Pubdate: Mon, 01 Sep 2008
Source: Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Author: Pamela Halonen


I recently received one of James Lunney's Conservative propaganda 
flyers in the mail, which I usually toss in the recycle bin. The 
front cover has a picture of a syringe in a playground stating "Safe?"

If it refers to the how safe the safe injection site on the downtown 
east side is, the doctor should read the studies about reduction in 
needles found on the surrounding streets and of course the improved 
health of the people using the service.

The flyer then goes on to describe how the Conservatives plan to deal 
with "junkies" and "drug pushers." Such damaging statements made by 
our current MP and the government he represents appall me.

For them to actually send these mail outs to the constituents to 
further marginalize an already stigmatized population of people on 
our dime is enough for me to support a fall election.

The offensive Tory comments and Dr. Lunney's party-speak comes from 
their ignorance about the issue.

Political incorrectness aside, calling people who continually try to 
overcome their addiction to drugs, junkies is discriminatory. Most of 
the human race is addicted to something, whether it is to drugs, 
alcohol or tobacco (which by the way are legal and deadlier 
substances), to food, shopping, and the list goes on.

By dehumanizing people with addictions and using fear tactics, this 
government attempts to devalue their lives and convince the 
electorate that they should be out of communities and kept in rehab 
or behind bars.

For every dealer that is jailed, there will always be a smarter one 
that steps into place and there are more people now who suffer from 
addiction than ever.

Using the word rehab, an Americanized term that has been 
sensationalized by Hollywood for fallen celebrities, is best left for 
reality TV. Someone in active addiction needs treatment that is often 
best done in a person's own community in which he or she lives.

The good doctor and this government should be looking at other ways 
to tackle this problem other than demoralizing people they were 
elected to serve.

I hope in the next election that they will be replaced with one that 
puts compassion into Canada's drug abuse policy making problematic 
substance use a health and human rights issue.

Pamela Halonen

Qualicum Beach
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