Pubdate: Thu, 25 May 2000
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: The Vancouver Sun 2000
Page A14
Contact:  200 Granville Street, Ste.#1, Vancouver BC V6C 3N3
Fax: (604) 605-2323
Author: Kevin Dixon


B.C. is afflicted by an epidemic rate of intravenous drug abuse. This
tragic indictment of our province is most extreme in the Lower Mainland.

On one hand, I am encouraged by the good news that Vancouver has
recently signed an agreement with the provincial and federal
governments committing to a four-pillar response to drug abuse:
prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and enforcement.

On the other hand, I am appalled that the ministry for children and
families has decided to close the Campbell Valley Women's Centre. This
successful residential facility, enthusiastically supported by the
local community, has been established near Langley for only one year.
A teacher and psychologist work on site and a range of creative
activities contribute to the recovery of these girls, aged 13-18.

The ministry has opted for a more expensive, untested experiment
called therapeutic foster homes. How ironic that this blunder is
proposed at a time when the Kaiser Youth Institute and community
groups are calling for an increase  in long-term residential treatment
facilities for adolescents.

In the case of the Campbell Valley Women's Centre, it appears that
some of our provincial legislators are determined to knock down the
pillar dedicated to the proven benefits of treatment in favour of a
monument erected to the dubious honour of bureaucratic whim.

It is doubtful that grieving parents will take solace in fashioning
the shattered fragments of the fallen pillar into gravestones for
their children.

Kevin Dixon, Rector
St. Mary's Kerrisdale
- ---
MAP posted-by: Allan Wilkinson