Saturday, October 17, 2009


Jamie Graham, formerly Vancouver's Police Chief and now Victoria's Police Chief, (proving F. Scott Fitzgerald wrong when he said "There are no second acts in American life." Oh, right. Victoria isn't in America.) has come out fighting.

Mental-health cuts mean more homelessness, crime, police chief worries

Vancouver Island Health Authority trims number of caseworkers, hospital beds for the mentally ill

Well, good for him.

He is right, of course.

While VANOC is blessing its employees with $23,000 bonuses, the Vancouver Island Health Authority announced earlier this week that it is reducing the number of caseworkers and hospital beds for the mentally ill.

At the same time, community agencies offering counselling and therapy are losing funding from the health authority. Recent gaming grant cuts had already left many agencies scrambling for cash.

But don't you worry your silly little head over this.

One of the health authorities leading lights, The unfortunately named Alan Campbell said yesterday the cuts won't imperil people with acute mental illness, although people with lesser needs will find it harder to access care.

Mr. Campbell said that even after the cuts announced this week, services for mental health and addictions are better-funded now than they were 18 months ago.


This is the very worst and most cynical kind of spin doctoring.

Here is but one example of the damage being inflicted.

Seven case managers from Victoria Mental Health have been let go, leaving 400 people without that support.

Let's say that again, shall we?

Seven case managers from Victoria Mental Health have been let go, leaving 400 people without that support.

In the grand scheme of things, these cuts are lunch money. They are a drop in the sewage polluted waters of Juan de Fuca Straight.

Of course, this is money that is not earmarked for the Sea to Sky High Highway or the Rav Line or the luge or skating oval or the security and traffic management for the Games. So why would it be in any way important to the government that works and lives part time in Victoria?


dmc said...

This is worrisome, the chief knows what he knows. When Paul Martin was PM, Martin wanted to legislate that,'the mental ill, should'nt be held responsible for crimes they committe'...
Making them more valunerable,to be lured or forced into,O/C! Just like the Young,Offenders Act,'protects' a child for being proscuted for their stupid moments of committing a crime, then that child becomes a desirable target, by O/C.
Cuts toward those whom already live/choose a life of perpetual poverty, invest in an increse of crime , emergency hospital care and death cost.Not speaking suicide, but innocent people get hurt by sudden brusts of delousions by mentally unstabe people.
Jamie Graham should be more invloved with politics.

Jeff Taylor said...

When will the general public of B.C. say enough is enough ? Are people's heads so far up their butts that they don't see what some of us see ?
The millions that are spent on things that only benefit a special few, while a fraction of those dollars are cut that would benefits thousands of citizens.
On Jamie Graham; I DON'T care mush for him. I was a resident of the West End of Vancouver when he and Larry Campbell came up with the brilliant idea of putting extreme heat on the people of the DTES with the result being that the most mobile of them moved their drug dealing into parts of the of the West End. Seniors were afraid to walk outside my building because of the crime that increased after that enforcement program began. This moved also helped to put several small businesses out of business on Seymour Street. I know this because I talked with some of them and they told me the high increase of crime in front of their doors began shortly after Grahams crackdown started. When Graham was chief in Vancouver, he was always crying for more tax payers money for more officers at the same time that same police force was under fired from some of their own people for the mishandling management of resources. This was no secret because there was a few stories in the media at the time regarding this fact. It was quickly and quietly swept under the carpet however.
What I'm saying here is that the cuts by various levels of Gov't towards mental heath issues is penny wise and pound foolish, BUT many things said by Jamie Graham always need to be viewed with a second look at least.

Chris M said...

I think it is very important for people to realize that the police force takes its direction from the Police Board.
The head of the police board is the current Mayor (and we've had a few)
If a sweep was taking place in the DTES it was because the police board
(headed by Larry Campbell) at that time authorized it.
The police are employees of the City.
Look up their organizational chart.

Martino said...

I know the main point of this article is mental health, but I want to touch on the VANOC bonuses...

I do think 30 million is a little excessive, however, I understand the logic behind them. Without them, a lot of their employees would be jumping ship and focusing on their next job, rather than finishing the job at hand.

However, you know that probably a million a piece of that is set aside for Furlong, Poole and the other top executives (it's the BC way). I'd rather the bulk of the bonuses go the employees at the bottom who worked the long hours and gave their all to see this to fruition.