I DO NOT, HAVE NOT, WOULD NOT ever suggest throwing money at a problem. I am a REALIST, believing in examining a problem to understand what the situation IS. I am not an Ideologue who, wearing the blinders of ideology, looks at a situation and sees what they want to see, not what really is. There is NO perfect solution. A system dealing with people demands flexibility and denies neat, easy answers. Rigidly applying Ideology guarantees failure. How I came to homelessness: click Backstory below.
The Conservative Party’s Canada - where, if you are a businessman who can afford to own two Canadian Football League teams and to make large contributions to the Conservative Party, you can procure a seat in the Canadian Senate.
Not really surprising in light of the Conservative Party’s oft demonstrated policy of increasing the Wealth of wealthy Canadians via policies that transfer resources not to Canadians and Canadian children in poverty, homelessness or need but to those Canadians in Greed. Whether it is by regressive tax policies, being ‘unable to afford’ housing or anti-poverty programs while being able to afford bailouts, subsidies, exceptions, grants or Senate appointments for businesses and the wealthy
Before we leave the subject of the Conservatives lack of ethics and the Senate, it is surprising Mr. Harper did not suffer severe whiplash from his abrupt change vis-à-vis the Canadian Senate.
Mr. Harper called for abolishment, for an elected Senate and condemned the Liberal government’s appointment and use of the Senate when Conservatives were not in power and the Senate was not of any use or advantage to the Conservatives.
But as soon as it was to the advantage of Mr. Harper and his Conservatives we were treated to the spectacle of Mr. Harper, who came to office stating he would never appoint senators, appointing 33 senators – to date
True Mr. Harper made several excuses for his massive about face on this matter; just as he did when, after having attacked the Liberal government on MP pensions when in opposition, Mr. Harper and his Conservatives bellied up to the trough to pig out on the same taxpayer funded golden pensions for MPS.
Interesting lack of an ethical center.
These are the same Harper Conservatives who recently tried to engineer a quick vote on Bill C-304, a private member’s bill calling for “secure, adequate and affordable housing for Canadians.”, in order to scuttle the bill.
The disappointing behaviour here is that of the three other parties in parliament in not getting behind and supporting this bill and a gravely need national housing strategy.
After all this is a Conservative government that, while it claims it has ‘no money’ for a national housing plan (or addressing child poverty), has unlimited millions (hundreds of millions?), for an advertising campaign promoting the Conservative party and paid for by Canadian taxpayers.
There is nothing wrong with political parties blowing their own horns – that’s part of the political process. But the cost of a party blowing its own horn is a cost that should, no must, be paid for out of the coffers of the party, not out of the coffers of the federal government and thus the pockets of Canadian taxpayers.
Sticking a label such as “Canada’s Economic Action Plan” on the spending does not change the fundamental nature of what the advertising campaign is about – promoting the image and fortunes of the federal Conservative party.
No money for housing or child poverty but the Conservatives can find seemingly unlimited taxpayer $$$$ to pay for advertising to promote the Conservative government.
Interesting set of priorities and rather malleable ethics - ethics that shift to accommodate the circumstances the Conservative government finds to its advantage.
Given that that the Conservative Party likes to hold itself up as the judge and defender of moral behaviour and morality in Canada one has to wonder just what kind of definitions they are using for ‘moral’ and ‘morality’. Clearly whatever the definitions the Conservatives are using do not include pesky concepts such as ethics, honour, character or the distinction between right and wrong.
While this type of unprincipled behaviour is behaviour as usual for Mr. Harper and his Conservative Party, I was somewhat surprised, based on what I knew of Mr. David Braley from his ownership of the BC Lions, that he allowed himself to be appointed. Although I suppose, upon taking time to consider his $$$$ support of the Conservatives and their behaviours and policies, it really is no surprise.
True ethics are not something that change when convenient. Indeed, true ethics often are inconvenient because they get in the way of what would be a convenient action or behaviour.
Ethics that change when convenient are many things – but they are not ethics.
Lack of ethics is a behaviour that results from seeking to govern simply to push an ideology or to be the party in power. Because in either case, the operating principles and behaviours of the parties involved are about winning power and holding power. Ethical or honourable behaviours are tossed overboard in favour of whatever it takes to win. Actually any behaviour, such as MPs listening to the constituents they represent instead of mindlessly obeying the Prime Minister, that interferes with winning are rejected.
Yet the moment one becomes unwilling to lose on a matter of principle or ethics, that ones ethics become malleable or that one justifies doing whatever is necessary to obtain or retain power by claiming it is ‘for the good of the country’ one’s actions have ceased to be about delivering leadership and effective governance and one becomes part of the problem.
The current focus of governments and politicians at all levels in Canada is about advancing an ideology, being in power and winning at any cost, about divide and conquer, pitting differing interest groups against each other; it is not about good government, building a strong Canada or a fair, balanced, understanding and cosmopolitan society.
None of our current politicians and political parties have promulgated an ethos of what it is to be Canadian or articulated a vision for Canada and Canadian society.
It is time for a discussion of what it is to be Canadian, the type of society we want to have and how we as Canadians will achieve that vision.
It is pass time to stop allowing politicians to tell us why we cannot bring about the Canada we want and to support leadership that is about bringing the Canada we want into being.
Or most Canadians will find themselves entitled only to the rights and freedoms they can afford to buy.
Why was anyone surprised?
This is a mayor and council who swore up and down they would not be helping subsidize the travel costs for AHL teams to travel to Abbotsford – and then proceeded to do exactly that. A mayor and council who maintain their willful blindness, insisting that it is the Heat who subsidize the visiting AHL teams travel costs and that the council’s multimillion dollar yearly subsidy of the Heat has nothing to do with the Heat’s ability to subsidize travel costs for visiting teams.
A mayor and council who had Global Spectrum act as their agent vis-à-vis the agreement between the city and the Heat in order to sidestep the provincial municipal statutes that prohibited this type of agreement. A prohibition intended to protect citizens by preventing municipal governments from putting the taxpayer on the hook for paying a potential liability such as the $73 million guarantee given the Heat ownership.
And when citizens questioned this action the mayor replied – so sue us; a mayor who berated Chilliwack’s mayor for grandstanding when she declined free Olympic tickets on the grounds of ethics.
With a municipal election next year, the mess, misery and financial woes council have afflicted upon the voters is it any surprise politicians would not want to put at risk political donations from businesses?
Given that if Mayor Peary and Councilor Smith had not voted in favour of the developer the developer’s proposal would have been defeated 4 – 3 rather than approved 4 – 5 (3 + Peary + Smith).
Why was anyone surprised that, even with the clear conflict of interest of having received political contributions from the developer, Mayor Peary and Councilor Smith voted in favour of the developer and the development?
That was the thought that crossed my mind in reading Abbotsford City Councilor John Smith’s comments concerning the incinerator.
Councilor John Smith: “There is a cost to everything ... at the end of the day, decisions are based on economic reality.”
If only that were true … the taxpayers of Abbotsford would not be groaning under the fiscal burden of: an Arena that cost nearly twice what was promised in enticing citizens to vote yes, million+ dollar arena operating losses where taxpayers were promised operating profits and multi-million dollar subsidies to the owners of a professional hockey team were politicians promised during the last municipal election bribes (aka subsidizes) would not be paid to seduce a team to play in the new arena.
Councilor John Smith: “Up until now, we have been dealing with emotion. Let’s now take a look at the cost,”
If only that were true … let us review the history of the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre. The pending arrival of the Bruins in Chilliwack had the Chiefs seeking a new home and in that regard approaching the city council of Abbotsford proposing a partnership to build a new arena as the new home for the Chief’s – a successful team with an established fan base in the Fraser Valley.
Remember city council’s response? That the city did not need a new arena … and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out of town.
Then suddenly council felt the need to not only build an arena but to build a bigger, fancier arena than the arena in Chilliwack or the new arena under construction as the new home of the Langley Chiefs.
Why after brushing off the Chiefs and their offer to partner with Abbotsford in building a new arena did council suddenly feel the need to build, on speculation and without a tenant such as the cavalierly dismissed Chiefs, not simply an arena but an arena that was bigger than those of Chilliwack and Langley.
Why, when it would have been cheaper to leave the arena without a team did council burden taxpayers with a further liability of $73 million? The attendance and results of this first year of operation suggest that taxpayers will be fortunate if they only end up paying out $20 million of the $73 million liability assumed on their behalf by council.
No responsible person, no responsible city council, would have made the decisions that Abbotsford’s city council using cost as the basis of the decision.
Only emotion can account for the complete disregard of economic reality in building the arena or in signing the agreement that the City of
Of course “Let’s now take a look at the cost,” only works if you do your homework. That way you can avoid failing to include costs necessary to maintain the warranty on jungle gym equipment - markedly improving the accuracy of ‘estimated costs’ and lessening the number of 100% cost overruns or losses in place of promised profits.
While he hopes an unbiased analysis of the numbers will show incineration is not cost-efficient, (Councilor John) Smith says he would oppose the WTE (waste to energy), even if it was cost-friendly.
Aha! Now that statement reflects the actual way that Abbotsford’s current council acts – if fiscal reality does not support the action you want to undertake - ignore the financial facts/reality and do whatever it is you want, pursue your priorities and ignore the cost to the city, its citizens and taxpayers.
Council pursuing its own priorities, no matter how inappropriate or costly to taxpayers those priorities are, is how you end up with the city being “unable” to afford to subsidize minor amateur hockey in Abbotsford by $9,500 while “able’ to afford to subsidize professional hockey and the ownership of the professional team by $3,000,000 (approximately, considering direct subsidy to the team and the indirect subsidy of arena operating costs).
Councilor’s personal priorities is why the minor hockey rate increase proceed “as it was necessary to cover operational cost increases” while the professional team does not cover any, much less increases, of the operating costs of their arena.
Council’s priorities have resulted in the city imposing double digit fee increases for the use of city recreation fields and facilities over the past several years; increases that have resulted in an increasing number of families being unable to afford their children’s participation in youth sports and recreational activities.
As a grandfather of my acquaintance was lamenting - the cost of baseball for his grandson has gone from $45 to $100 over the past three years making affordability an issue for his family.
It is not just children who have been affected by these double digit fee increases. Lack of affordability resulted in me no longer being able to afford a pool pass; for the first time in my long residence in Abbotsford I found myself without a pass and dealing with the negative physical and mental health consequences of not being able to swim as needed.
Personally my priorities dictate that fees for fields and facilities should not be being raised ever higher in order to have funds to subsidize a professional hockey team and the council ego project better known as the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.
Why is it that Parks and Recreation spent $135,000 (plus however much they went over budget) to buy used jungle gym equipment (to be rented out to those who can afford the rental cost) instead of spending the funds on repairs to
That the Langley Museum has a perfectly fine utilitarian electronic sign and ARC had to have a costly fancy, bells and whistles electronic sign to impart information undoubtedly reflects the differing priorities of Langley’s council versus Abbotsford’s council and explains why Abbotsford’s taxpayers paid $90+ million for an arena comparable to the arena Langley’s taxpayers paid $15 million for.
Abbotsford’s council needs healthy priorities, an ability to plan for the needs of Abbotsford and avoid problems rather than stumbling from mess to quagmire to disaster. A little financial and personal discipline would be nice and would go a long way to stop council and staff from digging the hole they have dug the city into ever deeper.
If only …
Not as Simple as Heat/Moose switch
I must agree with Mr. Redekop that the attendance at the Heat playoff games is ominous news for the future of the pocketbooks of the taxpayers of Abbotsford.
It bodes ill for future attendance at Heat games that even with the marked advantage of novelty with this being the first year for the Heat in Abbotsford, that in their first year the Heat made the AHL playoffs and that AHL playoff games have never been available west of Winnipeg before the Heat are drawing poorly.
The fact that attendance is lackluster under such favourable circumstances strongly suggests that, under the terms of the 10 year agreement council entered into with the ownership of the Heat, the taxpayers of Abbotsford will have to pour millions of more taxpayer dollars into the coffers of the Heat ownership.
Just as an aside Mr. Redekop: if the Heat ownership was in fact “… community minded, generous …” they would have assumed at least some of the risk associated with the ownership of an AHL hockey team rather than foisting all the risk off onto Abbotsford’s already overburdened taxpayers.
While I concede that the Moose would perform better that the Heat, how could they not, the view expressed in Mr. Redekop’s letter strikes me as viewing this possibility through the same rose coloured glasses the mayor and council wore when they committed city taxpayers to the overly generous agreement signed with the Heat ownership.
The attendance dynamic of a single yearly visit by the Canucks farm team is markedly different from the dynamic when there are numerous opportunities to catch a game over the course of a season. The fact that during their one visit the Moose drew full houses does not mean they will fill the arena for every home game.
The attendance at this year’s playoff games is probably a better predictor of a realistic attendance level over a season than the attendance at ‘the only chance this year to see the Moose’.
It is important to be realistic because I doubt that “the win-win situation for all parties should require no payment by anyone.”
What I mean by this is:
If the Heat remain in Abbotsford and attendance follows the historical patterns/trends the taxpayers of Abbotsford are looking at contributing 2 – 3 million dollars a year over the remaining 9 years of the agreement council signed with the Heat; a total of 18 – 27 million dollars.
If Mr. Redekop’s assumption of full attendance if the Moose were exchanged for the Heat was correct that would mean taxpayers would save $18 - $27 million over the term of the agreement between the City and Heat ownership.
Let us use the lower $18 million as the amount that taxpayers would save. That means it is worth $18 million to the taxpayers of Abbotsford to have the Moose as Abbotsford’s AHL team. Thus the ownership of the Moose has a team with a value of $18,000,000.00 in respect to moving the Moose to Abbotsford.
Sound business practices dictate that the Moose ownership should charge $18,000,000.00 to exchange franchises/teams given that that amount is the value of the savings to the Abbotsford taxpayers of exchanging franchises/teams.
However should the assumption of full attendance turn out to be another of the ‘rose coloured glasses’ mirages sold to the Abbotsford public and the ‘they are here all season long’ attendance prove to be not significantly higher than the Heats current attendance then the value of the exchange of the Heat for the Moose has a $0.00 value. A value significantly lower than the $18,000,000.00 value under Mr. Redekop’s full attendance assumption.
Although it would be in keeping with the mismanagement of this matter by Abbotsford council to date, it would be rather unwise to pay $18,000,000.00 for an exchange of franchises/teams that in fact has a zero value.
The large difference between these values is why it is so important that any projections as to the benefit of having the Moose as the team in Abbotsford be realistic and reasonably accurate.
‘The Winnipeg Heat owners would win because …’ again a ‘rose coloured glasses’ view of the situation.
Hockey is taken very seriously on the prairies and rivalries are heated. Calgary and Winnipeg have a rivalry established when the Jets were Winnipeg’s NHL team. There was no love lost between Winnipeg (Jets) and Calgary (Flames) when they were NHL rivals. This situation was not improved when Winnipeg lost its NHL team but Calgary and its oil money held onto the Flames.
The ownership of the Winnipeg AHL team would be taking a not insignificant risk that a Calgary affiliated team would tap into old feelings and be rejected by the fans.
On the prairies it is Toronto that is despised; Vancouver is simply la-la land.
It is in the statement ‘The Canucks would also be big winners’ that I feel both the biggest fallacy and barrier in regards to an exchange of franchises/teams lies.
Whether the Moose games are sell-outs or not is of no interest to the Canucks as they have no financial interest in the attendance at Moose games.
The interest of the Canucks in the Moose is not in the ability of the Moose franchise to make money but in the ability of the Moose to develop the skills and abilities of players to the level that enables them to play and contribute to the NHL Canucks.
It is in order to preserve the ability of the Moose to develop Canucks prospects to the level of playing and contributing at the NHL level I suspect the Canucks would block any attempt to move their farm team from Winnipeg to Abbotsford. I certainly would if I was running the Canucks organization.
In Winnipeg the Moose are simply a AHL team and subject to no unusual media attention.
If the Moose were relocated to Abbotsford the team, coaches and players would be caught up in the Canucks media circus/frenzy. This intense, constant media attention would interfere with the ability of coaches and players to focus on hockey, player and skills development.
Given that the fortunes of the Canucks depend on the ability of the Moose to develop players, perhaps more importantly have players ready to step into the Canucks line-up and produce (injuries etc.), I would certainly not want to move the Moose into a market where these functions would be compromised or impaired.
I would expect that for these reasons, as well as several other issues that come to mind, the Canucks would be opposed to a move of their AHL farm (player development) team into Abbotsford.
While having the Moose (the Canucks farm team) as Abbotsford’s AHL team is an idea worth exploring, I have serious reservations that it would be either the cure all or slam dunk Mr. Redekop envisions.
I am not saying it is not a possibility to be explored. I am solidly in favour of anything that will reduce how much of the $65,700,000 liability city council has put taxpayers on the hook for that the taxpayer’s of Abbotsford end up having to pay out.
What I am saying is not to rush into something based on the ‘rosy glasses view’ and promises of success.
That’s what happened with the new arena and what created this financial quagmire. Unlike council and their supporters I am a firm believer that when you find yourself in a hole you do not keep digging yourself in ever deeper, creating ever larger costs that the taxpayers are on the hook to pay for.
BC's Community Charter not enforced?
After reading the Abbotsford Today story concerning the non-action of the Liberal government on behalf of the taxpayers of Abbotsford to protect them from Abbotsford city Council’s violation of the Community Charter I have composed the following two letters to Gordon Campbell and Carole James.
I would urge people to send a copy of the first letter to the Premier and our local MLAs (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org) and a copy of the second letter to Carole James (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dear Gordon Campbell: I am writing in order to achieve an understanding of how the Liberal government decides which of the provincial laws, statutes etc. it will enforce and which of the provincial laws, statutes etc. it will NOT enforce.
I had assumed that the provincial government would enforce all provincial laws, statutes etc.
However it has been brought to my attention that Deputy Minister Dale Wall of the Ministry of Community and Rural Development, the Ministry responsible for the Community Charter which governs the behavior of municipal governments, informed a concerned Abbotsford citizen (Lynn Perrin) that:
“It is Ministry practice not to obtain a legal opinion about whether a municipality has met the legislative requirements.”
Leaving aside, for the moment, the obvious question of why a government would pass laws, statutes etc. it does not intend to enforce and of the deception inherent in a government passing laws, statutes etc. it does not intent to enforce; contrast this non-action on violations of the Community Charter by a municipal government with the BC governments taking action to appeal the BC court ruling that where municipalities lack sufficient housing citizens who are homeless as a result of this lack of appropriate housing have the right to establish shelter on municipal property.
These circumstances would seem to suggest that the Liberal government policy is to deny the rights of citizens and the protection of law to citizens, giving preference to interests of municipalities to the extent of exempting them from answering to citizens or the courts for violations of the Community Charter.
Is the rule for deciding which laws, statutes etc. the provincial government of BC will enforce or not enforce:
1. enforce or support those laws, statutes etc. that violate the rights and needs of the citizens;
2. NOT enforce or support those laws, statutes etc. that protect the rights and protect citizens from acts of questionable legality by government.
If this is not the criteria the Liberal government uses to decide which laws, statutes etc. it will or will not enforce would you please provide the criteria upon which the Liberal government does make the enforce/non-enforce decision?
I also want to express my concern that the failure of the Liberal government to protect citizens by enforcing the laws will force citizens to resort to vigilantism to protect themselves.
I thank you for your attention to this matter and look forward to your reply so that I may come to an understanding of how decisions to enforce or NOT enforce laws, statutes etc. are made.
Yours Sincerely (citizens name)
Dear Carole James: I am writing to request that you and the NDP party stop grandstanding and trying to score political points on the matters of the HST and school budgets long enough to focus/address the Liberal governments stated policy of not enforcing the Community Charter and thus allowing municipal governments to do as they wish; forcing upon taxpayers the financial liabilities and consequences that result from a municipal government ignoring the provisions of the Community Charter.
I realize that the mundane day to day concerns of citizens such as the taxpayers of Abbotsford concern with the multi-million dollar liability and costs that have resulted from Abbotsford city council’s decision to ignore the Community Charter provisions on financial conduct pales in comparison with the opportunity to get your picture or name on TV or in the newspapers.
Nevertheless I and the citizens of Abbotsford would appreciate it if the NDP could task the Liberal government on their failure to enforce their own Community Charter.
Many citizens would also appreciate it if you could inform us what taxes/fees will be raise or programs cut to repay the Federal Government the $1,500,000,000.00 paid to BC and to offset the $200,000,000.00 yearly shortfall in the matter of the HST.
It would also be appreciated it if you would specify which taxes/fees you propose to raise and what programs will be cut to pay for additional funding for schools.
I thank you for your attention to these matters and look forward to your reply.
Yours Sincerely (citizens name)
Recovery/Escape from homelessness a tricky path.
I was at a housing meeting where the speaker asked people to take out their keys and look at their house key; to take a moment to think about what the key meant or represented to them.
I don’t know what the others around the table thought or saw in their key. I don’t know what the speaker sees when he looks at his own key.
I suspect it was not what I saw in looking at my door key – a burden.
Like rain on a mountain, poverty slowly wears away at you.
The stress of scrambling and pinching pennies until they scream, month after month after month, in order to pay the rent and cover the monthly bills wears away at one’s spirit and mental health.
The stress wears away at one’s ability to manage/deal with anxiety disorders and as anxiety creeps back into your life, over time the levels of anxiety increase becoming harder and harder to deal with.
As anxiety works its way back into one’s life it brings with it feelings of panic, then panic attacks. Increasing anxiety and panic open the door for depression, obsessive-compulsive behaviours and negative thinking.
The grinding of the spirit and mind by the constant threat of homelessness drags at you, seemingly seeking to drag you into a downward mental spiral and back into a head space where your mental illness more and more impairs your ability to function.
Your house key, your home, becomes an albatross around your neck dragging you back into mental illness. You look at the key and you see a burden that portends a return to the darkness of mental illness and inevitably once again to homelessness.
As the strain on your mental health increases so does the temptation to seek relief or to take the edge off through self medication.
The roots of addiction are buried in the soil of seeking relief or alleviation from one’s own mind and the darkness or pain or both that reside there.
The need to find a doctor to fill out the medical report to renew one’s status as ‘persons with persistent multiple barriers’ or have your monthly income halved and face dealing with the fallout that would result from having one’s income abruptly reduced by 50% = stress+++.
A voice mail message conveys the need to phone the Ministry about an issue with the stub. Of course when you phone the line is always busy, forcing you to go down to the Ministry office.
As a result of past dealings with the Ministry, even when mentally well, dealing with the Ministry is at best a challenge. When one’s mental health is under pressure dealing with the Ministry employees means struggling to hold anxiety and panic at bay.
Facing a need to chill out in order to be able to enter the Ministry’s den and deal with the Ministry without succumbing to either (or both) an anxiety or panic attack … well a toke or two or three of marijuana to take the edge off and mellow you out becomes somewhat of a seriously temptation.
And yes, there are some prescription medications that take the edge off but they also stuff one’s head with cotton to the point of nonfunctioning. Remember you need to have a doctor prescribe any medication and since one of the current obstacles is the need to find a doctor …
Understanding just how tempting and easy it is to end up using whatever substances you can find that offer a way to deal with, alleviate and/or escape from one’s own mind and pain has a profound effect on how you view addiction and addicts.
Good thing - I made it into the Ministry. Bad thing - I made it into the Ministry. Part time work contributes to my income but getting paid every two weeks means every six months three pay periods are claimed as income for the month, resulting in exceeding the income permitted. This will result in a reduction of the next Ministry cheque by $280.
Although I have been able to scrimp and scramble and survive this reduction in the past, my finances have been exhausted to the point that no amount of scrambling will enable me to be able to pay June’s rent with this reduction.
Standing in the Ministry office Monday afternoon amending the stub to include the extra pay period did not cause feelings of anxiety or panic. The feeling evoked was much closer to relief.
Yes I now need to find someplace to store belongings, reduce my belongings to fit into that storage space, get those belongings stored and dispose of the rest of my belongings. But facing the constant risk of homelessness I have been forced for months to think about what to keep and what to let go of.
Rather than living in fear and anxiety of the sword falling, now that it has (or will shortly) fall it is a matter of dealing with what needs to be done to transition to homelessness. Having been homeless and lived in my car before homelessness does not hold fear or high anxiety.
Indeed although I will lose the $375 rent portion from the Ministry I will be over $200 ahead as I no longer have to pay the difference between the $375 and my actual rent. Additional savings will be realized as expenses related to having housing cease.
There is regret for the need to step back from volunteering and other community involvements in order to be able to focus on the day to day needs to survive while homeless.
Still, this simplifying of life will hopefully permit and/or contribute to the pursuit of a return to mental wellness.
Recovery from homelessness is more difficult and complex than it appears.
The current Mental Health, Housing and Social Development systems/programs hinder more than help, If you are not fortunate enough to escape the system before your luck runs out …
Such are the Realities of Life.
Addiction Realities Workshop – Attendance Highly Recommended by the writer.
If you want knowledge on – What is EFFECTIVE support for substances users?
If you want knowledge on – how to be effective even in difficult or crisis situations.
If you seek to be informed on the underlying realities of the public policy issue of substance use.
If your life is touched by substance use.
You want to be at Seven Oaks Alliance Church (2575 Gladwin Road Abbotsford) on Wednesday night (May 5, 2010) for the Workshop presented by the Abbotsford Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Committee on Substance Use and Users.
I personally am looking forward to this workshop and would highly recommend it to anyone seeking to become informed on the harsh reality of substance use.
I picked Mr, Ron Prasad’s (Fraser East Concurrent Disorders Coordinator) brain when developing a training curriculum on concurrent disorders (substance use + mental health issues) because of his knowledge of substance use and its affect on mental health and mental health issues. I have also heard him speak to these issues.
I would urge anyone interested in gaining understanding of these issues who has the opportunity to learn from him, even as a single speaker, to do so.
Wednesday’s opportunity to not only hear from Ron Prasad but also from Mark Goheen is too strong a ‘double-bill’ to be missed.
I have attended workshops presented by Mark Goheen (Clinical Specialist, Maple Ridge Treatment Centre) and can attest to not only his knowledge and understanding but about his ability to communicate with his audience. Indeed I have a workshop (part 2) by Mr. Goheen on my schedule and am looking forward to gaining new insight, ideas and understanding.
I do not mean to slight Abbotsford’s Chief Constable Bob Rich with my enthusiastic recommendations of the other speakers at this workshop. I have heard Chief Rich speak and appreciated his reflection of the issues, problems and realities of trying to address what is a social and medical issue through the legal and criminal systems.
If you are looking to hear the myths, what ‘everybody knows’, the political line etc this is not the place to look.
But if you are looking to gain a realistic view and knowledge of the issues associated with substance use you want to be at Seven Oaks Alliance at 6 PM Wednesday May 5, 2010.