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Homeless take centre stage in B.C. Throne Speech

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Document promises strategies for Downtown Eastside, job creation and renewed recognition of aboriginal rights ...Read the full article

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  1. Ryan Lemay from Canada writes: How can you tell the Olympics are coming? Gordo is handing out cash to the down trodden. This is called 'hush hush' money. Buy off the social activists so they don't embarass the gov't to much during the coming Olympics. Never mind this guy was the mayor of Vancouver and his record shows what this person is really about. Having real media make a 2 week stop in Vancouver could be embarrasing. They wont be as ideoligical as CTV, Canwest media infact the foreign media may even ask some though question. That is what Gordo's is really trying to avoid. Ca-ching $$$$$$$$$$$$
  2. Winston Smith from Canada writes: They may as well continue stuffing more $100 bills into the pockets of drug gangs. By treating the symptoms the disease will never go away.
  3. Greg Stevens from Canada writes: Dear Gordon. Had I been you, I would have written the Throne Speech to include my mea culpas about the many mistakes my government has committed especially during the past good times. I would have striven once more to make-up for the unbuilt senior accommodation I promised, pulled back the unseemly and ungodly high raises I gave myself and my colleagues and my senior officials, I would have repealed the free speech gag, the absolutely unnecessary carbon tax and the two tier hydro pricing, reduced the cabinet in size, eliminated all the wastage of programs that clutter BC, and aimed instead for the government I once promised, but which now seems focussed instead at delivering the Province to the NDP. But I am not you Gordon. Just a very disappointed citizen who will work hard again to seek your re-election but very worried about the damages that have been done.
  4. Peter Lucas from Langley, Canada writes: Great! Spend money on social programs in a time of deficit. Pass the bill on to our children, who get no benefit. The G & M recently reported $1.4 billion spent on the downtown eastside for no apparent deficit. More of the same?
  5. Shaun Canada from Vancouver, Canada writes: Hey, here is an idea, stop your whining and do something about these problems. Seriously, who here, that writes about societies wrongs and injustices, actually does anything but complain? The problem with this society is everyone pointing the finger...get up and do something, feed the homeless, clothe the naked... I pray that we all can do that, because I believe the government does plenty, let them regulate and may we all help each other through the good and the bad times.
  6. Chris E. from Canada writes: When you build social infrastructure, you add recurring costs to the burden on the tax base.

    In Ottawa, the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation provides nearly 14,800 subsidized homes to 32,000 people. It is estimated it will take $211 million to complete basic repairs on all units. Bedbug infestations are up 300 percent, adding near a half a million dollars in costs per year.

    Don't build it in the first place, and you avoid never-ending costs.
  7. Walter Murr from Canada writes: Instead of handing out cash to fan the drugtrade, our incompetent representatives should give more thought to our shrinking economy. Vancouver has been and will always be a slum.
  8. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Shaun Canada from Vancouver, Canada writes:

    Let the hungry feed themselves, I am sure there is alot of food in the dumpster behind Boston Pizza.

    What does the unemployed logger in Smithers get from this deal? Oh yes, he gets the luxury of paying for a safe place for heroin addicts to shoot up in Vancouver while his family eats beans, no pork.

    Socialism is a largely wasted effort. The benefit comes no where near justifying the expense. Save two crackheads create 10 more.
  9. ss dd from Vancouver, Canada writes:
    This is the clearest sign yet that Gordo is getting desperate.

    I don't think it will help him much though... :-)
  10. R. M. from Regina, Canada writes: What was it the G&M reported there other day...$1.4 BILLION spent on this area over the past number of years (can't remember the time) with negligible results? This type of project should really be called an experiment in social engineering--a dubious practice at best!
  11. Hope Not such a bad thing from Canada writes: Sounds like all the right stuff.

    I am very happy with the performance of the Liberals, Repeated surplus' in good times to pay down the debt. Huge investments in infrastructure, the Olympics, which I think will bring huge benefits to BC from infrastructure as well as putting this gem of a city on the global radar again. And it sounds like the focus of attention on the Downtown eastside is actually going to accomplish something that has been left undone for decades.

    To all those that don't get what they want. Oh well, BC is a great place to live and the economy is doing better than pretty much any other region in the world. You don't know a good thing when you have it.
  12. Rt. Revd. Malachy Egan from Halifax, Canada writes: Winston Smith from Canada writes: They may as well continue stuffing more $100 bills into the pockets of drug gangs. By treating the symptoms the disease will never go away.

    Sad, Winston, but a truer word you never spoke. And the drugs will never go away because human greed will never go away; human greed will never go away because politicians, judges, policemen, parole officers, prison guards and regulators and bureaucrats of all stripes will always risk it all for a better house, a wad of cash or whatever. Not all of them, but enough of them to keep the coca plants watered and the poison chemical factories churning out the $h!t.

    The DTES is a symptom of that which we have all become!
  13. Paul B from Vancouver, Canada writes: As I mentioned in the previous article, the only solution to the Vancouver East side is to make a rehab center in the interior, where drug traffickers and pimps won't be around; a far away place where people can learn basic knowledge/training to become employable people. Let it be farming, mechanics, labor... whatever, but not more of the same! Their current way of life, which is begging for change & craving for more free handout from taxpayers, is unacceptable.

    If Gordo is pumping more money into the failed system, he will only make matters worse. The druggies and homeless won't spend extra money to better themselves, they'll just blow that money on drugs.

    The only people who are cheering for this move are drug dealers, and this include politicians who are selling 'blue pill' to fool tax payers.

    Get real people, it's time to take drastic measures to curve crimes and poverty in Vancouver; and that requires tough measures.
  14. truth betold from Canada writes: When did the Globe & Mail become The Onion. Because this is a howler from Hope Not:

    'I am very happy with the performance of the Liberals.' Probably because you're one of their PR flacks.

    'Repeated surpluses in good times to pay down the debt.' Huh? Paid down the debt? When did that happen?

    'Huge investments in infrastructure, the Olympics, which I think will bring huge benefits to BC from infrastructure as well as putting this gem of a city on the global radar again.' Almost too much to handle in one sentence: it's not 'investment,' it's spending; the Olympics are a billion-dollar boondoggle; Vancouver is a lump of coal, not a gem; and the world doesn't give a rat's @ss about the city.

    'And it sounds like the focus of attention on the Downtown eastside is actually going to accomplish something that has been left undone for decades.' According to the weekend's Globe series, the first $1.4 billion hasn't done anything except maybe make the Downtown East Side worse. What will more money do except keep social workers employed?

    'BC is a great place to live and the economy is doing better than pretty much any other region in the world.' OK, now I know who's been smoking all that BC bud.
  15. Naomi Y from Canada writes: Peter Lucas from Langley, Canada writes: Great! Spend money on social programs in a time of deficit. Pass the bill on to our children, who get no benefit. The G & M recently reported $1.4 billion spent on the downtown eastside for no apparent deficit. More of the same?
    -------------------
    Keep trying the same thing and expecting a different outcome is a textbook definition of mental illness.

    The good thing about solar power is that it's so inefficient, it will require a lot of unskilled labour and thus 'create' employment at expensive price. But wait till the environmentalist realize how much land will be needed.
  16. Panta Rei from Albania writes: BC bud for all.....
  17. harry carnie from Northern, B.C, Canada writes: Huh!........leave the street people and the beggars, on the streets of Vancouver.

    The tourists will enjoy the 'ambiance' along with the dirty streets and air.
    Add to this.... the becoming 'daily shoot out' somewhere in the greater Vancouver area,
    and you have ALL the trappings of a truly '(third) world class city'.
    The only danger is, the tourists may decide to spend time in a third world city, in a REAL third world country.......Where the people ARE FRIENDLY
    and everything is MUCH CHEAPER.
  18. _ larrinski from Canada writes: What a happy story. The Liberals are a social programs disaster.

    Gordon Campbell, the man who sold beautiful BC to the highest bidder...
  19. J. Michael from Canada writes: A little 'tough love' would go a long way.
  20. Ed Long from Canada writes: Chris E. .... Great posts.

    Paul B is correct.

    Four decades ago I lived in Sask. and my father worked at the local correctional centre, i.e. jail. It was called a correctional centre because the philosophy was to correct anti-social or criminal behaviour for men with sentences under two years less a day.

    On admission, every inmate was assigned to a trade shop or general work on the various farms or provincial work gangs. The centre was about 70% self-sustaining through growing its own produce and livestock, and selling excess and providing labour to the local community.

    What happened? A change in society that said people should not be made to work, a new Charter of Rights quickly used by creative inmates to allow them to spend their days watching TV, planning the next score or learning the latest break-in techniques, and the local community decided the jail should be buying from them and not infringing on potential paying jobs in the community. Although it is tough to find people to cut bush all day to make campgrounds and hiking trails.

    Just as those inmates now sit rotting in what even a liberal judge of my acquaintance calls a 'warehouse', so do people rot on the DTES ensuring drug dealers have a subsidized and easily located market, and pimps and deviants can prey upon anybody.

    Gordo was mayor of Vancouver when the DTES women began to disappear. He knows this is a bottomless pit. BUT, he has an election in May and his largest criticism is for being arrogant. Welcome to the touchy feely Gordo. It will last until the Olympics are over.
  21. doctor business from vancouver, Canada writes: It also includes a new 10 lane megahighway instead of the merely assinine twinning of the port mann this is stoking fires of hell. If this is supposed to be the best place on earth why are we creating our own mini-hell. We all know what a 10 lane highway is and all the suburbs and gridlock that will be promoted along with it. We are being trapped in our cars and there is no escape. They could build 10 trains for the price of this one stupid highway and we could be moving into the future. Instead somebody is bailing out the auto industry (that isn't even in this province).

    Gordon Campbell is the worst premier we have ever had. He is a mini-Bush. Except - there is nary the scrutiny of him and the opposition here in BC is even more cluelessly un-united and ineffective than the American Democrats.
  22. Ed Long from Canada writes: 'He is a mini-Bush'.

    Wow, poor GWB is being blamed for British Columbia.

    'Well, those British Columbiers have a fine lady for Queen.'
  23. Hope Not such a bad thing from Canada writes: It sounds good to me

    response to truth betold from Canada

    typical calls of the sky is falling, if you don't like the facts make up your own. The Total Provincial Debt has been reduced from 37.7 Billion in o3/04 to 34.3 in 06/07. Not sure about the years before and last year but, as I said paying down debt.

    http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2007/bfp/default.aspx?hash=28

    The Olympics are going to be great, New Skytrain Line, Improved Highway to Squamish and Whistler, New Convention Centre, all good infrastructure and fortunately lots of spending to boost the economy in tough times.

    Just like Expo world class events are good for the city, I am sure you were against that as well.

    I am happy to see that something is being done on the Downtown East Side - I was hoping that all the attention would finally get things moving and it looks like it is.

    If you don't think that Vancouver is a great place to live, thats fine, for me life is great, for me business is good, the province is spectaqcular and I am happy that Vancouver is growing and becoming more interesting with a huge influx of residential people in the core. Like I said if you don't like it, oh well, maybe try someplace else.
  24. Rick Jones from The Rock, Canada writes: Let's see... I wonder next year how much of this will never have materialized, like all Gordon's other ambitions.

    Anyone remember the '5 Great Goals' throne speech a few years ago? How many of them came to fruition? Zero...

    Whatever happened to the cap and trade policies that were to follow the carbon tax? Whatever happened to Gordon as the 'green' premier?

    The universal day care from last year? Zero...

    Everytime Gordo reads some new policy guide, he's running off on a tangent...

    I'm sorry, but I bet this time next year, nothing has changed. I can't wait to see how many new windmills that Gordon 'Don Quixote' Campbell has charged since then...
  25. Hope Not such a bad thing from Canada writes: Vancouver is a gem - According to the Economist Magazine

    'Vancouver has been ranked the best place to live in the world for the fifth year in a row in a survey by the Economist magazine, while Toronto took fifth place out of 132 cities.'

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2007/08/23/bc-vancouver.html

    I agree I love living in BC, the NDP have torn it down a few times but it keeps pulling itselt back up. Liberals in 09 and we are good for another few years.
  26. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: B.C. Throne Speech pledges to protect social spending
    ---------------------

    Is a pledge any different than a balanced budget bill ??
  27. eric kendall from Vancouver, Canada writes: Yes, Vancouver is a gem. Just today I had lunch with a man from Central America that came here in the 80's. He worked as a waiter, saved $40,000 and bought a restaurant with two partners. He's just starting his own new business and is his two children are in University. He's happy. Later I met a woman that came here five years ago from England, although her family is still over there both her and her husband love it here. Later still I was with three women that work together, two Canadian and one from France. The discussion was about future business and at one point, without any prompting, they all said that they love it here and hope to stay. These sentiments are not unusual. I travel all over the city and I never meet these posters who complain all the time on posting boards. Statistics show that the majority, by far, of the residents of the wretched Downtown East Side originate from elsewhere in Canada. I guess they like it here too.

    Is it strange or not that, although there are substantial numbers, and in some sectors almost majorities, of first, second and third generation immigrants the people one sees down in the hell hole and the alleys are exclusively aboriginal or white and all are Canadian born?

    How is it that the Chinese, Indians (sub continent), Koreans, Japanese, South & Central Americans, Iranians, Caribbeans, Filipinos, etc. are not members of the lost tribe that lives on welfare and social services and takes drugs and/or too much booze in the Downtown East Side? How is it that they all seem to be living a productive life? Have they no wounds that we're all guilty of and necessitate the stupor of mind and body altering states? Am I being a reverse racist in claiming that foreigners seem to be doing quite well in this expensive city, yet Canadians from away, as they say in Newfoundland, seem to be socially crippled?

    Perhaps an intrepid Globe & Mail sleuth could look into this.
  28. Ed Long from Canada writes: Eric Kendall ... Read a book called 'The Outliers' that addresses some cultural differences that impact success.

    As I said earlier, B.C. has a distinct culture of individualism and isolation that has morphed into accommodation and entitlement.

    I noticed as soon as I moved here.
  29. Festina Lente from Tampa Bay, United States writes: Yeah, clean up the East Side and while you are at it, clean up the areas fronting the cruise ships bording and debarking areas. Also clean up all the areas that have any relationship to Whistler. Like Washington, DC, Vancouvre is a beautiful international city with blighty areas,

    Planners should consult with the Guv-Gen for priority areas in any planning!
  30. Festina Lente from Tampa Bay, United States writes: Bording = boarding for the Canadian purist that hold me to a higher plane!
  31. Alastair james Berry from Canada writes: 'THE BEST LAID SCHEMES OF MICE AND MEN GANG AFT AGLEE'

    and without the legalization and regulation of drugs, on a cost plus 5% basis, these fine words, even backed up by pots of money, will fail to alter the DTES or even reduce the number of missing women......... in five or ten years time the Premier will still be delivering speeches about the glorious future ahead for the DTES.

    How many years since HARCOURT was promising the same thing?
  32. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from Vancouver, Canada writes: doctor business from vancouver, Canada writes: It also includes a new 10 lane megahighway instead of the merely assinine twinning of the port mann this is stoking fires of hell

    Can you not add Doctor Business. The Pt. Mann bridge is currently 5 lanes. Twining it means adding another 5 lanes. 5 5 = 10. And how many lanes is the new bridge going to be? 10!!
  33. Maurice Nulens from Surrey, Canada writes: 'eric kendall from Vancouver, Canada writes:'
    .. what is missing for those in the DES is FAMILY... all those you mentioned have retained strong FAMILY ties. When 6-13 -30 people stick together it's much less likely that you lose one through tough times.. everyone pulls together...
  34. John Galt from Canada writes: I think we all share a responsibility for the problems in the DTES. We let the policies take shape that resulted in what it is today, symptomatically. We need to address our collective objective. Make all Canadians whole. In the DTES there are people that are the weaker victims of society's indifference. Don't think for a minute that any one of us isn't somehow two paychecks away from our own challenges. The DTES is symptomatic of all areas of bad policy i.e. mental health, drug/addiction cycles, employment, housing etc. The current social enlightenment is leading us toward institutionalizing the DTES as a legislated ghetto (SLUM). Our tax dollars are enshrining property to a future of, well, what you see now. Historically, Ghettos had a wall or physical barrier such as a river etc. Perhaps the DTES has no wall as a reminder to the rest of us that we are precariously close to being there ourselves. Deep inside is the fear of knowing this is true. It keeps me motivated everyday. Shoot straight; fly right yada yada. If we are going to fix anything, we have to first acknowlege the subject. The DTES is a SLUM. Taxpayers are going to fix up more old buildings to create more housing for the homeless in this area. That means growing the SLUM. We are going to provide ever more services for the constituents to make the SLUM more livable. But, it will still be an area of now less homeless people with nothing to do all day. This brings in the issue of drug addiction, property crime, and the cycle of self abusing behaviors that lead to death for those not able to resist the temptation. I agree with the writer that suggests removing those in need to another place far away from the DTES. To fix a problem you need to unfreeze the current behavior and instill new behaviors. A change of circumstances is effective in achieving options. The BC interior idea has merit because for this reason, and it is controllable.
  35. Wilf Kruggel from Canada writes: For a minute I thought that the NDP were in power as they must be proud as hell the social programs is their invention. Hope for lots of unemployed and flog the social program concept. That way all the bums are on the dole and are garaunteed votes. A new federal law must be passed where by convicted drug dealers are immediately exterminated by whatever means available, as they eventually destroy someones young life, ONLY THEN WILL DRUGS DISAPEAR!!!!!!!!! Wilf
  36. aging oldtool from Canada writes: Paul B from Vancouver, I can only assume you're life in BC has seldom expanded much beyond the Port Mann bridge. Otherwise you would never suggest that by moving addicts and others in need of help into the Interior 'where drug traffickers and pimps won't be around,' they would be free from infleunce and able to recover or grow away from their current life. Get out of your basement and spend a Saturday evening in Kelowna, Kamloops or Prince George. But besides that, those who offer services of whatever to whoever have always followed the armies and hung around the fort. Are you also contemplating a round up of all the drug addicts and pimps in the Interior? And where would you send them to, Vancouver? Now, there is also the little issue of human rights and the very strong likelihood these people want nothing to do with the Interior, nor your misguided ideals. The DTES is a collective of our closet skeletons, darkest nightmares, helpless old folks, deadend basket cases, vultures and the odd small ray of hope. Despite that, the problem can only be resolved in the DTES. Is Campbell's plan what it takes? I doubt it. It'll help, no doubt. But then there is the issue of the Olympics and the desire to keep a lid of problems. Based on Campbell's past unwillingness to do anything more than whatever was absolutely required, I'll believe it when it's on the ground.
  37. Loudan Bellicose from Canada writes: I agree with Chris E. build up infrastructure and you then increase the tax rate.
    The more infrastructures you have, the higher the tax rate.
    The higher the tax rate, the lower the spending of the public.
    This is the best way to have a depression.
    If you want to create dynamic economy lower taxes, don't increase them!
  38. Matt C from Canada writes: Great. Throw more money at health care and education while the other ministries flounder with lack of funding.

    A recent report - possibly federal in origin, I can't remember - found that the best health care systems spent the least per patient. BC has one of the higher rated systems in Canada and we spend less per patient than other provinces. Yet compared to Europe, we are lagging far behind in costs and patient care. The whole system needs reform before we add more money that will have minimal results in terms of better overall care.

    The same goes for social housing and helping the homeless. We can keep doing the same thing and throw endless amounts money at the problem. The result will always be the same if we don't actually fix the huge social inequalities that exist and the lack of any kind of safety-net to stop people from becoming homeless in the first place.

    Gordon's mega-projects are also the completely wrong place to spend money. Billions spent to provide temporary jobs and economic benefits that will last 50 years. How about spending the money to rebuild our resource industry in a fashion that is sustainable over the long-term? Forestry, fisheries management, etc. All resource jobs have the potential to be long-lasting and permanent if managed properly. The forest industry could make a come-back in a big way if the will was there to think differently.

    The budget tomorrow will be interesting.
  39. eric kendall from Vancouver, Canada writes: Stan Consultant from Canada writes: Eric Kendall --- 'The people from India and the surrounding smaller nations, including Pakistan, are properly called South Asians.' Maybe but I've always thought of south Asia as Thailand/Burma (Myanmar)/Malaysia/Cambodia/Vietnam and Singapore. They're all in Asia, what's that, East Asia? As for Hindustan, well my friend, the vast majority from the sub-continent here in BC are from the Punjab, very few hindus. I kinda doubt that they embrace the Hindustan moniker. I also find it rather amusing that in India they almost all still call it Bombay but we now say Mumbai. I guess we'll always have Paris - or is it Pareee?
  40. Ed Long from Canada writes: Alistair ... the legalizing drugs, even just marijuana, is a pipe dream .... bad pun.

    We share a 5000 km. border with America and it will not happen there and we cannot jeapordize commercial flow across it.

    I reviewed Stats. Canada, CMA and parliamentary reports yesterday.

    Less 5% of Canadians are regular drug users however 20% of the social costs of substance abuse, including alcohol and tobacco, are attributed to those people.

    We have enough social costs with the two legal substances, legalization for such a small group just steepens the slippery slope.

    Furthermore, it is federal jurisdiction and will never happen. People who say it is the answer are saying they have no ideas ...
  41. Stan Consultant from Canada writes: Kendall -- The small countries you name are all in the region of the world formally known as Southeast Asia, that also includes Indonesia and the Philippines. I suggest you buy a good almanac for the current year, at about $20 - $25, and look at maps once in a while, in a convenient hand-held size. Almanacs are stuffed with all sorts of good, hard information. And your social instincts are accurate -- never use the word 'Hindustan' to a Sikh. As well, never suggest to a Hindu that his troubles are the result of bad karma. They don't consider that witticism funny.
  42. Brian G from Vancouver, Canada writes: Most of the drug addicts in Vancouver are from Toronto, Winnipeg, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Sudbury, Halifax, St. John's....you name it. Hardly any are from Vancouver or British Columbia. Vancouver tax payers wind up cleaning up after the losers from the rest of Canada. Either the federal government comes up with some real solutions and money for this problem or we should give the druggies one way bus tickets back to their screwed up homes and families where they belong.
  43. Denis Love from Victoria BC, Canada writes: Nice to see that King Gordo has a few faithful supporters telling us nice things about Gordo's big successes. Like the 450 million over budget convention center. He can't quite get around to raising the minimum wage but had no problem gving himself a 54 percent raise and bringing in a top of the line pension for the MLA's. I could go on listing some of his great efforts but his faithful will love him rgearless of the blunders the guy has made.
  44. L B from Canada writes: the liberal government is trying to win votes,not from me, he has done more damage to BC than any other government,over spending ,carbon tax, hefty huge raises for him and his rats, now he is saying gee we got to spend money on east vancouver because the olympics is coming up fast, and boy do we have to do something about gangs,vancouver won't look good, where as he been the last few years ,everything as got out of control,he couldn't have cared less about BC,wake up gordo get your head out of the sand,your proven many times you are a idiot by the way gordo its not your money you are wasting its taxs payers.
  45. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    What?

    The alternative is the NDP?

    You're going to put the NDP in charge in a global economic crisis?

    What?
    Are you insane?
  46. The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    Victoria has had the lowest unemployment in Canada
    _____________

    Helloooooooo - Victoria has the highest rate of senior (read 'retired') citizens as well.
    _____________

    And Gordon Gecko has few Liberals in his cabal - most are disguised reformers and other money-grubbing carpet-baggers. The guy is a sleaze and the province will be well rid of him come the next election.
  47. L B from Canada writes: to mike ,no I am not insane, keep guessing ,lol,lol,lol, so that means you enjoy pain from gordo and you want more,good luck.
  48. Vickky Angstrom from Canada writes: This headline is silly. The throne speech was all about wood wood wood as the BC Liberals continue to build monuments to themselves and send raw resources out of Canada as fast as you can say 'privatize everything else'.

    BC has the worst child poverty in Canada -- 1 in 4 children in BC live in poverty. The throne speech didn't even mention them.

    This government recycled a bunch of announcements and used the words green and wood a bunch of times (including talking about burning wood to create energy) but there was nothing new to offer hope to those who need health care or a decent education.
  49. The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    What?

    The alternative is the NDP?

    You're going to put the NDP in charge in a global economic crisis?

    __________

    And who would you suggest? The Madoffs of the world? Bush and Cheney thieves? A Reagan-type who dismantled and sold his country for profit for the few? The Investment bankers who continue to filch obscene amounts at the expense of everyone else? Who is this magical wizard you seem to think will straighten out this economic disaster visited upon the world by the 'great conservative right' gluttons who are so capable of destroying everything they touch.
  50. Hope Not such a bad thing from Canada writes: Campbell and the Liberals have done a great Job. I expect this budget to be good as well.

    The province is in great shape and the future is bright. Of course the haters wasnt to spit out rhetoric. The standard spew, some things are over budget, I have been building in the private sector over the last few years and I am over budget too. Thats the price you pay in a strong economic environment.

    Business is good, the province is a great place to live. If you don't like it, oh well sure good for me.
  51. Vickky Angstrom from Canada writes: Mike Sharp: You have bought the myth that the right handles the economy better than the left against all evidence. The right creates boom and bust cycles and destabilizes the economy for short term gain. The left builds societies which form long term foundations for strong, steady economies.

    In BC our debt has increased more than 10 billion under these Socred/Liberals. They have sold our raw resources, destroyed the forest industry and orchestrated the highest child poverty rate in Canada. One in four children in British Columbia have lived in poverty -- five years running.

    The Socred/Liberals never set aside any money for a rainy day, cut the fundamentals like education and are building roads instead of expanding green transportation systems. There is only a short-term mentality and a failure of the imagination in the Socred/Liberals. Now they are selling our rivers, schools, and resources and giving away our future. I think they've done enough.
  52. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    Unemployment numbers don't reflect the retired.

    There are more retired people per capita in the Okanagon.
    Specifically, Vernon, Kelowna and Osoyoos.

    In your face.
  53. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    Vickky Angstrom...

    Nope, nope, nope and nope.
    1.) The right creates economies. The left rapes them.
    2.) BC's debt has decreased under the Liberals. Significantly.
    3.) Child poverty rates are lies, damned lies and statistics. What is 25% of a dollar? 25 cents.
    4.) And the end of the argument...
    There is no greater social program better than a job.

    Socialism does not create jobs.
    It destroys them.

    In a global economic crisis when we need jobs the most we're going to let the job-destroying NDP have power?
  54. The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    Unemployment numbers don't reflect the retired.

    There are more retired people per capita in the Okanagon.
    Specifically, Vernon, Kelowna and Osoyoos.

    In your face.
    ______

    Then again, in a village of 100 people with 98 retired and 2 of working age and just 1 working, the unemployment rate would be a whopping 50%. Statistics are always fun to skew to make one's point - in your face, butt, or otherwise, don't you find, Mikey?
  55. Hope Not such a bad thing from Canada writes:

    Response to Vickky Angstrom from Canada

    This is not the US economc disater that we are talking about and this is not the republican party. I agree that these guys are the global disaster.

    But here we are taling about the BC Government. The liberals have done a great job, the NDP have always been a disaster for this province.

    Our Debt to GDP has been dropping consistantly for ten years. The Skytrain, the general development of the province is all good. I am not familiar with child poverty rates maybe you can provide the research I would be interested.
  56. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    The Three Faces of Steve...

    Is that it?
    That's your rebuttal?

    1000% of all posters are agreed.

    Your rebuttal bit.
  57. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    In case you're wondering.

    There will always be 25 pennies at 25% of a dollar.
    For eternity.

    If you arbitrarily assign a poverty line there will always be X% below that line.
    Lower the line, lower the poverty rate.

    It's meaningless.
  58. Paul B from Vancouver, Canada writes: aging oldtool, you are not giving a working solution. Your solution is 'MORE OF THE SAME'. How much do you wish to spend on DTES? A billion more? The existing system is an epic failure.

    You talk about human rights issues. Yes, it is a human rights issue. SROs in DTES are riddled with bed bugs, broken glasses, stained dirty linens and washrooms filled with needles and blood. Oh, no sir, don't play me a blind on this! I saw first hand.

    You can only correct this by removing people there.
    Mentally ill = hospital,
    druggies = interior rehab,
    homeless = interior technical training school,
    I'll even throw in a safe injection site to promote gradual detox, and put those people back to normal again. They'll be given food, clothes, shelter.

    If they don't want to go to the interior, then the society shouldn't subsidize their way of living. The purpose of our social safety net is to provide a last-line support to individuals who are willing to make a difference in his/her life, giving a second chance to the individual. Social safety net is a social contract. When a person receiving the cash benefit from the society squanders the resource on drugs, it defeats the purpose of the program; and the failed program must be revised. Social safety net is NOT an entitlement; those who receive it have the duty and obligation to spend it wisely as the program has intended. The purpose of our social safety net is not to enrich the wallets of drug lords and pimps, or to provide free rides to the social deviants.

    The only people who are adamantly against this proposal are:
    1) drug lords
    2) pimps
    3) pawn shop owners

    And I'm sorry to tell you that too many of our politicians and social activities fit in all three categories.

    You have but two choices: 'more of the same' or 'tough, hard, difficult... but a meaningful change'.

    Think about it,
    because it's about time we ask some serious questions.
  59. L B from Canada writes: to mike,,, we should all believe in your almighty pitch for the liberals,where have you been down the same sand trap as gordo??will gosh mike i for one don't trust the liberals I watched listened and am totally amazed what that sly fox of a leader gordo as done to the education, health, poverty of young children, and selling out our resources,yes in deed it has been shocking to say the least ,then he as the gull to give himself and his government a raise, what the heck for? what has he done, it is to late to do anything for the drug riddled east vancover, it should have been taken care of along time ago,it is way out of control so is the gangs,
  60. Andrew Nellis from Ottawa, Canada writes: I was in Vancouver during Gordo's first run at premier (which he lost) and remember hearing a radio interview with the head of the BC Reform Party. The NDP had just cut welfare rates by 20% in BC, and Gordo -- champion of the downtrodden -- was running on a promise of cutting them by another 20%. When asked his opinion, the Reform leader was incredulous and said, 'You can't do that, people will die.' When the Liberals [sic] are to the right of the Reform Party, there's a definite problem.

    Now, suddenly, after a career of kicking the poor around like soccer balls, Gordo is all sweetness and light? Give me a break. I don't know who's worse, Gordo with his breath-taking hypocrisy, or the corporate media for being deliberately blind to it.
  61. L B from Canada writes: and our great leader is still going to keep the carbon tax lol,lol, waiting for his fantastic budget, this is going to be funny,how about taking away your great raise, and why was the parliament building raided ? they have done just wonders for BC, sold our logs, railway, i could go on but it just makes me sick, so mike you how does it feel to believe in the all wise gordo?
  62. Just Wondering from Canada writes: Sounds like 1986
    Same bsh!t just before EXPO86

    Same crap once again with 'visitors' coming to see Beautiful BC
  63. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    Andrew Nellis from Ottawa, clumsily, 'Now, suddenly, after a career of kicking the poor around like soccer balls, Gordo is all sweetness and light? Give me a break.'
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kicking the poor around like soccer balls?

    I work with poor, sport.
    The mentally ill.
    The addicted.

    I have seen more resources become available in the last 8 years than I can remember.

    Socialism provides bureaucrats and pays those bureaucrats big tax dollar money.
    It's their trickle down economics.

    Provide enough money to the bureaucrats and maybe some poor will be helped.

    They never are.

    Give me a break.
  64. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    And after Expo '86?
    Prosperity.
  65. Hope Not such a bad thing from Canada writes:

    Response to Just Wondering from Canada

    So you agree that Expo 86 was great for the province.
  66. Nancy Wilson from N.Ontario, Canada writes: Part of the problem with B.C,is that it's filled with 'Socialist' ideas. 'Everyone' should be taken care of,by the Govt,and there is no need whatso ever,for personal accountability. Nobody ever stops to think,that everyone that requires Govt. assistance,does so,by relying on mid income earners working to support all these people ,that feel 'entilted' to the working man's earnings. Family's that struggle to take care of their own family's,are also expected to take care of everybody elses. Poverty in this Country,is defined by not having 2 or 3 colour tv's,cell,and internet service. Welfare recipients 'know' that if they have another kid ,or two,they'll receive more 'free' money. I don't object,at all, to helping people with a 'hand up' approach',a temporary solution. But too many people,are relying on a lifestyle of Govt. assistance. Every day,I see disability claimants ,driving snow-mobiles,replacing shingles on their roofs.. And Welfare claimants,opting for more children,when they know,the Govt.,and taxpayers are the only ones that support them financially. A giving and caring Society is one thing. But blatent abuse of anything that's 'free' is always open for the freeloaders of Society. And if it CAN be abused,it will be. And if we speak up,are we a less caring Society,or a more responsible one? Reality will tell anyone,that along with the needy,comes the users,and free-loaders. It's time that the free-loader lifestyle comes to an end. Is it immoral or wrong,to look out for it?
  67. Nancy Wilson from N.Ontario, Canada writes: So,those in Society,who have had all the opportunities ,of advancements,by the way of Minority hirings taking precedence,and 'free' education for Reserve Natives,are still clinging to the 'it's not fair' attitude? Cry me a river. Govt.,well paying jobs are only given,to those with a tiny bit of initiative,as the Govt's cover their 'quota' for any non-white,that' has any kind of education,and wants a job. If you're non-white,in a wheelchair,and perhaps deaf,you've got it made,as you cover so many criteria. A life long job,in many instances,with full pension benefits. Don't even TRY to get these jobs,if you're Caucasion.[for males,it's even worse]. It doesn't matter what political Party is in reign. It doesn't matter how much initiative you may have. In this Country,non whites are given the advantage ,for Govt jobs. The Govt. needs to fulfill their 'quota'.-Caucasion males need not apply. Many may not apply,as other benefits will sustain them,without having to even go to work. Not a whole lot of cash,but just have a few more kids,and you're living on the tax-payers dime. Get a little bit of 'under the table' funds,and you've exploited the middle class taxpayer quite well. Any responsible taxpayer would be foolish,not to see this,and its appearence in every day Canadian Society. I'm content to help those truly in temporary need. It coud happen to nayone. But be aware of all the 'freeloaders',looking to take advantage of the compassionate and struggling workers. They're always out there,just waiting for the fools of Society to take care of their irresponsible and lazy choices,in life. Why should they take care of themselves,when you working folk,will take care of them,and their kids?
  68. douglas harvey from dallas, United States writes: b.c. has had EIGHTY THOUSAND 80,000 LAID OFF IN THE FORESTRY INDUSTRY THIS PAST YEAR, IN ONE WEEK THIS GOVERNMENT WENT FROM A $1.5 BILLION DOLLAR BRIDGE TO A $3 billion dollar bridge. you know what'' there is no bridge'' there are no jobs'' b.c. is economy is dead and i think the people of bc. should make sure that this gov. is also in it's last days.
  69. Walter Murr from Canada writes: I just love it when middle aged white liberals talk about handing out money that others earned to crackwhores. I am glad I moved out of that slum on the West coast.
  70. Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: Only in Canada could you find people that think housing the homeless, feeding the poor, and educating the uneducated, are bad ideas. I am always amazed at the short-sightedness of many of my fellow Canadians.

    Helping the poor is a noble cause, the more people you get off the street the better chance they have to break a cycle of poverty. Giving people hope and a reason to live is how you get them off of dependency. It's the lack of hope that turns people to drugs, prostitution, and crime.

    Doing nothing merely compounds the problem, especially during an economic downturn as more people join the ranks of the poor. Contrary to popular belief, people do not want to live in poverty and generally will do whatever it takes to get out of poverty. But, when faced with homelessness, inability to feed one's self, and no employment opportunities in sight, people will do whatever it takes just to cope. You can only break this cycle by giving them the basic needs to survive.

    The lack of compassion here is astounding. I'm sure it's largely because many cannot see themselves falling so far down, but it doesn't take much. A couple of bad turns in life can profoundly change your world. A couple of breaks like housing and food can reverse that trend.
  71. eric kendall from Vancouver, Canada writes: Nancy Wilson. Thank you for taking the trouble to articulate the truth.

    By the way, Norm Jom from Patawawa, you are mistaken. There is not a lack of compassion at all. The posters here and elsewhere that express similar opinions are not advocating a Darwinian society but they are expressing frustration with nanny-state society that has bred entitlement into the minds of malcontents, freeloaders and those nostalgic socialists cloistered in academia. It's time these that have been brainwashed that further creeping socialism will solve the problems they imagine exist started listening to the calls from Kennedy and Obama. 'Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country' and, from Obama, 'We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don't want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential. '.

    Contrary to what some brainwashed posters repeat from their union and socialist cabals, the debt to GDP ratio in BC has declined from around 23% during the disastrous NDP, to around 14% under the Liberals. Until recently the unemployment rate in BC was at a 30 year low and there are still plenty of companies hiring.
  72. Naomi Y from Canada writes: Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: Only in Canada could you find people that think housing the homeless, feeding the poor, and educating the uneducated, are bad ideas. I am always amazed at the short-sightedness of many of my fellow Canadians.

    Doing nothing merely compounds the problem, especially during an economic downturn as more people join the ranks of the poor. Contrary to popular belief, people do not want to live in poverty and generally will do whatever it takes to get out of poverty.
    --------------------------------
    There's a story on G&M that said BC only wasted 1.4B on Downtown Eastside and nothing been improved.

    No want ever think they 'want' to be poor, but they just don't want to get out of it hard enough to get a job. Even now, there's still McJob position opening, as long as you are sober, they will hire you, the pay obviously not good, but no people will starve from that salary.

    We are not lacking compassion, we are just sicking tired waste billions of dollars on more of the same, where billions of dollar already failed.
  73. Vickky Angstrom from Canada writes: Mike Sharp: You are incorrect:

    When the Socred/Liberals came to power in 2001 the British Columbia Debt was 24 billion dollars. Now the British Columbia debt is 34 billion dollars. The British Columbia debt has increased by 10 billion dollars since Campbell came into power.

    The human deficit from cuts to the BC Housing program, Education, Health and other programs is incalculable and more evidence of short term thinking.

    Mike Sharp report card: Mike's response was even less substantive than usual. His ability to communicate clearly and in a civil manner still needs improvement.
  74. John Connor from Canada writes: Let the resettlement and relocation programs begin in earnest. Vancouver's finest hour approches quickly.
    Send them all to Manisnowba, where they can begin useful lives as snow removal experts.
  75. Mitch hourigan from Canada writes: Mike sharp, you work, with the poor, I doubt that, otherwise you would be truthful.
    The mentally ill and addicted in BC are kept in their place by the policies of the liberal govt (temporary warehousing ie homeless shelters) and a revolving door of welfare with no real social supports.
    Mr Sharp you are a mindless droll whose posts are very tiresome if not offensive.
  76. hunter cole from toronto, Canada writes: send them to afgahnastan - earn some self respect. nothing but a bunch of lazy bums
  77. Stude Ham from Canada writes:
    another g&m article today implies that this homeless program has suddenly gone into huge cost overruns... almost like everything else initiated for that horrendously horrific vanoc vanities folly.

    and the bc's homeless of today will become the social refugees the day after the vanoc vanities.

    what cruel monsters these gordo bureaucrats.
  78. Michael S from Canada writes: More bleeding-heart socialist ranting and dribble. It matters not what anybody says or does, it's simply not enough and good enough for them.

    End homelessness here .... easy ... gather them up and send them to which ever Province they came from ... like Alberta or some other place where many of them most probably started anyway. And, those few remaining who originated from BC, find work and homes throughout BC. Easy.
  79. Chris Halford from Ottawa, Canada writes: I agree that Campbell is probably trying to pull a rug over the Downtown Eastside. There have been major problems in that area for more than 25 years, his chances of fixing it just in time for the Olympics are slight indeed - maybe they'll just bring in buses and scoop all the homeless people up and dump them out in the country somewhere? The problem has been made worse by the unrelenting gentrification of Vancouver with million dollar condos all over the place and housing prices that are astronomic. There needs to be a concerted, ongoing effort by the City of Vancouver and the Provincial government to deal with the root causes as well as just trying to hide these people.
  80. Ed Long from Canada writes: B.C. has been the dumping ground for Canada's chosen homeless all of my sixty years on this planet.

    Temperate climate, drugs and a culture of accommodation have made it such.

    We can only change the last two.
  81. S D from Resolute Bay, Canada writes: Find some land outside the city and create government sponsored slums. It works in other countries so let's try it here. And before all you people start gasping in shock go see a government sponsored slum. They are extremely basic living quarters but they work. What you see in Slumdog are non government sponsored slums.
  82. Chris Halford from Ottawa, Canada writes: Michael S from Canada writes: More bleeding-heart socialist ranting and dribble. It matters not what anybody says or does, it's simply not enough and good enough for them.

    End homelessness here .... easy ... gather them up and send them to which ever Province they came from ... like Alberta or some other place where many of them most probably started anyway. And, those few remaining who originated from BC, find work and homes throughout BC. Easy.

    ===================

    Used to be that most of them were from BC, including school teachers from the Interior, plus a some from Alberta. I doubt there's that many from East of Alberta. I don't know why you think it's so easy for drug addicts with mental health issues to get jobs and housing but you probably know more than I do about the strength and resiliency of the human spirit ;-)
  83. Ed Long from Canada writes: Gordo has a problem.

    The most visible story in Vancouver is a gang war, despite some media attempting to smooth it over.

    The only answer, as Gary Mason writes today, is a regional or provincial police. Metro police chiefs admit it. NDP ex-premier Mike Harcourt not only admits it but says round up the gangs and send them to Baffin Island. Wally Oppal says regional policing is needed.

    NDP .. tough on crime??

    Gordo's opposition in Carol James, a social worker. Therefore touchy feely Gordo.

    Who looses? B.C.

    We don't have a real leader.
  84. Chris E. from Canada writes: If these people are addicted or mentally challenged, they can still work a spade and do some subsistance farming or light labour.

    Get them out of the city. The group homes should be miles from downtown, and downtown should offer zero services to the human pigeons.
  85. Ed Long from Canada writes: City of Vancouver just announced it will cost them $110M to build the 252 non-market condo.s in the Olympic Village.

    That is $437,000 per unit.

    Think about it. There is a condo. glut in Metro Vancouver. The average price in Vancouver is just under $400,000 for a market condo. Further out in the Valley, that price falls to approx. $300,000.

    Does anybody see the absolute insane folly of institutionalizing slums and drugs on the most valuable real estate in B.C.?

    The DTES industry of special interest groups/drug dealers/pimps/civil rights advocates must be dismantled. It is a heavily subsidized zoo with the broken lives who wander there providing a reason for the above groups.
  86. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: .....as the SS Titanic readies to sail into 2010....Gordo is serving up thick gooey slices of goodness and generousity, getting the Natives onside, so that they could accompany us down the financial tube.....
  87. Disillusioned Onlooker from Sudbury, Canada writes: From the postings I've been reading, BC has changed a lot since I moved away in the recession of the '70s. I now understand how there came to be so many Conservatives elected to Ottawa from BC. I also understand how a self-proclaimed Liberal whose conservativism is right up there with Stevie's keeps getting re-elected, even after getting busted for drunk driving.
    Don't worry, all you right-wingers: if he gets back in, he'll revert to type. The only new housing Campbell is likely to provide for the homeless comes with bars.
  88. Misty Blue from Calgary, Canada writes: The downtown east side is now a sad, ugly, smelly, dangerous place. Even the once vibrant Chinatown has lost its luster with half the places shuttered and closed. I recently visited there after a 20 year absence and I just about cried. I was raised in Vancouver and I remember my mom taking me to Woodwards as a child. I remember when Gastown was developed and how it bustled with promise and new shops and art galleries and Irish pubs. Back then Emily Carr art school still operated in the core. I remembered the excursions to exotic Chinatown for delicious dim sum and the wonderful smells of duck and spices. Groups of us could still go there at night quite safely. Now it feels and smells like a place of neglect and death even in the bright sunshine where derelicts sleep in doorways and neglected sidewalks are unwalkable. The back allies one can see from the streets look like black sunless roads to hell with tiny dark figures shuffling about. It's like a cancerous tumor in an otherwise healthy body. Whatever they are doing there is definitely not working. This is a very big problem and a shame on the town and province I grew up in.
  89. Panta Rei from Albania writes: For you people that believe that BC is a socialist state , I Actualy lived in a socialist state: This will never happend in old Albania. If they got a drug dealear or user you will never hear about that person again. This is not a socialist way to deal with the issue of drugs or homeless , is a mentaly retarded way.
  90. J M from Canada writes: homeless DO NOT take centre stage in the throne speech. this is absolutely misleading. a bunch of politicians deliberating on homelessness means that politicians take centre stage in debating about the homeless.

    G&M, the government is not a vacuum where 'our' issues emerge and play out. this is an absolute lie.
  91. Helen Highwater from Qualicum Beach, Canada writes: This is quite hilarious, since it is the policies of the Campbell government regarding who can and cannot receive welfare in BC that have led directly to a huge increase in the number of homeless people. To get welfare in BC you have to have worked for two straight years without a break. Many people cannot meet this qualification, or perhaps they have just done casual labour or under the table work to survive. Or they have worked at jobs but none that lasted for two years without a break. So they are denied welfare and end up on the street. It is so bizarre that Mr. Campbell won't admit that it is own policies that caused the rise in homelessness and poverty in BC. Welfare was only $500 a month but at least it enabled people to have some kind of roof over their heads, now they live on the streets and in the parks and under the bridges and anywhere else they can find to lay their heads at night.
  92. Pete f from Calgary, Canada writes: Really all very depressing. The only place the BC government pays any attention to is the Lower Mainland, attempting to fix the unfixable. Meanwhile, the plain old hewers of wood and drawers of water in the interior watch their infrastructure and livelihoods slowly rot away. To those people who have come back to Vancouver and been shocked, try the southern interior.
  93. aging oldtool from Canada writes: Paul B from Vancouver, you appear to have missed my point entirely. You cannot send people into the Interior of BC and then expect that the industries that set up and prosper around poverty and addiction will not encamp right beside them. Read your history fellow! The Interior is already riddled with crack houses, dealers, pimps, you name it, and if you put more potential vicitms in front of them they and other dealers and pimps will be there quicker than Jack Flash. The Interiors isn't some impossible place to reach even if there are many isolated spots. Look at Ft McMurrey in Alberta or Ft. St. John in BC. Both isolated communities (albiet with much loose change available) have serious illegal drug epidemics and prostitution and it's related problems are booming sidelines. The dynamics of what you are proposing may have worked somewhat in the '30s when there were efforts to set upwork camps for the destitute. But today we aren't dealing with empty bellies as the first priority. Instead we are talking of deep social issues that have been ignored or, in reality, left to fester out of site and out of mind to most of Canada because it's hidden in the DTES. I remain a believer that if you move the people you also move the social problem, from one place to the next. Better to face reality and force all levels of governemnt, particularly Ottawa to pony up. Anyone who says this is Vancouver or BC's problem simply doesn't understand what the DTES is. It is Canada's depository for the most needy people in Canada. This is a national issue and a national shame and a great big embarassment to Gordon Campbell's Olympic optics. The latter is an ugly fact, but any help, as long as it's valid and not window dressing will help.
  94. aging oldtool from Canada writes: Nancy Wilson from Northern Ontario your comments come across as being bitterly racist and filled with more inacurracies than holes in Swiss cheese.

    I too have lived in Northern Ontario (Ft. Francis)and one of the major isues I immediately learned was the absolute ignorance expressed by so many Caucasians (I'm Caucasian,BTW) about things first nations.

    What I do know is most whites in the north said and did zip all when Indians were dying from the toxic sludge the fomer Reed paper mill was spewing across massive watersehds and fishing lakes and river where Canadian Aboriginals had been pushed into to make way for whites.

    But , worse about your rant is that you are speaking of a location some 2,000 kms west of Northern Ontario, yet tossing out local myths and rumours to justify your attack on the DTES.

    It's called really stretching it, Nancy.
  95. D Le5 from Canada writes: Paul B from Vancouver: Your comments are quite telling of your lack of understanding about the DTES. One likes to pretend that these are just unskilled layabouts or something. Drug addiction and mental illness go hand in hand in the DTES. It is not about moving them to an undisclosed location and retraining them. Perhaps one simply has to look at prisons to guess how well an isolated camp for addicted people would work out. Seems that where there is a addiction there are suppliers - and barring that people make their own (home brew in prison might be worse than the drugs that get in). The effort required to help these people is far more substantial than learning a trade. Years of therapy and rehab (and for those that aren't ready to quit will have low sucess rates - ask smokers that don't want to quit). The emotional damage that has been done to many of these people (some prior to drug use and some b/c of it) is a bigger barrier to getting cleaned up than anything. I am sure the last thing you want to hear is INSITE but their model is an excellent one if our goal to to help these people. It is NOT the sole solution either (for those who want to poke holes into what INSTITE doesn't do) b/c addiction is like most every other big problem in society - if there was an easy solution it would have worked already (and most of the solutions have been tried). Whether they are addicted b/c of bad choices, stupidity, life situations, etc all that matters is that they are addicted and we need to help in ways that are best for those addicted not just for those that don't like the look of the DTES.
  96. Zarny YYC from Calgary, Canada writes: Throwing good money after bad.

    A sad attempt to help people who can't and won't help themselves.
  97. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: D Le5 from Canada writes:"... all that matters is that they are addicted and we need to help in ways that are best for those addicted..."

    That's entirely the wrong attitude. If 'we' need to help the addicts at all it is because of the deleterious effect they have on Society as a whole, not because of the effect their filthy lifestyle has on them.
  98. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Feed the homeless....

    To the hungry.

    They ARE 'free-range', after all.
  99. eric kendall from Vancouver, Canada writes: Recommended reading from the Vancouver Review. An interview and tour of the DTES by Kristen McCarthy and her sad tour guide, originally from Irish Montréal, Rory. A description of the people and the place from one that's lived there for years. The horse's mouth.

    http://www.vancouverreview.com/past_articles/TalkWalk.htm
  100. Canada's conscience from Canada writes: While the Throne Speech was heavy on rhetoric in assisting the homeless, the truth in the lines of the budget provided little outside the massive subsidization of the natural resource sector. No innovation. Shovel ready NOT shovel worthy infrastructure projects and an overly rosy picture of the future. Neo-classical measures at their worst and no reason to instill optimism for growing poverty and unemployment in BC. More homeless with less revenues and a Gateway to nowhere.
  101. L B from Canada writes: grand speach,ahh gordo you just don't get it,great budget,he as no idea what he is doing,as I said on other posts he is a sly fox,I didn't vote for him,I don't trust him low and behold he proved me right,thank-you libs,now if we can only get a party in that has more brains,and intelligence that shouldn't be hard, I can't beleive where they get these bumbling fools from, I could name a few, Clark, Harcort,and the number one is GORDO he has done more damage to BC then any other premier.
  102. Rod Smelser from Maple Ridge, BC, Canada writes: eric kendall from Vancouver, Canada writes:

    "...The posters here and elsewhere that express similar opinions are not advocating a Darwinian society but they are expressing frustration with nanny-state society that has bred entitlement into the minds of malcontents, freeloaders and those nostalgic socialists cloistered in academia.

    ...the debt to GDP ratio in BC has declined from around 23% during the disastrous NDP, to around 14% under the Liberals. Until recently the unemployment rate in BC was at a 30 year low and there are still plenty of companies hiring."

    Eric, I have a lot of difficulty accepting your debt to GDP ratio figures unless you have a source for them. Do you?

    With National Post code remarks about "nanny state" and the like, you're not exactly presenting yourself as a reasonable person.
  103. Steve is reporting LIVE from the US / Canuckistani border from Canada writes:

    You gotta love the IOC.
    China - Pollution
    Canada - Homelessness and shooting galleries.

    The money is better spent on correcting these problems.

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