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Archive for 'addiction'

Private sector just not getting it up

We’ve been told for years that corporate tax cuts would work like viagra to boost private sector investment and productivity, and no doubt we’ll hear much more about it in next week’s budget.  But it just ain’t working.  Today’s release by Statscan of private and public investment intentions shows just how limp private sector investment is […]

Best cigarette ad ever

… is from duMaurier, which in spite of its hot red packaging is making a bid to go green. The new ads (full-page in my local entertainment weekly, The Georgia Straight) read “new look. new approach. we have updated our packaging to help reduce its impact on the environment. small steps make the difference” and […]

Living on Welfare

The BC office of the CCPA released today a major study about life on welfare for the poorest of the poor. It tracked a cohort of welfare recipients for two years and tells the tales of how they have interacted with a nasty and mean-spirited welfare system, and also the challenges they face as people […]

Housing the homeless before the 2010 Olympics

If our governments cannot get their heads out of the sand and start building some housing for those who desperately need it, we can expect more negative images of BC and Vancouver. As captured by The Washington Post: When the Winter Olympics open in Vancouver, visitors will find one of the most alluring cities in […]

Homelessness prevention

The August issue of the Journal of Primary Prevention is dedicated to articles on homelessness, addictions and mental illness. It has a US focus but many of the problems will be familiar to Canadians, too. A guest editorial (pdf) kicks off the issue by scoping out the problem, with a good summary of studies on […]

Drug policy and maintenance programs

Vancouver is suffering from a plague of poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, mental health issues and crime. The good news is that all of these are inter-related, and that senior governments have the funds to make a difference. So with the Olympics coming is just three years, the political culture of neglect is showing signs of […]

Fighting crime through social services

Another piece for the “ounce of prevention” file. Poverty, homelessness and crime in BC have gotten bad enough that business leaders are starting to call for action. Thus far, the call has been more cosmetic, as in “get these bums out of my doorway” and “panhandlers are bad for tourism”, but it is a start, […]

BC’s poverty amidst plenty

My latest column for The Tyee: Without any fanfare a report popped up on the web site of Human Resources and Social Development Canada this past month. No press release, no communications strategy at all. Just another statistical report on poverty in a society that thinks of itself as middle class. But this is not […]

Housing the Homeless and Addicted

The New York Times reports on a Seattle initiative to provide homes for homeless alcoholics. They do not require sobriety to get a spot, a development that rankles moralistic conservatives. The reason is economics: it costs less to house them than what is currently spent on health care, detox and criminal justice. New York and […]