Pubdate: Mon, 16 Oct 2000
Date: 10/16/2000
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Author: Mike Tropp
Authors: Mike Tropp

So Mayor Philip Owen has said No to safe injection sites, as an
integral part of the management of public illegal drug use, for the
Downtown Eastside.  He was not present at the Sept. 16 meeting at the
Cambie Street police building when Werner Schneider, the coordinator
of drug policy for Frankfurt, Germany, detailed his city's efforts and
results with a drug scene comparable to Vancouver's.

Nor was Mayor Owen present the following week for the two-day
conference on the same topic.  Hundreds were in attendance, including
experts from Germany, the U.S., Denmark, The Netherlands and

What the Europeans have accomplished over 10 to 15 years, in getting a
handle on the street scene, with its misery, deaths and costs to the
larger community, we have not even begun - although we were given an
analysis and concepts for management in the LeDain Commission reports
of 1970 and 1972.

That a man so blinkered can decide what services should and shouldn't
be implemented is a conceit of stunning proportion.  Mayor Owen is
neither doctor, policeman, street worker, author, professor, drug user
or coroner.

Councillor Jennifer Clarke was present, participated and seemed to be
sufficiently impressed with the guests' unvarnished detailing of their
situations - and with the statistics flowing from those efforts.  But
her opinion is not good enough for Mayor Owen. Pity.

Mike Tropp,