REALity September 2018 Ottawa, ON
Drug injection sites are the federal Liberal government’s response to Canada’s drug crisis. One does not have to be a genius to figure out that these drug injection sites are unchained insanity infesting our communities. Neighbourhoods in which the sites are located have been ruined. Drug addicts around them scream abuse day and night, and engage in endless fighting. Drugged out and sometimes dead addicts litter the sidewalks, together with abandoned needles, condoms and crack pipes. Addicts defecate anytime, anywhere in the area, making the vicinity almost unwalkable. Those few brave individuals who do walk near the sites are accosted by beggars, prostitutes and drug traffickers. Those who reside in the vicinity are afraid to go out at night and businesses in the area are experiencing huge financial losses. The police have been instructed to turn a blind eye to all this chaos.
Dr. Gifford Jones explained (Saturday Sun, July 14, 2018) “drug dealers are adding Fentanyl to opiate drugs that kill thousands of North Americans each year. It’s a lethal drug combination that ends lives just as surely as pulling the trigger of a loaded gun.” Last year 3,987 Canadians died from apparent opioid related overdoses, three-quarters of which contained Fentanyl. This is 1,126 more than the year before. The death toll from opioids is now greater than the toll from AIDS at the height of that epidemic.
This drug disaster has spawned a drug bureaucracy of social workers, nurses, and harm-reduction outreach workers who operate these sites. This bureaucracy needs the addicts for their continued employment – the more addicts, the more business – and justification for their presence at the sites.
Once the addicts have injected their drugs, they leave the site and wander around the streets screaming abuse, passing out in some cases, and dying because they have been enabled to inject their poisons by the presence of drug injection sites. No one is really helping the addicts.
There are eight drug overdose sites in Toronto providing drug injections in the downtown core, with a ninth site to open shortly. Because all of these sites are funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health, city officials are not accountable for the disaster that has been created.
The Ontario Liberal government, under former Premier Kathleen Wynne, had happily funded these sites. However, they may be facing a major hurdle in that Ontario’s newly elected Premier, Doug Ford, has stated that he is “dead set” against drug injection sites and that his government will focus on rehabilitation instead. Mr. Ford has pledged to spend $1.9 billion over 10 years on mental health and addiction. This has led Toronto Chief Medical Officer, Eileen de Villa, to try to head off this possibility by recommending to the federal government and the Toronto Public Health Board that all drugs should be decriminalized. That should really solve the problem!
Toronto Medical Health Officer’s Solution
The obviously confused and, apparently, not too clever Toronto Chief Medical Officer, Eileen de Villa, recommended to the federal government and to the Toronto Public Health Board that all drugs be decriminalized – including cocaine and heroin, so that all legal penalties of small amounts of drugs would be nullified. She has also recommended that the federal Liberal government convene a task force made up of people who use drugs, as well as “experts” (save us from the latter that have already given us the drug injection sites) to explore options for the legal regulation of all drugs for personal use. She claims this will solve the problem by moving away from treating drug use as a crime, and, instead, view it as a system of broader social failure, including a lack of housing, mental health and addiction services. She claims that criminalization of drugs forces people to inject drugs in unsafe environments, saddles them with criminal records, and places the financial burden on society associated with the courts and the justice system. With this reasoning, Dr. de Villa should also consider removing laws prohibiting murder, theft and sexual abuse because they are saddling people with criminal convictions and are a financial burden on society. She ignores the purpose of the law, which is to protect individuals and society from harm by prohibiting the destructive effects of drugs. To remove the prohibition against the use of illicit drugs is to encourage the use of these drugs because what is legal to many becomes acceptable. To understand how decriminalization has increased drug use alarmingly, we have only to consider the state of Colorado which permitted marijuana for recreational use in 2013. Marijuana use by youth between the ages of 12 and 17 years increased by 20%; marijuana use of university age youth increased by 17%, and marijuana use by adults age 26 and older increased 63%.
Dr. de Villa also passed along her recommendation to the Toronto Public Health Board, headed by left wing, maverick councillor, Joe Cressy, and Chair, Joe Mihevc. Nothing in society is too permissive for them. Naturally, they thought Dr. de Villa’s recommendation was a great idea.
Our current drug epidemic has to be controlled. There is no way this will occur with the proliferation of drug injection sites.