Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Opioid Epidemic and the Great Con War on Drugs

I began warning about Canada's opioid abuse epidemic, and about the danger of the killer drug fentanyl, a long long time ago.

And about the crying need to create more drug rehabilitation centres, and more frontline medical facilities like Vancouver's model Insite clinic.

So I'm glad to see that the Liberal government is taking action. 

But I also want to remind people, that thousands of Canadians have died from drug overdoses since I first started writing about the problem.

And remind them who I believe deserves most of the blame for the deaths of so many.

Stephen Harper and his foul Con regime, who put their inhuman ideology before the lives of their own people.

The beasts who couldn't even bring themselves to issue a country-wide alert. 

One would think that an outbreak of hundreds of deaths related to a single cause would catch the eye of federal politicians. But Ottawa has remained surprisingly mute about fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is killing people by the score.

The ones who did all they could to try to close down the wonderful Insite clinic. And when they failed, thanks to our Supreme Court, tried to make it all but impossible to set up similar clinics anywhere else in Canada.

Even though they knew they saved lives. 

This week the Harper government, and the largely Conservative-appointed Senate, will effectively drive a nail into the coffins of thousands of Canadians living with addiction by passing legislation that will block the establishment of supervised injection facilities like Vancouver’s Insite.

And I also want to remind people that the ghastly Con who led that murderous charge was no less than their new leader Rona Ambrose...

Despite the Supreme Court’s decision that Insite was legally a hospital, Health Minister Rona Ambrose has continued to lobby against the establishment of similar safe-injection sites based on unfounded fear-mongering. She told a Senate committee that future “injection houses” could be plunked down in every small community without any consultation, unless she acted quickly to protect us all from “addicts.”

Who would treat addicts like criminals, and jail them instead of helping them to survive and quit their dangerous habit...

And in my opinion has never been held properly accountable for the deadly consequences of her criminal behaviour.

As someone who has seen those consequences up close, seen the pale faces of the dead, and heard the heartbreaking wails of those who loved them, I also believe the Liberals should have acted faster to deal with this deadly epidemic.

But at least they are now doing the right and Canadian thing.

And for those who keep bleating that Justin Trudeau is worse than Harper, I would ask them this question:

How many Canadians could have died if Trudeau hadn't defeated this monster?

And the answer is MILLIONS.

Remember the dead, never forget their would be executioners.

And never ever forgive them...


Anonymous said...

The Harper government's malevolent handling of the opioid crisis doesn't excuse the Trudeau government's inaction. When the provinces have been screaming for the feds to declare a national emergency and hundreds have died of opioid overdoses since Trudeau came to power, "better late than never" simply won't cut it.

It's obvious that Dr. "Half-a-Loaf" Philpott was never an ER physician. If she'd been one, she'd know that speed is of the essence in saving lives.

Anonymous said...

Addiction is a terrible thing. People need all the help they can get. I would know I'm an alcoholic.


Anonymous said...

Smaller communities should look after their own troubled citizens. Instead the cops threaten them to get out of town and guess where they end up? DTES. If you surveyed the addicts in DTES many you would find originate from places like Surrey or Abbotsford or other places in BC and Canada. Some of the same people opposed to safe injection sites are the same people against the needle exchanges that started during the AIDS crisis or even condoms and sex ed for that matter.

Simon said...

hi anon...as I said in my post, I do think the Liberal government could have acted a little quicker. But they're a new government, they have had a lot on their plate, so they do have some excuse. But the Cons have none. And the decisions they made are the ones that crippled the fight against fentanyl, and prevented other provinces from setting up clinics like Insite. So they are the ones who truly deserve to be condemned...

Simon said...

hi MC...I'm sorry to hear that you are an alcoholic, for it too is a horrible addiction that can hurt not only those affected but those who love them. Still at least you recognize you have a problem, and as I'm sure you know that is the first big step in the direction of rehabilitation. I urge you to seek all the help you can get, because it will make your life better and longer. And although it's a tough grind, you won't regret it....

Simon said...

hi anon...I would like to see more drug treatment centres all over Canada. We have one of the highest if not the highest rate of opioid use in the world, and we really have to do much more to tackle that problem. And that includes smaller communities and rural areas. But yes you're right. Most of the people opposed to safe injection sites are the same people who opposed ways of stopping AIDS from spreading. I live my life by the principles of harm reduction, and I really can't stand people who are so judgemental
they would rather see the sick and the vulnerable suffer rather than help them...

Anonymous said...

Stop the excuses, Simon. Yes, they're a new government but compared to other new governments, the Trudeau government's productivity is abysmal.

The current session of Parliament has been the most unproductive one for a new government in recent Canadian history.... [While in office], only 11 bills have received Royal Assent (that is, passed by both Houses and signed by the Governor General or his or her deputy)...

How does this measure up with the productivity of the first year of other recent sessions of Parliament? Employing this metric, a comparative analysis paints an abysmal picture for the ruling Liberals.

The first year of the previous five Parliaments – dating back to 2001 – witnessed an average of 47.8 bills receiving Royal Assent. If you remove the bills from this group originating in the Senate, the average is still 39.6 – three times the production level of Justin Trudeau’s government.

It seems that for Trudeau changing the words to the national anthem is more important than saving lives.

movie said...

Donald Trump will be the best president in America's history. So its time to welcome our new prescident Donald Trump

Simon said...

hi Shorab...well you're entitled to your opinion. But I think Trump will be the worst president in U.S. history. So come back in six months and we'll see who is right....

Simon said...

hi anon...As I said in my post, I thought the Liberals could have been a bit quicker in taking action to tackle the fentanyl epidemic.

But they have to form a common strategy with the provinces, which takes time, and undo the law restricting the creation of other safe injection sites, which also takes time.

And nothing the Liberals have done can compare to the damage caused by the Con's Great War on drugs.

As for their legislative record I totally disagree. The Trudeau government is implementing the most ambitious agenda I can remember.

But they did promise to consult Canadians unlike the last government. Which also takes time.

And as the author of the piece you linked to explains, when dismantling Stephen Harper's foul legacy, there are many way to skin a cat.

"To be fair, legislation is not the only tool available to governments to affect positive change in the lives of Canadians. The Cabinet – and Cabinet committees – also have levers at their disposal to change programs and policies. For example, before the current Parliament commenced, the federal government reinstated the mandatory long-form census – a constructive move applauded by almost everyone.

The Prime Minister also makes hundreds upon hundreds of appointments, from important ones to the Supreme Court, Senate, and key ambassadorships, to less prominent ones on various government agencies, boards and commissions.

The Trudeau Liberals may not be perfect. But they are the choice of most Canadians, and the new generation, so just grin and bear it... :)