Thursday, February 7, 2008

Alex Sits on Sam for 24 Hours

By A. G. Tsakumis'Rebel with a Clause'

I was, honestly, preparing to write for you about the obscene continuance of Laibar Singh's deportation dance, or, drugs and pro sports, but as luck would have it ……

the Mayor of Vancouver opened his mouth again, planting both feet firmly within.

Unfazed by the very serious media questions, His Worst-ship, continues to insist that his ridiculous drug fantasy initiative, CAST ( has received secured funding by the federal government to the tune of $10 million, even going so far as to suggest that the money was on its way to provincial Health Minister George Abbott, presumably for distribution.

Unless something has changed since Sunday, this is the greatest concoction of agricultural fertilizer ever proffered by Sir Spamalot.

I called a friend in Ottawa, who, let's just say for the sake of protecting a most valued source, is a high-ranking officer in the Harper Government. His comments reveal Mayor Sam's words to be, ah, factually challenged. More to the point: there is no one - aide, official or Minister - who has ever told Sam Sullivan that CAST will be funded, let alone with $10 million.

The last time Mr. Sullivan was in Ottawa, he saw Health Minister Tony Clement at a Christmas cocktail party where the two chatted.

No announcement has been made about any funding by either Health Canada or by the Prime Minister's Office; not only no money has been allocated, but “we're not even close to the final stages of a decision.”

No one wants any piece of this story because everything Sam's saying about the money just doesn't exist.

Essentially, the Sullivan re-election caravan is now losing crates of its own snake-oil because the Mayor's driving is, well, a tad erratic (and I'm being charitable here).

As if that wasn't bad enough, the entire CAST fantasy was dealt a severe blow this month, with the publishing in the British Columbia Medical Journal, of a very strong letter opposing this interminable nonsense. The letter is signed by some of the most respected doctors and addictionoligists in Canada (all from B.C.).Their concern, reduced to its lowest common denominator, is that CAST is pure folly as proper treatment and that its proponents have only sought to provide hypothetical benefits based on loosely married long-shot social benefits and the like.

But in a frothy, indignant reply, Drs. David Marsh and Michael Krauss of Vancouver Coastal Health, both proponents of CAST, have written an attack piece more in line with a political campaign than salient argument one would expect from physicians holding some lofty positions (are you watching Minister Abbott?).

And to complete the trifecta of stupidity (for this week), the Mayor raised the issue of sirens in Yaletown affecting his sleep, with none other than the Premier. Forget your safety, it's Sam's sleep that matters.

Of course, too, legal brothels for the Olympics (again) were high on the Mayor's talking points list. Tourists' sexual appetites are a priority for Sam.

And why not?The rest of us have been getting screwed for two-and-a-half years already.

A. G. (Alex) Tsakumis is one of our editorial writers appearing in this space every Friday.


I have a personal problem.

I know this seems unlikely, but it is so.

On Sunday afternoon, Sweetheart and I went to see the Oscar-nominated movie, "There Will Be Blood" at the Fifth Avenue. The movie was somewhat of a disappointment, but that's for another day.

My problem came to light with the arrival across the aisle from us of a middle-aged couple. From the sit-down, they chatted amiably in loud voices as if they were at home and not in a crowded theatre.

When the lights went to half-dark and the trailers began, I wasted precious human breath by leaning across the aisle and saying, "Excuse me, may I please hear what's on the screen?"

They both laughed heartily as he replied, "It's only the trailer!" It was the trailer they were discussing so vigorously.

They didn't for a second break stride. They continued their merry discourse until the feature began and picked up again the moment it ended.

So what's my problem?

It's not that these people are assholes, which they are.

It's not that these people are 60 year old children playing at being responsible, considerate adults.

It's not that I want to world to cater to my needs and wishes, which I do.

It's none of that.


I am not a happy man.

I am a complainer, a whiner, a kvetch, a nag and a guy who writes a blog every day about the ills of the world.


They laugh and smile and everything please them.

Very little pleases me. The few things and people that do, I cherish and thank the Mysteries for.


How can I get this way?

Please help.

Agitated in Vancouver

Barry J. on Life in the DTES

My personal experience on the DTES seems almost more frustrating after I get clean than before, it didn't take me long to figure out the deck is stacked against anyone who tries to do anything recovery oriented down there.

I was asked, and accepted to be on the community consultation committee for the federally funded. drug court pilot project when it started down there a few years back. It was comprised of mostly comprised those involved in the junkie industry down there with the exception of the chair, Lynne Kennedy, who was the chair of the police board at that time.
The drug courts work quite well in the states but it soon became apparent to me that drug courts with the strong harm reduction twist they put on them in Vancouver make them very ineffective and I resigned, whets the point, they come into the program with the monkey on their back and they graduate with the monkey on their back, albeit, usually methadone which is a bigger monkey to wrestle than heroin but more socially acceptable.
For a while I was in talks, down at 390 Main, kitty corner to the Carnegie center with BOB (Building Opportunities for Business) which was federally funded through the Western Diversification program. They were very enthusiastic about my ideas concerning programs and social enterprise and how they could work, they were showing me city owned building all over town where we could get a big cut on rents etc.. Then they started telling me how we had to have low threshold programs with all the using junkies mixed in with those who were trying to stay clean and once again, I walked. What I learned from that was how inter-twined those who get a federal paycheck are with the poverty pimps down there. Some are on the boards of PHS and other non profits, so it all makes sense
Like you said in your talk at the Arbutus club, we can give a presentation to gov. or non-gov. people and the goodwill seems to be there but there is no follow-up. I spoke at the probation officers of B.C. annual conference at the R.C.M.P. training facililty in Chilliwack a couple of years ago and there seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm afterwards and some were wanting to stay in contact but there was absolutely no followup.

Pot Grower's Rights Violated

Everything about this story is bad.

Privacy rights vs. policing. A man's home is his castle vs. but they're packing major heat.

Another hundred reasons to revile Trudeau.

So a Vietnamese immigrant whose entire wealth is based on a criminal activity will carry on biz as usual because the RCMP were too vigorous? Because the law is an ass? Because privacy trumps all other considerations?

And my right to live in a criminal-free neighbourhood?

No doubt the legaliation nuts will chock this up as another wonderful argument for any peanut butter?

What Gulag are we in Again?

Let's see if I understand this new trend.

Last week, BC Hydro fired their fairness commissioner because he said some of their practices were unfair.

Now, Rich Coleman, BC's Forests Minister has rejected his own ombudsman's recommendations for cuttin down the number of worlers' deaths in logging.

The safety ombudsman, Roger Harris, says the numbet one killer is bad logging roads.

Coleman says, "Shut up! That's too expensive to fix."

Coleman is also BC's Minister of Housing. He must be a very talented guy.

This morning he also denied the numbers released on how we are trailing everybody in providinf social housing.

So we have a theme here. If you don't like the evidence, you just bully it away.

Comrade Colminskovich, pull up a wooden bench to our table. Have a wodka, tvarish.