Facts Optional, Junkies Disposable

I like this letter of mine in The Langley Times.

Editor: Stephen Harper’s callous attitude towards drug-addicted people continues to be thwarted by the facts. The B.C. Court of Appeal has ruled that Insite — Vancouver’s supervised injection facility — will remain open, despite the federal government’s objections.

Research has shown that since Insite opened its doors, there has been a large reduction in public drug use, syringe sharing, and discarded syringes. Research has also shown a reduction in the transmission of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

In addition, since Insite opened more addicted people are seeking treatment and information on detox services. Even further, there has been no increase in public drug dealing and no increase in drug use or drug-related crime.

But Mr. Harper is not one to let the facts get in the way. He is now appealing the B.C. court’s decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. Yet the facts are already in.

But this is not about efficacy, it is about elections. Mr. Harper has run on a “tough on crime” platform. That platform looks awfully foolish if harm reduction sites like Insite actually work.

So he is trying to shut it down before people realize that it does work. He is willing to kill hundreds of addicted people, and help to increase the transmission of HIV/AIDS, if it helps him get a majority government.

He has already introduced Bill C-15 that is guaranteed to increase gang violence. This would also help his “tough on crime” platform.

Insite should be a source of national pride. We are helping addicted people get off drugs, reducing crime, and reducing harm. Many countries are looking to us as leaders in harm reduction.

But Mr. Harper is not interested in actually solving problems. He is content in making problems worse, if it helps him win elections. We have a sadist for a prime minister.

Travis Erbacher,


Please write your local papers and remind the public that those who push the “tough on crime” agenda actually need crime to win elections. It’s clear that this prime minister is willing to sacrifice the lives of IV drug users because he considers them problems, not people. The Insite fight is an opportunity to expose the “real” Harper.