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Vancouver Province newspaper,bastion of intolerance

Submitted by David Borden on
The Vancouver Province newspaper was a champion of the drug reform movement just a few years ago when now senator Larry Campbell was mayor and the left had a majority on city hall.In the last several months every editorial has been either demanding harsher sentences for drug crimes,federal time for addicts,lambasting the courts for their lenience or suggesting that if your homeless,you must be a criminal.It's never ending and as intolerant of the worst off of the city's citisens as it can be.In today's editorial,for example,the attorney general is taken to task for saying that the lunatic fringe that shouts the loudest is not the real voice of the people.The nerve of the man.The paper,of course,knows that the citisens of Vancouver know far more about the issues than do the courts and the AG had better listen because people are angry.People are always angry.We have a world class drug problem and no one is doing anything about it except demanding a return to the days where we used to jail addicts for years at a time and nothing did anything but get worse.They emptied the facilities for the mentally ill and slashed the social safety net to where people don't fall through the cracks but plummet straight on through untouched.Treatment is always the big talking point but an addict still has to wait to get a rehab bed and true treatment is either expensive or almost impossible to access.People have always assumed that crime is worse than it actually is.The media has taken to stoking the flames and fanning the publics outrage to where petty criminals are looked upon as the problem that's ruining the quality of life in the city.That there is a problem here is undeniable.The tragedy is that with a single media voice that is promoting the most intolerant attitude possible,real solutions are becoming out of reach.A law and order approach to the drug problem has never been an answer and never will.Where ever the laws are the strictest,crime flourishes at it's most violent.I canceled my subscription to the Province today after reading article after article about government corruption,racist rants,Canadian children abandoned in Guantanamo and all the editorial staff could find to complain about,for the hundredth time this year,was that addicts were treated with humanity.The election that put the Harper Government in charge in Ottawa sounded the death knell of harm reduction and drug reform that this city was becoming known for.The buyout of the major Canadian media outlets by the Aspers was the knife in the heart.As long as the right has a grip on the government and the media,there is a bigger hill to climb than at any time since I've been involved in drug reform.Letters to the editor die on the letters desk and individual columnists have turned a deaf ear as well.Vancouver has only one priority and that is to find some way to get the streets cleaned up before 2010(the Olympics).Everything the city council,Provincial government and the feds do is towards that end.No one is surprised that this is happening.It's the singular viciousness of the rhetoric that astounds me.

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