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Landmark agreement ‘fell by the wayside'

From Monday's Globe and Mail

‘We're a step back from where we were' in 2000 ...Read the full article

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  1. eric kendall from Vancouver, Canada writes: Ms. Kwan yaps on in her typical partisan way, yet it was HER government that closed the mental health institutions and turfed the residents onto the streets! People that have worked in the area also say that the present Gordon Campbell provincial Liberals have in fact done more to solve the problems and house the poor than any government in many years.

    Philip Owen complains that Ottawa is not interested and the writer implicates the current Conservatives; when, in fact, Owen was mayor during the federal Liberal Chretien rule! Owen also was a principal architect of the, so called, Four Pillars strategy but there was absolutely no commitment to the first pillar, "Prevention", neither was there any action on the last pillar, "Enforcement".

    Sure the other pillars were implemented. They give out methadone (Treatment), along with (Harm reduction) condoms, needles and other injecting equipment. Big deal!
  2. Craig Jones from Kingston, Canada writes:
    Philip Owen is exactly right. I have been in meetings with officials of the provincial government of Ontario and they have said precisely that: they live and die by the headlines on next morning's newspaper.

    He is also right about their short-termism. Governments under our electoral system cannot think beyond the next election -- hence planning for the next generation is next to impossible.

    No where is this more true than with regard to social policy. No government cares to implement programs for which they will not be around to reap the benefit.

    And no government would, in any event, reap benefits for helping the marginalized and stigmatized even if they were going to be around.

    Hence, issues like the DTES suffer from an allergy to media attention and a tendency to short-term thinking both of which are embedded in our political habits and practices.

    Craig Jones, PhD
    Executive Director
    The John Howard Society of Canada
  3. Brad Richert from Canada writes: How ironic some of the statements in this article were, as well as the article itself. Once again, it is only because our face will be in the spotlight that we care. These people are still a means to an end for politicians as well as the general public of Vancouver.

    It is like the caging up of the smelly dogs in Greece during the past Olympics. Lets not fix the problem, lets see what band-aid solution we can come up with in the next year. We all know that Vancouver's homeless and drug traffickers will once again "fall by the wayside" once the Olympics are over and the embarrassment has fallen aside.

    I for one feel much safer walking down the East side than I do in the majority of places in Abbotsford or Chilliwack, or even Burnaby for that matter. The vast majority of these people are harmless - most are simply not pleasant enough to look at for those Armanis walking down Robson.

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