“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache, carries with it the seeds of an equal or greater benefit.”

~~ Napoleon Hill -- American Author -- Oct 26, 1883 to Nov 8, 1970

Friday, August 31, 2018

What, Judy, is the response, to the urgency and compassion show by British Columbians for WHAT IS NEEDED? What are the ‘action words?’

Today is International Overdose Awareness Day.  Did you know such a day existed?   

I wasn’t until early this morning.  My God, it’s pathetic we even need to have a day like this to mark – and celebrate is obviously a word that would never be used for an occasion like this!

BC Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Judy
Darcy, at opening of the Foundry Centre in Victoria

So, for an occasion such as this, Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, trotted out ‘words’, because, at least in my opinion, they are easy to say.

Today marks International Overdose Awareness Day, and we honour and remember those we have lost to this terrible crisis. Last year, we lost 1,450 people here in B.C., and by the end of this day three or four more British Columbians will die from a drug overdose as a result of a poisoned and unpredictable illegal drug supply.”

All talk … but little action! 

As I mentioned yesterday, on July 18th, the BC Centre On Substance Use, released all of the ‘words’ necessary for our BC NDP government to ‘actually’ begin the process to slow down this terrible crisis, and help those British Columbians who ARE dying, perhaps have a chance to instead live.

But today, instead of our BC NDP government putting forth a statement of support saying, “We embrace the ‘words’ of the Strategies to Strengthen Recovery in British Columbia report, and will begin immediate plans to implement them” -- no, instead, we get words to make it sound like action is being taken.

It’s all BS … it’s ALL just ‘words’.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Until the federal government gets its act together, Alberta is pulling out of the federal climate plan. And let’s be clear – without Alberta, that plan isn’t worth the paper it’s written on

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

Premier Rachel Notley delivered the following remarks today in a live address about the Federal Court of Appeal’s ruling on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project:

My fellow Albertans, we face a serious situation. I’m here before you to tell you how we are defending you, your resources, your jobs and the future of our province and country.

For generations, Alberta has been forced to sell our resources to one customer – the United States – and to sell those resources at a major discount. The oil and gas in our ground is owned by each and every Albertan. When we are forced to sell those resources for less than they are worth, the whole country pays a price.

Fewer jobs. Over-stressed hospitals. Crowded classrooms. And for almost as long, successive governments in Ottawa and Edmonton failed to change this.

Despite having more coastline than any country on the planet, Canada as a whole remains landlocked. Three years ago, we set out to fix this. Working together, we have made progress.

Today, Canadians in every part of the country support our efforts to build the Trans Mountain Pipeline.  In coffee shops, on shop floors and in boardrooms around the country, I have heard directly from thousands upon thousands of our fellow citizens who understand that a strong Alberta equals a strong Canada and a pipeline to the coast is critical to that. 

I want to thank Canadians for their support.

Now, more than ever, we need to come together and prove to ourselves and the world that our country works. Why? Because this morning, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled against the Trans Mountain Pipeline, quashing the decision to approve the pipeline. This ruling is bad for working families. And it is bad for the economic security of our country.

Albertans are angry. I'm angry. Alberta has done everything right and we have been let down.

TODD STONE: I believe the time has come for the creation of a Special Committee of the Legislature to investigate the issue, hear from global experts, and propose solutions to save lives

A short time ago, I posted an opinion piece, on Addictions and Recovery.  Early last week I sat down and spoke with my own MLA for Kamloops South Thompson, Todd Stone.  I wanted to know what specific thoughts he had, and not just the policy of the BC Liberal Party.  I received that reply today, and wish to thank him for both his time in seeing me, but also for taking the time to provide me with his response.  Here it is in its entirety:

Kamloops South Thompson MLA Todd Stone
We continue to find our province in the midst of one of the worst health care emergencies in our history – an overdose crisis claiming the lives of 4 British Columbians every day. This despite a coordinated health-focused approach to this medical issue – including the declaration of a provincial health emergency, numerous harm reduction and recovery measures, education, awareness and enforcement.

And we must do more.

This is a crisis indiscriminate in its impact – affecting people of all backgrounds, in communities large and small. 9 out 10 deaths occur indoors including more than half in private residences. 80% who die are males between the ages of 25 and 55 – regrettably, many using alone.

We need to park politics and ideology at the door when it comes to tackling the addiction crisis that continues to devastate far too many British Columbia families.

This committee would be completely non-partisan and focused entirely on identifying a range of possible solutions to this epidemic. The committee would convene across the province and have the authority to bring global experts to British Columbia as well as consulting with experts in B.C. and would not be constrained by any current addiction care model. As part of remaining non-partisan, the committee would report directly to the Legislature.

I also believe that revenues stemming from the Federal decision to legalize cannabis should be segregated and dedicated towards action on addiction, recovery and law enforcement. Specifically, any provincial funds from the sale of cannabis should be segregated from general revenue and used primarily for the following objectives.

  • Support both harm reduction AND recovery programs for those battling addiction.
  • Encourage expansion of more 12 step and other approved recovery programs.
  • Support research at B.C. universities into addiction including the development of new and innovative ways to combat addiction and promote recovery. 
  • Support law enforcement efforts to prevent the sale of drugs to young people and the involvement of organized crime in the drug trade. 
  • Support local government needs stemming from cannabis legalization.

With the opioid addiction crisis continuing to ravage families and communities across British Columbia, we must all come together to end the stigma associated with drug use, shine a light on the dangers of using alone, support hard reduction initiatives, and wrap every recovery-focused support possible around our loved ones to assist them in making the best choices possible.

Todd G. Stone,
MLA, Kamloops – South Thompson

To deal with the carnage addictions to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling wreak on a small portion of BC residents, government slaps a mini band-aid on the problem, instead of the biggest size needed for a gaping wound

ADVANCE NOTICE ... this is a long, but important post.  I hope you will take the time to read it in its entirety.

I admit to be stymied, or better yet obstructed, from getting information that I believe is pertinent for all British Columbians to know – BEFORE the legal sale of cannabis begins in October.  It’s information I have requested both from the Ministry of Health … and from the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.  And what is it that I’ve been trying to find out?  Pretty simple really.

“The various health, safety, education and enforcement implications of legalized cannabis fall almost entirely to the provincial level of government.  What is government doing to help cover these provincial costs … and also ensure fairness, recognizing the social responsibility retailers must share.” 

Additionally, I have asked, “What new funding to health initiatives such as recovery, additional beds for rehab, direct street services to addicts, etc. will there be? 

In other words, what new targeted revenue will be put in place to cover the social costs of drug and alcohol addictions

Speaking on August 29th, Jane Thornthwaite, BC Liberal critic for Mental Health and Addictions went on record saying:

We also have yet to see a strategy from this government that provides meaningful treatment and recovery for adults. Last month, the BC Centre on Substance Use released a comprehensive report setting a pathway to expanding recovery services in the province. Since then, this government has done nothing.”

She went on to state, “As statistics show from last month, this crisis is only getting worse. We need immediate action to help addicts get well, such as the Safe Care Act I proposed last spring. The NDP refused to even discuss the bill, which has wide support from the addictions recovery community.”

And what is the Safe Care Act?  It would have allowed for the apprehension of vulnerable children and youth, and allowed for safe placement in a service that would have responded to their trauma, as well as their high risk of self-harm.

An admirable idea, however it did nothing to deal with issues facing the adult population of our province …

It did not address the chronic under-funding of agencies, workers, counselors, and the like attempting to help those seeking recovery …

Nor did it speak to the need for recovery beds, and facilities, where those ready to turn their lives around could find the help needed

Despite the fact it was Christy Clark’s BC Liberal government that contributed a large portion of the funding needed to set up the BC Centre on Substance Use – an organization mandated to develop recovery approaches to substance use and addiction – Thornwaite does not address those real needs I just mentioned.

And just like the BC Liberal predecessors, the current BC NDP government contributes little to recovery services for those negatively impacted.  This while happily raking in millions through sin-taxes.

To deal with the carnage addictions to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling wreak on a small portion of BC residents, government slaps a mini band-aid on the problem, instead of the biggest size needed for a gaping wound

FELDSTED: It is frustrating to watch ideologues enmeshed in regulations that defy common sense, logic and reason

Federal court quashes Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
The Canadian Press /Global News ~~ August 30, 2018

VANCOUVER – The Federal Court of Appeal has quashed Ottawa’s approval of the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The decision means the National Energy Board will have to redo its review of Kinder Morgan Canada’s project.

In a written decision, the court says the energy board’s review was so flawed that the federal government could not rely on it as a basis for its decision to approve the expansion.

The court also concludes that the federal government failed in its duty to engage in meaningful consultations with First Nations before giving the green light to the project.

The federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals  is now firmly caught up in its own inane regulations on pipelines. It is frustrating to watch ideologues enmeshed in regulations that defy common sense, logic and reason. They brought this dilemma on themselves and as time passes the Trans Mountain project, which we will shortly own, is an irresponsible orphan awaiting adult supervision.

This collision between ideology and reality is painful to observe and an indictment of a government that fails to think through the consequences of its actions and the negative effects on people, our economy, investments and stability.

Pipeline builders and investors are fleeing Canada with sound reason. Finding a buyer for Trans Mountain is impossible with this government in charge. It is too busy shooting itself in the foot to make dealing with it reasonable even if it gives Trans Mountain away.

~~ John Feldsted