Pubdate: Fri, 11 Jul 2008
Source: Richmond News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008, Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Brian Wardley


The Editor,

Re: "Chalk up a victory for the Caring Citizens of Richmond," Vancouver Sun,
July 4.

Daphne Bramham's excellent article sums up the story of the attempt by
Turning Point to bring care for addicts to Richmond. As a result of
the misguided campaign by a group called "The Caring Citizens of
Richmond" there will be an increase in the use of drugs in Richmond,
there will be an increased health care cost for addicted people in
Richmond and there will be more deaths in Richmond. What does this
group actually care about?

In a response to the withdrawal of the application for the proposed
development on Ash Street, Ernie Mendoza, who leads The Caring
Citizens of Richmond, stated that he didn't know why Turning Point
were making this application, it should be the responsibility of the
city. Yet again, Mendoza doesn't understand the Canadian system. The
overall responsibility for this type of facility is with the health
authority, in this case Vancouver Coastal Health. The individual
facilities for drug recovery programs, shelters for women etc., are
usually operated by non-profit organizations, with funding assistance
from Vancouver Coastal Health together with grants and donations from
the public.

However, the city does have a huge responsibility in this area. That
is to facilitate the provision of this kind of health service by
ensuring that there is suitably located land available at reasonable
cost, by taking a positive, proactive role in the process and by
bringing together all the members of this community so that the urgent
need for these services in Richmond is fully understood.

Brian Wardley

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