Pubdate: Thu, 26 Jun 2003
Source: Westender (Vancouver, CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 WestEnder
Author: Ian MacRae


Perhaps the demented senior who signed Lorne Mayencourt's recall petition
knew more than he was letting on. Mayencourt, no doubt emboldened by his
victory, is now forging ahead with a fresh assemblage of witless
observations. ("Dealers turning Bute into drug `boutique'", by Justin
Beddall, June 12-18 issue.) The VPD's drug dragnet through the Downtown
Eastside has displaced addicts to the West End, says Lorne Mayencourt. "Now
we're having a problem with crack dealers."

Really! Astonishingly, addicted people do seek out drug dealers; that's
where they get the drugs they need. More astonishingly, Mayencourt doesn't
seem to realize that the VPD is not in the business of providing treatment
and rehabilitation resources to addicts; this needs to be funded through
senior levels of government--one of which he dutifully serves.

If treatment options were available to those who want it when they want it
there would be far fewer people frequenting the "boutique." Perhaps the
addicts that have drifted uptown from down here in the Downtown Eastside are
making a statement the only way they can: if we can't get anyone's attention
hidden away in the combat zone, we'll bring our sorry asses uptown and get
in the face of people with power and influence.

If you want to start kicking ass, Mr. Mayencourt, start with the premier,
cabinet, and treasury board. The solutions to addiction are obvious and yes,
costly, but ignoring misery, degradation, suffering and chronic need borders
on the criminal itself, especially when done so for personal aggrandizement.

Ian MacRae
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