Yesterday, I wrote about the "new" 10-lane $3 + Billion Port Mann Bridge plan from The Highwayman, Kevin "Don't Ask Me Anything" Falcon.
Pelalusa asked me if my views on such projects have changed and what I propose.
Here are my answers.
No, my views haven't changed.
If there is a legitimate project to be built, get on with it and build it. Stop mucking about for 20 years while the costs escalate.
If it is a legitimate role for the government and taxpayers, then pay for it.
BUT stop selling this P-3 bull that pretends that the government will save millions of dollars, when the net result is inevitably that the taxpayers will in fact be on the hook for millions more than were ever advertised.
When governments sign deals with men in suits, you and I pay. Governments are voted out of office, men in suits prosper and taxpayers pay.
As for the Port Mann Bridge specifically, $1.75 billion was already assigned for a twinning of the bridge.
To clear than plan off the table and replace it with no public discussion or consultation or referendum with a $3Billion (read $5-6 Billion in reality) tear down and replace plan is completely a NO GO.
This is a clear case of TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Dose of reality fuels new initiatives to help addicts
Long-term addicts to get two free doses of heroin a day in a Danish scheme that could be replicated across the
State-funded heroin is becoming a reality in Denmark, the latest in a small, but growing, number of European countries – including the
Since 1 January, hundreds of drug addicts in the Nordic country have the right to receive two free doses of heroin a day, paid for by their health system. The offer is only for adult, long-term users for whom substitutes such as methadone and subutex have not worked.
"The aim is to improve their state of health, help them avoid committing crimes and stabilise their lives," explains Dr Anne Mette Doms at the Danish Board of Health, which supervises the project. "Quitting altogether is not a realistic option for most of these patients. For them, this will be a chronic treatment, as if you were treating a chronic disease." Addicts will need to attend one of five specialist drug clinics across the country, where they will inject diamorphine – pharmaceutical-grade heroin – under doctors' supervision. The drug will not be available on prescription so as to avoid resale on the street.
Danish authorities are in the process of setting up the clinics, registering the doctors who will work there, and finding out which drug companies they will source the heroin from. The £7.2m project is expected to be up and running by March.
The initiative was adopted by overwhelming consensus in February 2008, after all but one of the parties represented at the Danish parliament voted in favour of the policy – the only one against it was a tiny far-left party that did not oppose the project per se, but the way it was funded. Among those in favour was the far-right Danish People's Party, a movement not usually known for its progressive views: at the last general election in 2007, it described some Danish Muslims as benefit-scroungers and fifth columnists who threatened Danish democracy.
Some might think this initiative is not surprising in a country with a historical tradition of progressive, social democratic policies. But, just as in the
"Five years ago I decided I would not participate in yet another debate on drugs," recalls Preben Brandt, the chairman of the Council for Socially Marginalised People and an advocate of the policy. "It was too emotional, with different groups being very aggressive."
"The counter-argument was always 'you kill people by giving heroin' or 'with this initiative, you are telling people that taking heroin is OK'," he says. "It is very difficult to have a rational debate when you are arguing against beliefs."
The turning point came when results became available from experiments trialling the policy in other European countries, including
Attitudes towards drugs addicts improved too. "Drug addicts in
Could a similar initiative be possible in the
Crimes committed by the addicts involved in the scheme dropped from about 40 to six a month after six months of treatment, Professor John Strang, the head of the National Addiction Centre at the Maudsley hospital, told the Independent newspaper. A third of addicts stopped using street heroin and the number of occasions when the rest used it dropped from every day to four or five times a month, on average.
It remains to be seen whether
Source: www.guardian.co.uk 5th Feb.2009
Posted by David Berner at 9:10 AM