On the Issues

HOUSING & AFFORDABILITY: 

  • Protect current coop housing and create more diverse sustainable housing projects
  • Defend renters' rights and work for more affordable housing

ARTS & CULTURE

  • Create more public spaces
  • Transform our alleys. People in the downtown eastside use the alleys everyday. Clean up these spaces so they are more friendly and safer for people while they hang out there.

POVERTY & ADDICTION

  • Increase support for frontline workers
  • Increase access to a wide range of treatment for those seeking it
  • Create opportunity for employment and social development programs

On the Opioid Crisis

Vancouver is in the midst of the worst overdose crisis that it has ever been experienced in the history of this city. Over the past few years thousands of our citizens have died of overdose deaths in all sections of the city, the majority victim to a toxic drug supply within the illegal market. These deaths are preventable. The losses to our communities have been staggering and there is to be no end in sight. My commitment to address this situation is unrelenting and one that embraces a spirit of healing, reconciliation and urgency to advocate and implement policies and services that will put an end to so many preventable overdose deaths in our city. Vancouver’s approach to drugs policy must be centered on ending this tragedy.

To this end my work to stem the epidemic of overdose deaths will focus on directly supporting efforts to engage people at risk of overdose and advocating options that will maximize their health and safety. We will continue to support the provision of life saving services to community members in Vancouver and work with our partners to build a comprehensive response to the complex issues facing many of our citizens who use drugs.  We have learned a tremendous amount from our experience working with community members, first responders, and all levels of government in implementing the Overdose Prevention Society services in the Downtown Eastside. We’ve learned that people in this city want to help in ending the epidemic of overdose deaths in our communities.

I will also work with my colleagues on Council and the Mayor to further the leadership that the City of Vancouver has shown over the past 20 years in advocating a new approach to drugs based on innovation, evidence and compassion. Building on Vancouver’s Four Pillar Drug Strategy I will advocate with my municipal colleagues from cities across Canada that our current drug policies are causing more harm than good and we urgently need to design safer drug policies for all citizens.

Problematic substance use is a complex issue and there is an urgent need for a new approach to drugs in our society.

I will advocate for a range of efforts to improve the health and safety of citizens in Vancouver including:

  • Overdose prevention sites to save lives and refer people to other services
  • Street drug checking programs so people at risk of overdose will know what is in their illegal drugs
  • Access to a wide range of treatment for those seeking it
  • Access to a living income through employment and social development programs

And perhaps most importantly access to housing for the thousands of Vancouver citizens living homeless at this time.

 

On Whales in Captivity:

On March 6th 2014 I watched Blackfish and for me it began a journey of advocacy that would become part of a movement that would lead to the freedom of cetaceans from Vancouver Aquarium. Of course, many before me have lead the way, many working on the issue of cetacean captivity for decades before me. This advocacy has led to a change in the way I think about all of the creatures that do not have a voice and are left vulnerable to the whim of human beings.

It's up to us to give them a voice and educate people. I believe there is still work that needs to be done on this issue and issues related to how we treat our fellow creatures in Vancouver. Whether it be breeding, farm animals, neglect. Vancouver should have the highest standards for animal treatment in the world and set the example.

 


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