Canada's new standard for clean cities?
One thing we hear a lot here in the US of A is that Canada's big cities are so much cleaner than ours.
Yes, we have our Filthydelphia, but as bad as Philadelphia may be at times, we don't have anyplace with quite the situation that Vancouver, B.C., now has.
From the Canadian Press:
VANCOUVER — The ripe stench of human excrement is getting stronger in downtown lanes, curling the stomachs of workers who no longer want to relax by the back door for smoke breaks.
The primary source of this shitty in the city problem in the central business district and the Downtown Eastside area?
The 10-block city slum (Downtown Eastside, I presume) is swollen with up to 5,000 injection drug users who have less control of their bowels. Many are homeless and have nowhere to go to the toilet. Often the drug users roam out of the neighbourhood into alleys linking downtown businesses.
And, you may ask, just what is official Vancouver's take on drugs?
According to the Stop the Drug War site, Vancouver is "on the cutting edge of drug reform in the Western Hemisphere.... Part of the Four Pillars program was the September (2003) opening of the hemisphere's first safe injection site for needle users, located in the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, long notorious as the largest congregation of hard-core drug users on the continent."
Hmmmm. Isn't that the area that smells like crap?
Also, Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell is pushing for legalization of marijuana. Campbell is an interesting character... a former Mountie in drug enforcement who has apparently turned Vancouver into the drug use capital of the Northwest. If you don't believe me, read the interview he did with Stop the Drug War. He was also a script writer for the Canadian TV series "Da Vinci's Inquest", which chronicles the life of a Vancouver coroner, which Campbell also was for a few years. [Does this look like a poor man's "Quincy M.E." to you? I can't imagine that whoever played DaVinci was anywhere near as good as Jack Klugman.]
The official reaction? In the CP story, a public health protection officer (duh) is quoted as saying, "Defecating and urinating in the street is not something that's healthy for individuals."
Pardon my french, but no shit, Sherlock.
The solution? There are a few offered...
Public toilets. OK, that's not such a horrible idea... Not surprisingly, though, they have to study the hell out of it. As the CP report said,
Vancouver is set to commission a study to map the size of the problem and is considering spending more money on maintaining public toilets in the downtown entertainment and business districts.
But that's typical of a left-wing city - and make no mistake, Vancouver is far left-wing. Campbell and his government are ruling with the support of the Coalition of Progressive Electors (there's a real hint, huh?), which is supported by the socialist NDP. No more Librano left for them, no siree.
Open urinals. Yes, that's right. Open urinals. Like that's something a person should have to see. "I'm not sure our culture is ready for that," another clueless Vancouver city functionary told the CP reporter.
Housing for the addicts. Yes, "Let's spend the money on toilets on houses," says another typical lefty who suckles on the public teat.
How about trying to help these poor souls break away from their addiction? Nothing at all on that, huh?
* Feed their addiction, and the hell with the community that has to suffer with the stink. Shit.
* Keep those people marginalized and in need of the benevolent hand of government. More shit.
* Fund more programs to ensure that these people stay marginalized until they're dead. Even more shit.
Defining deviancy down. Thanks for the catch phrase, Mr. Moynihan. God knows we can find more examples of it every day.
SHOUTOUTS: Dust My Broom, Mitchieville, and ProudToBeCanadian earn shoutouts for their work inspiring this post.