Sin­ga­pore’s ap­proach to drugs saves lives; B.C.’s doesn’t

The Province - - EDITORIAL -

Ac­cord­ing to Tif­fany Craw­ford’s story last week, drug abuse has pro­duced 1,100 corpses in B.C. this year to date, mean­ing 2017 is on pace to more than dou­ble the car­nage of 2016 which, in turn, dra­mat­i­cally in­creased the death rate from 2015.

Sin­ga­pore, with a mil­lion more peo­ple than B.C., has an an­nual drug over­dose death rate of 1.18 per 100,000 peo­ple. B.C. will bury more ad­dicts in the next three weeks than Sin­ga­pore will all year.

Why the dif­fer­ence? Sin­ga­pore be­lieves in harm elim­i­na­tion, not harm re­duc­tion. Sin­ga­pore de­mands that ad­dicts sub­mit to manda­tory de­tox. B.C. builds tax­payer-funded “safe-in­jec­tion sites,” where ad­dicts can con­tinue unchecked down the road of self-de­struc­tion and in­evitable early death.

Sin­ga­pore is­sued death sen­tences to drug deal­ers, while B.C. stands back and watches deal­ers reg­u­larly kill each other as they com­pete for mar­ket share.

Some ac­tivists here even sug­gest le­gal­iz­ing ev­ery­thing to open the flood gates to more wide­spread ad­dic­tion, but facts are still facts. Sin­ga­pore has few over­dose deaths, while B.C. stacks up the corpses.

I won­der if we’ll dou­ble the over­dose death rate again in 2018. Clare Stevens, Delta

Losers’ strat­egy on drugs

Van­cou­ver Mayor Gre­gor Robertson and Judy Darcy, the min­is­ter of men­tal health and ad­dic­tions, pat them­selves on the back while rolling out yet an­other tool to en­able il­licit drug use and its associated crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

You wouldn’t treat al­co­holism by pro­vid­ing al­co­holics with liquor, so why are drug ad­dicts be­ing given an­other gate­way to drugs? It’s a losers’ strat­egy. As long as politi­cians refuse to ad­dress the root cause of this epi­demic, it’s not go­ing away.

John Leonard, Osoy­oos

Quit en­abling ad­dicts

The news that more of my tax dol­lars are now to be spent on a ma­chine and staff mem­bers to an­a­lyze the drugs of ad­dicts be­fore be­ing in­jected is ap­palling.

If ad­dic­tion is a dis­ease, it stands to rea­son that we should be work­ing to erad­i­cate it through manda­tory hos­pi­tal­iza­tion and re­hab rather than fa­cil­i­tat­ing the on­go­ing use of drugs, which are il­le­gal.

The idea that we give ad­dicts pub­lic funds to buy drugs, then spend more tax dol­lars build­ing and staffing in­jec­tion sites, pro­vid­ing nalox­one, hir­ing peo­ple to clean up used nee­dles left in parks and now to screen drugs for im­pu­ri­ties, is ab­surd. It’s like a dog chas­ing its tail — a waste of time with no mean­ing­ful re­sult.

Stop wast­ing our taxes. Spend tax dol­lars on manda­tory con­fined re­hab.

Robert Brown, Cran­brook

NDP’s dark­ness not wel­come

I would like to ex­press my ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the col­umn by Chris Gard­ner of the In­de­pen­dent Con­trac­tors and Busi­nesses As­so­ci­a­tion in Sun­day’s Prov­ince. It out­lines how far the con­struc­tion in­dus­try has come with­out the stran­gle­hold and bul­ly­ing by need­less unions.

Far too many in­fra­struc­ture projects were over-bud­get and drain­ing on the tax­payer dur­ing the decade of dark­ness when the NDP last ran the gov­ern­ment. I see new con­struc­tion hap­pen­ing in every mu­nic­i­pal­ity of this beau­ti­ful me­trop­o­lis, with the work­ers look­ing happy and work­ing hard.

It would be a shame to throw this all away be­cause of an un­elected pre­mier liv­ing in the past. Gerry Goldring, Lan­g­ley

Leg­is­la­ture needs deco­rum

My mom and I vis­ited our stun­ning leg­is­la­ture dur­ing a Mother’s Day trip to Victoria. When we sat down and the ses­sion started, we wit­nessed cat­calls, name-call­ing and yelling over the per­son speak­ing by MLAs — gen­uine bully be­hav­iour that we’re try­ing to stamp out.

Good on Speaker Darryl Ple­cas for try­ing to bring some deco­rum to the house.

Deb Wil­son-Mur­ray, Pitt Mead­ows

— THE CANA­DIAN PRESS FILES

Men­tal Health and Ad­dic­tions Min­is­ter Judy Darcy and Van­cou­ver Mayor Gre­gor Robertson an­nounced the ex­pan­sion of a drug-check­ing pi­lot last week.

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