By Letter to the Editor on May 12, 2018.
I am writing in response to Mr. Johnston’s concerns regarding my letter to the editor April 14.
Home decor was provided to a city aquatic centre at the tune of $226,000 of taxpayers’ money for two pieces of “art.” This was beneficial to line the pockets of two individuals as opposed to the benefit of the community.
Misuse of taxpayers’ money is an ongoing issue. It would be beneficial to put some funding toward a sub-acute care facility since the hospital always seems to have a bed shortage. A vacant building in the city could be utilized for this service.
It is not acceptable for local businesses to be riddled with used drug paraphernalia at their doorstop from the neighbouring “safe injection site.” Providing clean needles to drug users is an attempt to reduce blood-borne pathogen-infectious diseases, yet the public are exposed to the used needles, subjecting them to the potential of contracting Hepatitis C or HIV. This is not following best practices for infection control standards.
The safe injection site is only a “Band-Aid” which does not address the problem. To reduce the number of deaths related to fentanyl overdose, the justice system must incarcerate drug traffickers, thus the availability of street fentanyl will significantly diminish in addition to the city crime rate.
A “safe centre” for drug users should entail addiction counsellors, social workers, a methadone clinic to counteract the addiction. It is ethically and morally unacceptable to provide illegal drug users with clean needles to engage in criminal activity. Mr. Johnston is concerned about deaths related to fentanyl overdose. What about the deaths of innocent people brutally beaten and murdered due to this criminal activity.
I find it appalling that Mr. Johnston wishes ill will to parents in the community by suggesting fines at schools should be doubled when parents drop off their “special cargo.” Many young families face financial hardships with a low socio-economic status. Providing shelter and food for many is difficult.
I hope this letter alleviates Mr. Johnston’s ignorance regarding the social, economic and political issues this community faces. He may be satisfied to reside in a low-populated city ranked 26th among the most dangerous places in Canada. As a mother of two young children, I am not. Crime prevention should be first priority for the safety of the community, not cash cows, tax hikes or a “safe injection site” for illegal drug use.
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