Monday, June 4, 2007

The Whoring Vancouver Agreement

The Vancouver Agreement is a little known collaboration of Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments. It's all about "partnerships" and "integrated approaches." Or so it claims.

Mostly what it is about is middle management mandarins of the the status quo meeting and interfacing and discussing and eating lunch and congratulating themselves on their latest feat of social engineering. Little jujubes like "harm reduction."

What it is really about is spending tax dollars in ways that rarely achieve anything, other than making the partners at the table feel real good about themselves.

Most people, if they knew the slightest thing about the Vancouver Agreement, would agree on one thing: Shut this scam down.

Today we were furnished with another great example of the Agreement's good work.

"A final report by the Living in Community Coalition, funded by $200,000 from the Vancouver Agreement, is recommending more safe places where sex workers can ply their trade, recover from addiction or leave the streets altogether." So reports the morning paper.

Let's not even get into all the arguments about whether such ideas are worthy or workable. Let's not ask how or where these addiction recoveries might take place.

Let's just focus on this one nasty thought: $200,000 was spent on middle class, middle management mandarins to discuss a problem - prostitution - that has been around for a few days, give or take.

That's $200,000 that could have been spent directly on helping and encouraging a few lost souls to escape the well-documents cycles of prostitution. We did that years ago at an institution I ran by just doing it. No discussion, no funding, no integrated approach.

But why would we do that, when we can spend more money and waste more time on "research" and "reports?"

Corruption and inaction comes in many disguises.

Real Good in the Real World. It's rare enough, and it must be Witnessed.

Technology being what it is - imperfect - my attempt to post an important and wonderful video from YouTube has either failed or been delayed. Who can tell?

HOWEVER...In March, I was delighted to present Mark Leiren-Young's one man show, "Shylock," in Victoria for 2 nights as a fundraiser for "Positively Africa." This is a wonderful program fighting HIV-AIDS in villages in Africa. The program is run by Peggy Frank and Peter Bardon, who produced the "Shylock" show which raised over $7,000 for their work.

Here are Peggy and Peter in Lesotho. Please watch; this is a beautiful piece and they are beautiful friends.