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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

We have the government of John Horgan continuing, over and over again, to look at short-term measures, rather than establishing and funding programs that will see positive long-term results

BC Liberal MLA, and Mental Health and
Addictions Critic, Jane Thornthwaite (L)
Yesterday Mental Health and Addictions Critic, Jane Thornthwaite, convened a roundtable at the UBCM yesterday, regarding the immediate need for government action to help municipalities around the province deal with addictions and the opioid crisis.

I sympathize with those who raised concerns over ‘compassion fatigue’ in communities throughout B.C. The overdose crisis has not only impacted people in major cities, but all around the province, and has saddled municipalities with rising costs”, she remarked.

Needle and garbage clean-up in city parks and school playgrounds, rising safety costs, and increased crime levels are just a few of the issues affecting communities around BC.  

Resources such as action teams may be useful, but they are not enough to help municipalities with crippling costs, and they do nothing to end the cycle of addiction and get people into recovery – something I have noted MANY TIMES! 

I am in full agreement.

Thornwaite’s comment that, “Long-term options such as publicly-funded recovery beds are critical to ending the cycle of addiction that has been intensified by the opioid crisis. We need a mental health system that is able to act early, save lives and help people into long-term recovery” ... is much overdue.  Still, we have the BC NDP government, of John Horgan, continuing to over and over again, look to short-term measures, rather than establishing and funding programs that will see positive long-term results.

On Monday Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, announced that up to $50,000 in grants for community projects was being made available through the Community Wellness and Harm Reduction Grant program.

This money for projects such as community dialogues, needle distribution and recovery programs, and projects that reduce stigma and help connect people to health-care services.

I’m sorry for being critical Ms. Darcy, however the time for talk, and inadequate funding resources, is long since past.

Individuals in communities through-out BC, but specifically in the interior, have already (often times with opposition from Health Authorities) created the steps needed for needle recovery based on successes they have had.  All that’s needed is for the government to provide funds to initiative ‘ongoing’ needle recovery programs.

Service providers and agencies are already staffed with people that are more than capable of delivering services to those suffering from long-term addictions.  Those services, as our provincial government is already well aware, require recovery beds to be available when needed --- not weeks or months down the road.

Post-addiction recovery services to ensure affordable low-cost housing, away from the neighbourhoods and back alleys where drug proliferate, also needs to be available.  Addicts that have gone through what is often time painful gut-wrenching agony, in getting off drugs, need to have a safe place to go, and they need it as soon as they leave recovery facilities and homes.

And services to ready these individuals get education and skills training, so that they can have a realistic margin for success (not short-term make work projects that are months in duration), are essential.  Once again, our Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Judy Darcy, is already well aware of this. 

How to reduce stigma is already know as well ... and no one will argue that connecting people to health-care services is a must.  The question is, where is the government commitment to fund this?

We do not need $50,000 grants for more community groups to discover what has already been made know, and well documented. Further community dialogue is NOT needed --- instead it’s action on information already known.  The announced $50,000-dollar grant are really just token money to make communities feel like action is talking place – which won’t happen and they know it.

A LONGSTANDING funding commitment is what’s necessary - IT is what is needed – and over the long-haul it will actually end up saving money.

That’s because we won’t be re-cycling the same people through dribs and drabs of programs, without having the ability to succeed, and realize, long-term goals.

The bottom line is that IF the government wants success, those in recovery need to know their workers will be with them for the duration, they need safe and affordable housing, and in no uncertain terms need programs and education that will allow them to return back to the real world feeling like they actinal do have a chance to succeed.


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