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Seamy Underbelly, Part II

Visiting the Downtown Eastside (DTES) has churned up some contradictions for me, and resolving those contradictions requires re-thinking some questions I thought I already knew the answers to:

1) To what extent do people choose to live in the DTES, and to what extent are they stuck there?

2) Does the DTES community strengthen its residents or […]

My visit to the seamy underbelly

At the harbour, outside my hotel

So…I went to Vancouver for a whirlwind business trip. I arrived Wednesday afternoon and left Friday morning. I was working most of the time, but I did have two more-or-less free evenings, so I did what I could to cram Vancouver in.

I hadn’t been there in 30-odd years, and […]

Safe injection sites: Treating people with addictions like they matter

Last October, the Supreme Court ruled that Insite, Vancouver’s safe injection site, could stay open despite the Harper Government’s objections. The arguments hinged on whether addiction was primarily a health issue or a crime issue. If it were a health matter it would fall under provincial jurisdiction; if it were a criminal code issue, it […]

Insite comes to Ottawa

The Harper Government TM is still attempting to shut down Insite, Canada’s only supervised injection site. The case is now before the Supreme Court of Canada, which is where I spent yesterday morning.

I had to line up to go through a scanner, and empty my pockets and put metal things in a bin and so […]

Art for Haiti, and Insite Update

I’ve been a little delinquent on the blogging front lately because my brain fell out.

Meanwhile, life has continued to unravel as life does, and now I’ve got a bit of a backlog of things to blog about.

For example. Last night GC and I went to Paul Dewar’s art auction for Haiti at the Cube […]

Insite survives Conservative ideology attack

Good news – the BC Court of Appeals ruled against the federal government in favour of Insite’s constitutional right to exist. Not only that, but the Court of Appeals also tackled the jurisdictional issue, and determined that Insite is a provincial matter, not a federal one.

There’s still a possibility that the feds will appeal […]

Cathy Crowe, Insite and the Knit Signal

Cathy Crowe is running for Member of Provincial Parliament in the Toronto Centre by-election, where the incumbent, George Smitherman, is stepping down to run for Mayor of Toronto.

This was the first piece of political news in a long time to give my heart a hopeful little leap.

Here’s what Naomi Klein says about her candidacy: […]

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 […]