a drug addict on the streets of Ottawa.

That whole period of my life is a bit hazy, but it started in my teens and lasted a few years.

Amphetamines were relatively cheap and plentiful at the time, and they were my drug of choice.

I wasn’t in good shape. I […]

Is City Council smoking crack?

What the hell is the matter with Ottawa City Council, eliminating the crack kit program? I have nothing to say about it beyond what I said in December. Except this: Council’s short-sighted, uninformed, pointlessly moralistic non-solution betrays a fundamental lack of understanding of the problem.

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