Tuesday, March 10, 2009


A "native healing centre" may or may not be the best thing to ever happen to rehabilitation, criminal justice and addiction in this province. But it sure can't hurt.

This is a 44-week residential treatment program that was supposed to open last fall at Centre Creek, a former youth detention camp near Chilliwack.

Let me tell you up front from 10 years of personal experience that, if well run, a 44-week residential program is exactly what so many addicted people need. Yes, it will turn people around and it will save lives.

But wait.

Enter, walking backwards and in silence, Tom Christensen, the worst Minister of Children and Families this province has ever tolerated. (The really good news is that he has announced he will not run again in May.)

So the program that was to begin last year will not open until...well...your guess is as good as mine.

But hey. What's the hurry?

Young men and women are dying and stoning and committing suicide and especially in our native communities.

Why should that move the good Minister and his UberBoss, the Olympic King, the do anything, like provide the operating dollars to start the work that will save lives?

The monies are a few million.

Olympic lunch.


What sympathies am I meant to have for grown men who ski out of bounds and die in the snow?

What stretch of Christian charity should we find for people who climb under ropes and move past sign after sign warning of the dangers?

I am small and limited.


The news from India is truly horrifying.

At least 500,000 people have lost their jobs in recent weeks and the number could approach 2 million.

To make matters worse, there are no social safety nets.

A woman who worked 8 1/2 hours a day, six days a week earned $77 a month.

That is gone and she cannot buy buy milk and bread for her children.

As grim as things may be here in Canada, do we have any sense of how fortunate we are to be here and not in so many other places?

It must be frightening and frustrating and for Indian people living in Canada to know that their friends and families and country men, women and children are facing such dire hardships.

Investment wizard, billionaire and advisor to President Obama, Warren Buffet says succinctly "the economy has fallen off a cliff."

Asia Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda declared "This is by far the most serious crisis to hit the world economy since the Great Depression."

Hang onto your hats. Pray. Walk without a Walkman or an mp3 and notice your world. Enjoy simple gifts and pleasures. Turn to one another.

The coming few years will present enormous challenges. Individually and collectively we will need clarity and purpose and understanding of the basics.