karen ward Profile picture
Jul 18, 2018 16 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Thanks for the call @bctoday appreciate the time to talk about the @BCCSU report on "Strategies to Strengthen the Recovery System in BC." An overall review is long overdue, given the situation - #overdose #bcpoli #harmreduction
and there is much to be encouraged by in the report. Dr. Wood states clearly that recovery is a process, by definition long-term, so more is needed beyond harm reduction and acute care. bccsu.ca/news-release/n…
This is the bit that troubles me. I read the report closely and remember seeing a very early version of it well over a year ago. It's about "Therapeutic Communities":
"Corrections-based," means prison, in this case a secure environment that you get taken to unwillingly, to be clear. This may be of benefit to
so that is what i object to, because that's me and my neighbours #DTES
pulling people out, unwillingly, from their homes and whatever lives we are leading, however disordered, into a "correction-based therapeutic community" for wraparound care says - no matter how well-intentioned the individuals involved are - that
problematic, illicit substance users shouldn't be part of society. that people visibly, publicly suffering, will not be tolerated, and through a bit of rhetorical sleight-of-hand suggests that this be a policy consideration: "Therapeutic Communities"
And this is precisely the problem. Deciding, through #WarOnDrugs il-logic, that some people can be helped, and get choices and some extra guidance and the dignity of making choices among many possible futures - while those of us visibily suffering, self-medicating in public
must needs be cordoned off, removed from the category of human, for our safety & everyone else's too. End the epidemic. Isolate the infecteds. We'll kill each other eventually, crisis solved. Maybe there will be An Offical Apology in a generation or 2, a new park. A Memorial Park
After all, that's precisely why over 4000 people died as a result of using illicit substances in 2017, in canada. Unfathomable loss, universes lost.
So if that, given the scale of this disaster, is what is offered to policy makers as
of course I reject it. Rather treat me as human, understand that my choices and hopes, as I stammer to articulate, may be unusual and unlike your own, but no less real, at least not less real than I am.
Substance use isn't itself the problem - for an individual, it's the solution to the problem... but a potentially lethal solution at this place & time. It has become so as the result of a century of criminalization.
Respect, dignified choices about work, education, counselling, medication, the opening-up of possible futures - as a human in human society. I am you, because this is about all of us really, you want to #StopThisCrysis?
Homes, decent incomes, friends, for all of us and everyone too. If the starting point is #harmreduction - we seriously! must "expand our concept of harm" (@johannhari101 @tlupick)
because this is why we die
and we must stop harming each other like this
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More from @kwardvancouver

Jul 15, 2018
Identifying as a 'person w/ lived experience' has become a route for marginalized ppl to be, in some ways, 'on the inside', of policy processes that are about us. the example of a formal process that springs to mind is the task force on mental health & addictions, 2013 onwards.
at the time, it was nearing the end of the DTES planning process, therefore terrible. i was the rep from gallery gachet, the token out nutcase on the committee. but the whole point for many of us there was that the diversity of our collective experiences, as low-income
and marginalized residents, had given us knowledge & insight that would improve the planning process, and so plan would centre low-income residents. but the danger is that while you might be in the room, you simply don't have the resources & capacity to participate meaningfully.
Read 16 tweets
Jul 14, 2018
Delightful! note that the province committed over 30mil. the nonprofit developer, vancouver chinatown foundation, raising the same. city contributing land, & more, & headaches. #vanpoli after oct, pls ask why the gov't won't meet w/ you. (can't wait.) #homeless ppl need homes,
idiots,. they can't live in your millitant post-post-modern dissent. you're using people you've coerced to be there as props. and none of you read the RZ report or attended subsequent meetings. you are not actually interested in housing at #58WHastings. clearly. #HousingJustice
you'll weaponize the whole project, and THIRTLY MILLION DOLLARS from the province, they are willing to try something here. you do this shit, do you think they'll spend another dime in the #DTES? its ok for you, b/c then you can Fight the Government! so hardcore radical.
Read 7 tweets
Jul 4, 2018
@andreareimer i don't think such a definition would do nothing, or provoke the developent of 231 units of nothing. both senior levels of government have significantly shifted gears on housing since the last instance of re-definition that you cited
@andreareimer i guess it's a legit debate - eg 10 units at shelter rate in a 100 unit building, 50% condos = gentrification/displacement, therefore "no building at all," which is the local position. i don't want to get stuck in the past, i hope that is the past.
@andreareimer unlikely there are perfect actions. 100%/375 has become an ideologically-driven ideal; it is a terrible way to live in reality. and "social housing" that includes $962/mth provokes confusion, anger, cynicism... the hopelessness emoji
Read 6 tweets
Jul 4, 2018
Thank you Kathy Shimizu (of @WePress_YVR) for introducing that idea about a new definition of social housing! appropriately doing so in the context of this #ChinatownYVR session at council. i can explain #vanpoli
(i was hoping to be there today, but i'm still really sick.) 1/..
at present "social housing" can include a rental range from $375/mth (the "shelter rate" portion of bc social assistance) to 30% of income at the HiLs rate - for one person, that's an annual income of $38,500. @BC_Housing @selinarobinson bchousing.org/housing-assist…
which would mean rent for a studio would max out at $962/mth. world of difference between $375 and $962. i understand that HILs represents the low end of average incomes - but how is that measured? $962/mth doesn't feel like "social housing"
Read 13 tweets
Jun 26, 2018
"Based on the agenda of the City of Vancouver’s Urban Design Panel on Wednesday (June 27), the development will have 38 housing units as well as 12 micro dwelling units above commercial spaces on ground level." Those are the only details about the 'development'. #dtes #vanpoli
cw: the thread that will undoubtedly ensue may contain various not-exactly-on-topic freak-outs, references to harsh things, bitter yet nuanced literary allusions, & images i spend too much time making (gifs gifs gifs). Because this is worth it. #ThisIsWhy
This 'development', the article does not note, is beside this capital-generating structure, and an important public space. Good thing I checked, because if you read @tlupick's article, I am already pissed off about this! straight.com/news/1015846/r…
Read 23 tweets

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