Pubdate: Sun, 26 Nov 2000
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2000 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.
Author: B.J. Rowe


I believe the duty of politicians is to make the world a friendlier, safer,
more beautiful place for everyone. The proposal to test all welfare
recipients for drug use is a misuse of our expensive medical system that
will lead to an increase in crime. The purpose for this proposed testing is
not to protect the safety of the public, as is the case for airline and
railroad employees. It is not to protect our honour, as is the case for
athletes. It is to cut back the number of welfare recipients.

Drug addicts' primary motivation is to get their drugs. They will beg,
borrow, steal or prostitute themselves if that's the only way they can get a
fix. If they care about themselves, they will seek help.

Drug testing is a good idea for people in positions of authority, whose
decision-making ability affects the well-being of the public, as is the case
with teachers, medical practitioners, lawyers, police officers, soldiers and
politicians. Testing them might make the world a safer, friendlier place.

We would be much better off hiring more staff for the Ontario Works offices
so professionally trained social service workers could meet welfare
recipients and assist them with job search strategies on a monthly basis. No
appointment, no cheque, simple as that.

With caseloads in the hundreds, this is impossible. Instead, the cheques are
in the mail and our anger and prejudice toward welfare recipients continues
to grow.

B.J. ROWE, London
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