August 14th, 2020

Numbers show SCS is creating more issues


By Letter to the Editor on February 7, 2020.

We recently heard a report by Dr. Em Pijl, paid for by the City of Lethbridge and presented before council, that supported the concerns voiced by citizens regarding their livelihoods in business being threatened, the quality of life in their neighbourhoods, the concerns of increased crime as well as health risks to the public from needles, fecal matter, urine, etc., and is one very good reason to shut down this site now!

This site has had a major impact on Lethbridge and now is following along the same negative path as Vancouver DTES since it opened with increases in all areas: more addicts, more homeless, more crime and more fatal overdoses!

People are dying not just from the overdoses, but from diseases related to homelessness, suicide due to the helplessness and even related violence. People will die, but we choose to follow the same failing model Vancouver uses, beginning in 2003, and fatal ODs, homelessness, crime, number of addicts, etc., all continue to rise! At what point will they realize that their safe injection ideas are a failure? When will Lethbridge realize it?

Treatment is the only answer, effective treatment! The best programs in the U.S. force addicts into treatment programs, and it works! They have low failure rates!

In a recent Letter to the Editor, a person who volunteered at the SCS for several weeks stated the numbers using the supervised consumption services have ballooned to 1,532, three times what the numbers were when they opened.

If it is soooo successful, why have the numbers exploded?

It is spiritually and morally wrong to enable these addicts to slowly destroy their young minds and bodies, supplying all of their paraphernalia while they need to commit crimes to pay for their addictions.

I urge you all to study the Vancouver DTES and B.C. addictions and homelessness issues that have spread from Vancouver to the rest of the province, and read the report from Dr. Pijl. (https://agendas.lethbridge.ca/AgendaOnline/Documents/ViewDocument/Community_Issues_Committee_2605_Agenda_Packet_1_20_2020_1_30_00_PM.pdf?meetingId=2605&documentType=AgendaPacket&itemId=0&publishId=0&isSection=false)

More people will die with this open than there will be if it is closed and they are placed into treatment. This site, in my mind, is increasing the number of addicts in the community and if you think there were issues last year, with this dramatic increase in SCS users, next summer, we will be overrun by addicts! Zero doubt!

Barry Ewing

Lethbridge

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45 Responses to “Numbers show SCS is creating more issues”

  1. Citi Zen says:

    Spot on, Barry. But I don’t believe for a minute that our esteemed leaders will ever think of closing it, given the liability issues associated with doing that.
    Perhaps a better approach would be for a great lawyer to step forward, and arrange a huge class-action lawsuit against the SCS, Bourque, the Mayor, the board members, and anyone else who is involved in supporting the SCS. Surely there is enough evidence to show public harm here.
    Hit them where it hurts the most!

  2. johnny57 says:

    BANG ON Barry! But in my travels I have learned that up-to 92% of users are aboriginal. If that is indeed the case then as far as I am concerned the answer is obvious! Move it on to the reserve where it belongs and is closer and more convenient for the users. Problems on all fronts solved!

  3. HaroldP says:

    Barry is only relating what is now known and have been known all along! The SCS is akin to a “cancer” and if the cancer is not irradiated, it will eventually, without distinction, kill the community it has been hosted in. What concerns me is how the Mayor and most Council along with SCS themselves are tooting the horn that this SCS is a “good thing” in harm reduction! Really???? Another concern I have is why, WHY, when Dr. Em Pijl has requested (at least three times) for police statistics regarding issues in the SCS area, she has not been provided this information. Is this for one moment “transparent” and honest for the Police to not disclose this information, particularly since her research is based on factual and current data? Will the Mayor finally step up to the plate, and at least get this missing core information released|?

  4. Fescue says:

    Imagine this: Lethbridge experiences a terrible crisis – say a destructive tornado. Many businesses are closed and many people lose their homes. Hundreds are put up in a hockey arena. Soon, there is laundry hanging everywhere and clusters cooking over burning barrels; ‘an eyesore,’ many of the neighbours say. The unemployed are hanging around the nearby streets. Theft and vandalism become more common. People are generally sympathetic, but are not happy with the slow progress dealing with the problem. The provincial and federal governments are reluctant to direct money to Lethbridge (as they are too busy giving it to their friends, the managerial elite running multinational corporations).

    Along comes a group of citizens who want it all to end. They want the arena torn down. They don’t know what to do with the people living there, but hope they will just get a home, a haircut, and a real job. The same group are absent when the question of lodging is raised. ‘Not in my home,’ they say, ‘We’re not paying for it,’ they moan.

    You finish the story. Does this group show some leadership? Do they step up and help raise money for homes for the displaced?

    • Seth Anthony says:

      Fescue just compared the outcome of a natural disaster with enabling an addict to continuously harm themselves and innocent people. I don’t even…

    • johnny57 says:

      Apples and oranges! Fescue

    • HaroldP says:

      Fescue, once again you hide behind a mask for your identity……..Let’s call you Chris…. At any rate, your imagination has run wild (again)………what is in that coffee?

    • Dennis Bremner says:

      What a thoroughly useless comparison?Still walking the streets and feeling safe at night Fescue

    • ewingbt says:

      @ fESCUE . . .You just do not get it . . . First, I am not planning on doing anything such as being Mayor . . . or any leadership role . . . Poor leadership is how we got into this mess!
      We stand for taking back our streets instead allowing them to be over-run by addicts and FN screaming their war cries on the streets, high on drugs ( I have video). Leadership didn’t listen to our concerns . . .
      This is about bringing some relief to the businesses that have suffered major losses in the downtown, even though it is too late for those that have fallen. The leadership,as per provincial rules of governance as I understand it are to make decisions for the community as a whole, not a small group of a few hundred that have cost the city millions, not to mention wreaking havoc through-out the city.
      It is not about being Mr. Photo-op in the news, or look at me, see what I am doing . . . it is about the city, the people, their neighbourhoods and the children!
      All this seems to be missed . . . the city and the people have paid a dear price while leadership attacked those who stood up to help us, who heard our pleas. For those of us that have stood up, who have been impacted, we have had losses, we have been intimidated, threatened, and have seen little support from our great leaders. Open attacks in the media from them!
      We are not here for glory, for money, or to win popularity contests . . . WE ARE HERE FOR THE CITY!! COMMITTED!!

  5. phlushie says:

    And now there was a homicide. Dennis Brenner was spot on with his statement that organized crime will be starting turf wars. Secondly, what about the hipocratic and allowing and condoning humans to inject poison into their bodies?

    • Dennis Bremner says:

      https://lethbridgeherald.com/news/lethbridge-news/2020/02/11/police-issue-canada-wide-warrant-in-relation-to-westside-shooting/

      Year 3 I pointed out, is the year the big boys start musceling in. I quote

      ” Information obtained by investigators alleges a verbal dispute surrounding the ilicit drug trade occurred between the victim and the accused, resulting in the victim being fatally shot.”

      I also quote, the most important part, which most will gloss over and NOT understand the implications

      Dhiblawe has also been charged with second-degree murder in connection with a homicide in Edmonton on February 8, 2020, and is wanted by Edmonton Police Service on a Canada-wide warrant.

      So a guy from Toronto goes to Edmonton and kills someone, then comes to Lethbridge and kills some one else?

      The Lethbridge person was in a dispute over drugs? Hmmmm maybe his position in the drug trade? Maybe his boss in Edmonton thought he had a position too?

      And so, ladies and gents, it begins!

  6. phlushie says:

    @Fes, please don’t compare an act of nature to a personal choice to get H. Drug addicts are not an act of nature..

  7. biff says:

    fes’s points are valid: public money is not directed back to the public need, but instead is given to private individuals and entities. the point is made that there is never enough money for the public good because public money is siphoned away by the real parasites of society, the over privileged crooks and cronies. sadly, this is something the cons seem to support, so long as it is a party calling itself con that is in charge of the graft.
    as well, the point is valid that the brunt of those wanting to try and make this all go away are not nearly realistic or humane enough in their approach. the only immediate way to make this go away would be to treat the addicts as zombies, and shoot ’em to bits as quickly as they appear – and, given the likes of some of the comments i am sure we could put together a posse willing to pay for the fun of being a shooter in an instant. or, we could take a “clockwork orange” approach and force every addict into treatment, using whatever means necessary to ensure they no longer offend the sensibilities of the good old fashioned righteous religious ( who present much like the ironically named ‘progressives’ of old, who were in fact entirely regressive).
    as for the concerns expressed that the scs is allowing a slow death for the addict: utter nonsense. the scs helps to reduce the number of deaths due to overdose, and the amount of needles and use in public spaces. it is not perfect, but it serves a degree of positive purpose.
    many opposed to the scs have noted examining who we are trying serve with the scs; this is worth discussion. if in fact the blood reserve is off loading their addicted to lethbridge, perhaps an scs should be placed on that reserve, sparing lethbridge the present burden of calling in all addicts in southern alberta. as dennis has noted, why is the white man continuing to play the role of saviour of the native. is it not patronising, particularly in the light of the wicked residential schools fallout.
    once again i will suggest we create smaller scs sites to serve regions where addicts can access the better level of safety that the scs model offers. but, along with that, a properly funded treatment process be created. this would allow addicts the opportunity to be treated closer to home.
    our society truly needs to reconsider its social/economic model. many of our issues stem from fallout related to systemic poverty. perhaps it is that we prioristise the false profit (prophet) that is wealth a wee bit too much, and do not value enough the health of the whole.

    • Seth Anthony says:

      So what Biff? That has absolutely nothing to do with the bizarre comparison of tornado displaced people to enabling addicts that continuously harm themselves and innocent people.

      …and Fescue’s REAL point (and subtle insult) was revealed when she said, “…but hope they will just get a home, a haircut, and a real job.”.

      …and that point isn’t even true because what we’re saying is that if they’re a threat to themselves and society then they should be court ordered to enter treatment to get clean, get skills, etc. In other words Fescue is being disingenuous by claiming something that the “opposition” didn’t say.

    • Tris Pargeter says:

      Again you sort things biff, and make a lot of sense. Good points about the proximal placement of several sites with treatment, which I thought I saw there WAS one located on the reserve, as well as the role of systemic poverty.
      The catch is the “proper funding.” Good luck with THAT when it comes to all the fanatic conservatives obsessed with someone taking a red cent of THEIR MONEY. These selfish people remain stubbornly and irrationally opposed to the collaborative, social mindset that actually got us all here, eschewing any
      nonsense of “it takes a village,” just another bleeding heart liberal take. Fools!
      Again I say, do we ever talk about a “conservative democracy?” NO. And that’s why.
      Particularly agree with the observation regarding both the depressing lack of realism and/or humanity on display here.

      • Seth Anthony says:

        OMG.

        The reserve had an scs. It was closed after a few months because none of their addicts used it.

        No one is denying that we need the funding for treatment centers. Following the review of the matter, that is what the UCP has committed to. The problem is, it won’t accomplish much of anything because they’re voluntary.

        Some of you are just making s–t up as you go along.

  8. Seth Anthony says:

    Oh and as far as poverty goes?

    1) The kainai nation (blood reserve) members claim that the chief and council (to which they refer to as the C&C), hoard all the band’s money.

    2) Define “poverty”. If you have food and a roof over your head, are you impoverished?

    3) For every one person that claims that poverty caused them to stick a needle a needle in their arm, there are a thousand more that went through much worse poverty but didn’t resort to drugs and alcohol.

    4) Most opioid addicts are middle to upper class.

    5) Most opiod addicts became addicted due to an opiod prescription, peer pressure, or simple curiosity.

    In other words, “poverty” is far more of an excuse than a cause. If so called poverty ended tomorrow, it would have little affect on the opioid crisis. What would have an affect? Much better parenting and child education.

  9. ewingbt says:

    @ Fescue . . . I do not hide behind nicknames . . . and I do my research! I have walked the back alleys of East Hastings and seen that their plans after 16 years have failed.
    The City of Lethbridge has begun the same mission creep that Vancouver DTES started in 2003 and it has failed. Treating addicts gets to the common denominator. It isn’t poverty that is creating the drug crisis. Camps of homeless are no longer just in the Lower Mainland in BC, the have spread to Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm, Prince George, Grande Prairie, Port Alberni, Victoria, like a cancer spreading, and this summer we will see them rise in southern Alberta.
    Almost half of the addicts/homeless in Vancouver DTES are transient, moving back and forth and they move back in winter because of the climate and services provided.
    The greater Vancouver DTES is about 20,000 and for just that area, they spend $360 million annually on 300 social and housing services alone, that is not including welfare cheques/supports or policing, fire or EMS we are heading down the same path!
    We have the opportunity to be innovative and be a leader in treating addicts, but instead we are slowly poisoning them with illegal drugs full of contaminates! I have watched many as their bodies emaciate in months from the addiction. BC’s new answer now . . . let’s legalize heroin!!!
    This crisis can be stopped by effective treatment, it works! BC has had 17 years to get it right, but instead of pouring money into treatment, they are building more low cost housing, increasing services . . . costing more!
    These programs attract more people to the area . . . more addicts committing crimes to pay for their addictions!
    In 2019 the Vancouver Homeless count showed that 44% of them were from out of province and 9% not from Canada!
    Go ahead , spend all your money buildiing massive housing, shelters and injection sites to attract more and watch all you tax dollars go to that and more police, more fire/EMS. more healthcare for that addicts that area killing themselves. It your tax dollars!! But watch all the cuts in other areas to pay for this massive operation to support the addicts instead of treating them!
    I see all the same mistakes BC has been making all been employed here!
    No one has to do any studies. . . the biggest example of a failure is in BC and it is coming here now!
    There are several areas in the US that do not have injection sites and were hit hard in 2014 along with North America, but instead they chose to arrest addicts give, them a choice, prison or treatment. The programs are effective and they are 12-15 months along with upgrading and job placement with low failure rates.
    We can do better and end this before taxes dramatically increase and downtown turns into another Vancouver DTES and Galt Gardens another Oppenheimer Park (tent city) . . .

  10. ewingbt says:

    One more thing . . . FN communities are banishing their drug addicts and dealers . . .we do not have that luxury! We allow things to happen on the streets of Lethbridge that area not even allowed on the Blood Reserve . . .If the SCS is moved it will change nothing. Lethbridge is the place where they make their money through crime to pay for their drugs! We are their “providers” . . .

  11. Fescue says:

    My, my, what a hornet’s nest. Thanks, biff, for you typically insightful exegesis of my story.

    I think phushie said it most directly: ‘please don’t compare an act of nature to a personal choice.’ This seems to be a common perspective, but it is completely incoherent. The definition of an addict is someone who has lost agency. As in my story, these people are victims – from a social catastrophe rather than a natural catastrophe, but quite simply people who have lost control of their lives. So, rather than ‘apples and oranges’, johnny57, meet me half way with ‘honeydew and red delicious’.

    As far as I know, there have been no demographics published by those managing the SCS – nor should there be, as it tends to encourage the sort of bigotry and scapegoating that haunts this discussion.

    Having read the study completed by Dr. Pijl, I think Mr. Ewing has over-interpreted the results. The results basically say that there are addicts near the SCS, that they can be a nuisance, and that some business owners don’t like it: “antisocial behaviours make people feel unsafe, sometimes independent of actual risk”; “Experiences and observations were not consistent even between adjacent businesses, which suggests that observing, perceiving, and experiencing social disorder is impacted by many other factors. Social disorder is a social construct that is perceived differently by different people, making it difficult to measure.” Ol’ Fescue could have told you that for a sarsaparilla and a hot bowl of soup. If the City were to spend more money on this project, I would suggest that they hire Dr. Pijl to help the Lethbridge Police Service to design a methodology to collect meaningful statistics. And if quantitative data is wanting, maybe collect the number of transactions the nearby businesses have had each month for the past five or so years.

    • ewingbt says:

      @ Fescue . . . I don’t need a study . . I live it everyday I look out my window, walk down the street or read the news! The studyfell short of showing the whole story, the truth and how devastating it has been for the downtown business community, the residents and neighbourhoods of the city as a whole.
      Don’t fog the issue . . it is right in front of those who take a moment to see.
      Police ‘reported crime stats’ are already reported to Stats Canada, there are many crimes that happen in this city that do not get reported!
      The fact the you fail to see or understand what is in front of all us that live and work in this city shows yoiu have no clue and failed to listen to the concerns of the citizens and business owners when they cried out!
      You are the one that needs to wake up! The fact the Watch program needs to offer a service, which is used often, to escort people around downtown to conduct business, proves you have no clue what is going on in this city!
      We don’t need DATA, we see it every day of our lives!!!!!

  12. Seth Anthony says:

    Or ya know Fescue, we could just fix the problem instead of pursuing more mindless studies and non-solutions.

    It doesn’t have to be a hornet’s nest.

    • Fescue says:

      I understand. Just put them all in prison. I’m sure there is a lot of money to build another prison in Lethbridge.

      Now, instead of running around with your hair on fire, and prophesying end times, maybe you and your posse can do something positive and begin the process of raising public interest and money for your Solution (I mean more than writing hysterical letters to the editor). That ought to be interesting, as it seems that it is the same group of people who decry every penny taxed, who want to build a penitentiary in which these victims can detox (and I’m sure, given your humanitarian leanings, learn a new trade to break the cycle that causes their addiction). I’m guessing $100 million for the facility and $3 million a year to run.

      • Seth Anthony says:

        Wow Fescue. You’ve really been out in left field in the last couple of days. Did you recently stop taking your meds?

        Should I even bother refuting the ludicrous statements you just made?

        • Fescue says:

          I’m not sure, Seth Anthony.

          Wouldn’t be awkward trying to refute your own statements?

          “… repeat addict criminals should be court ordered with the choice of long-term treatment or long-term jail. Either way, they should not be allowed in society to continually harm others.” [Seth Anthony, Februrary 8th]

          Be that as it may, follow your heart. But, pray tell us, where this prison exists?

  13. HaroldP says:

    I have come to a realization, and wonder if other’s agree……….. I believe that “Biff” and “Fescue”
    are one and the same. I have observed this over a long period of time.

    • Fescue says:

      I think of biff as a refulgent son: his good sense, his humanity, and his political prudence set him apart from the crowd. Truly, HaroldP, how could this be Fescue?

    • h2ofield says:

      Lmfao!
      For sure Harold’s Ensure is laced!

  14. biff says:

    fes – lots of sharp, insightful, rocking entries in this twine. it is great being you, and you being me…how did hp sauce out this long kept secret? (people will know me/you/us from the financial ad on tv, where we – fes/biff from the past- meet in the future and discover how well off we are thanks to great money management by the company that purchased the ad.) all that said, i bet hp is really sherlock holmes, and is therefore using a fake real name, or a real fake name.
    hp – come on, what is your obsession about people using monikers? this forum is not a space in which to wage war on the person – we are trying to suss out truth, quality solutions, maybe we let go of our egos now and again and learn something, and have the odd laugh. for the record, whatever my parents chose to call me, i am nevertheless mud, of the bottom, a lower vibration being, but one trying to grow myself up to a higher vibration. i want to be a light being, not a thick, know-it-all (not directing anything at you or anyone here, hp), not the center of attention, not wealthy and chock-full-‘o-stuff, not a net negative that is all about me. i concede, i am not always the quickest to let go off stuff, but that is part of the problem with being lower vibration. however, what bugs me most in life is when i cause upset due to my level of compassion – which i keep trying to grow. i have developed my capacity for compassion, though, and i am more consistently and readily compassionate today than i have been at any point in my life. along the way i have had to acknowledge the many times i was soooo sure i was right, only to discover i was soooo wrong, both in terms of perceived knowledge and in judgements. but this is the most i will ramble on about myself…hmm, unless fes has something to share that i forgot to note 🙂 hp, i think you now know enough about me to allow you to move on from staying stuck on monickers. when you think about it, there is nothing in a name (calling a plant a rose does not make it smell sweet), but too often we choose to attack the name rather than take on the idea.

  15. HaroldP says:

    Ah ha! This confirms it, Biff and Fescue are the same person!

  16. Tris Pargeter says:

    How utterly delightful biff/fes; who knew this forum could be so entertaining? Truly. Thank you for elaborating!
    Heretofore, I have found this forum frustrating, and yet another missed opportunity for actual human communication and/or connection, not to mention simply irritating that real names aren’t used. I have thought that not only dishonest, but also rather coy and affected. But I must say I have developed some appreciation for the freeform arising from the altered view, absent gender.
    I have also seen it as predominantly being a place for mainly old, white men (thankfully, not all conservative though) to spar, butt chests, often falling together in solidarity at the end, making a game of it all, generally excluding women as a matter of course, along with their singular take. This I have experienced MY whole life, and NOT being a cheerleader for the team type, I have taken pleasure in expressing my thoughts regardless, because I am also older, and also look at things very differently as a result.
    As is obvious, anger features prominently in my views, but, as is also usually the case, it is justified. The current phony preciousness around any expression of that as “negative” actually fuels my own considerably. I also think that preciousness imbues the political left with a perceived effeminacy, which I suspect contributes to the visceral animosity of the right wing towards them. And obviously I see conservatism as the home for the lion’s share of the “thick know-it-alls” you describe. And worse than that, INCAPABLE of learning as they go along.
    There is a starkness to the current polarity that is a bit terrifying.

    • Fescue says:

      Hear, hear, Tris. The polarity is a wonder: group loyalty over evidence, identity over ideas. Your insights are always a welcome addition in my mind, as we explore these topics.

      • Seth Anthony says:

        Polarity exists because some arrive at conclusions via bias and emotion, while others arrive at conclusions via objectivity and logic.

        • Fescue says:

          Precisely, Seth Athony.

          Now it’s time for you and some others to take a couple of deep breaths in a paper bag, and calm down. Your hysterics are detracting from a rational discussion.

  17. ewingbt says:

    Seth you area right and to add, many of this commentors who hide behind phony names, some politicians, have not being impacted personally like many of us! They are clueless!

    The person who made the Telus video, a biased look at the issues slanted in favour of the SCS, disinformation I would suggest, also made a comment about Lou from Graphcom, which is across the alley from the SCS and stated that is was okay if he lost 60% of his walk-in business, because he still has his online business . . . . she fails to see that he STILL lost 60% of his walk-in business, clueless and ignorant to the fact that 60% was lost!
    Some people think that if you own a business you are wealthy! I can’t even imagine the tens of thousands of dollars Doug Hamilton has lost from vandalism,fortifying Hamilton Floors and loss of business.

    All these commentors show complete ignorance as to the impact it has had on our community or the millions it is costing the taxpayers! Including some of our leaders!

    The days are being counted down for the election and there will be some new faces in municipal and provincial posts! The election will get our streets back and give police and fire/EMS a well deserved break!

  18. biff says:

    ewingbt – with regard to “phony names”, please read my comment above in reply to hp’s similar concerns. focus on the debate is better served without the focus becoming the individual. buy, hey, for those that like using their real names, why not add a face as well?
    to any and all, please note: fes – whose insights, wit, perspectives, and even vocabulary (had to google at least 3 times in recent days to look up a word or reference…thanks!) i fully appreciate – and myself, biff,(…a sound from batman tv show fights, a lame duck in death of a salesman, and not quite a baff or a boff or even buff…) are NOT the same person. fes is a step ahead of myself, as are a good many others that take the time to share their light with some of the darkest shadows that dim and dull this forum too frequently. it is not a question as to whether one always finds another’s entries agreeable, it is about from where the perspective arises (heart or hate; compassionate or cold; freeing or controlling; service to others or self serving). what is most confounding is how often those purporting to be religious – of god – use god to justify hate, cold, control, and self service.

  19. Dennis Bremner says:

    Year 3 as I have pointed out, is the year the big boys start muscling in. I quote

    ” Information obtained by investigators alleges a verbal dispute surrounding the ilicit drug trade occurred between the victim and the accused, resulting in the victim being fatally shot.”

    I also quote, the most important part, which most will gloss over and NOT understand the implications

    Dhiblawe has also been charged with second-degree murder in connection with a homicide in Edmonton on February 8, 2020, and is wanted by Edmonton Police Service on a Canada-wide warrant.

    So a guy from Toronto goes to Edmonton and kills someone, then comes to Lethbridge and kills some one else?

    The Lethbridge person was in a dispute over drugs? Hmmmm maybe his position in the drug trade? Maybe his boss in Edmonton thought he had a position too?

    And so, ladies and gents, it begins! My guess…we record 6 deaths this year, which will put Mr. Mayor number 1 on a list he really does not want to address.

    https://lethbridgeherald.com/news/lethbridge-news/2020/02/11/police-issue-canada-wide-warrant-in-relation-to-westside-shooting/