Saturday, April 14, 2012


Every day something ridiculous happens.

We react, and we chatter about it over coffee and we declare the world gone mad and we make dinner and watch Seinfeld re-runs and forget about it.

Then the next day, something even more outrageous happens.

And we recoil in horror, declaim solemnly over coffee and declare Life as a constant re-enactment of Alice's Mad Tea Party, make dinner, watch Seinfeld and so on.

But then there was yesterday.

A headline so lunatic, so twisted, so incomprehensible, we knew with certainty that The End Is Upon Us.

Here it is:

Condo building protested as threat to ‘drug market’ 

Pardon me while I laugh hysterically just to clear my nostrils.


Now the piece in the Globe informs us that someone wants to build some housing downtown. Pretty good stuff so far, Yes.


But soft, forsooth!


This proposed project happens to be across the street from Vancouver's single greatest cultural contribution to the world - our famous "safe" injection office, the ironically named, Insite.


Now you need to know that there exists in this community a non-profit society which goes by the handle VANDU. Or Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. This is a group of active heroin users who not only believe that they have the well-born Charter right to do nothing all day but steal money and property from taxpayers so that they can use heroin, but who have so successfully convinced the wooly-headed at Vancouver City Council and the Province of BC of this right, that these austere and wise bodies annually give these suffering addicts hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars to pursue this right.


But I can tell you are now way ahead of this story.


VANDU doesn't want a fancy gussied up living place across from their free shooting place because - are you sitting down? - gentrification will upset the drug market!!!


Bad condo people. Bad investors in housing. Bad planners.


How dare you interrupt the flow of poison in our streets just to give people a place to live? Where are your values?


Coffee and dinner and Seinfeld re-runs may not suffice today. 


I may have to drink whiskey or shoot heroin or sniff cocaine to absorb this one.


Who needs the PNE?

I live in Vancouver. I live in a city in which one is privileged to spend every day on a circus ride, upside down and careening to the next candy-flossed madhouse distraction.


Robert W. said...

Listening to Roy Green this morning, a man I very much respect, on comes a series of pro-drug & pro-alcohol dispensing "clinics". Of course they call them something else but we all know what they are.

These folks, with the many, many letters after their names I have no doubt, sound so kind & gentle ... as they advocate policies that are helping to extend the destruction of people's lives. And all supported by endless "studies" ... studies whose outcomes I suspect were all predetermined before they commenced.

So your report is no surprise to me at all. :-(

Joanna J said...

"Well. The entire world is falling to ruins and poor Cheshire is off his tea."You are right sheer lunacy

Anonymous said...

I understand how the situation can sound absurd but...

It's a complex problem - Vandu is only one organization of many in the DTES who oppose this development and for many reasons. Vandu represents drug users as it pertains to support, personal liberty and health. They advocate for InSite because it is better than having overdoses in the alleys and the rapid spread of HIV that the City faced not so long ago.

Other groups oppose Sequel 138 for the devastation it will have on surrounding housing efforts. There is an attempt by the developer and city staff to redefine the meaning of "social housing" to keep city requirements to a minimum - zoning and policies get into the mix.

On top of that, the developer has been particularly nasty towards the local residents and thinks that by providing 8 units at welfare rates he should have carte blanche over a block of development in a poverty-stricken community. He didn't realize that people actually live in the neighbourhood and care about what happens here.

I am self-employed in the arts, live in the area and although I'm not a drug user I'm already being aggressed by the private security hired by the BIAs. I can only imagine the harassment that someone who lives on the street faces.

The Globe's report is unfortunate: the headline is biased and definitely not intended to help reach any resolution about condo tower development in the Downtown Eastside. This is far too complicated an issue to base a reaction on a report in the G&M.

Thanks for taking my comment!

Jeff Taylor said...

Damn those big, bad, mean developers. Imagine wanting to replace filth, stench, criminal activity, slavery to drugs and prostitution with nice places to shop and live. As for the BIA's security, how dare the business association want to provide another pair of eyes to help protect people that want to park their cars or simply walk the streets in that area without the fear of not making to their destination in one piece ! Has this world gone mad ? David, isn't it interesting that some people with the beliefs that the DTES is just fine the way it is, don't use their names when posting a comment ? You'd think that they'd be proud and willing to let the rest of us know who it is that supports the constant and continuing enabling of the misery that afflicts the DTES.

Anonymous said...

@Robert W.

You respect Roy Green? You mean that partisan right-wing hack who supported fully the choice of Sarah Palin for VP? Yes, very wise man.

Anonymous said...

"Its a complex problem"
What a load of left wing do gooder crap. The problem is the use of drugs. I have already told my tale of woe re my families battle with drugs and alchohol. We managed to overcome the addictions.(2 dead of ods many more recovering) with little or no help from taxpayers. Yes it is complex.
Use a backhoe or a D9 cat to remove Insite.
UGM and all real treatment centers prevail stupidity dies sooner or later.