Common sense is still alive. A friend, who I’ll call ‘Pragmatist’, writes……….

“But, really, whether one is low-income or not doesn’t change the fact that it is the owner of the building who has the right to explore all the uses of their property.  We do, as a society, need to provide ways for people of all income levels to be accomodated in all areas of the city.  That is the ideal.  But it is not okay to try to stop property owners from maximizing the usage and income of their properties.

How did the DTES get this far?  Well, it’s those “service providers” that have been intent on ghettoizing the addicts and mentally ill.  They don’t give a crap what happens to their “clients” as long as they get their profits from the drug enabling and so on.  Take away those “service providers” and maybe we can actually help these people.


A currently-using drug addict will never be welcome in any area of the city, and neither will an unstable mentally ill person.  The poor who can’t afford to live anywhere else likely do not willingly choose to live in the DTES, with its drugs and crime.  How to fix it?  We need to stop making drug usage the new “norm”.  We need to require mentally ill to live cooperatively within the bounds of society or risk being forced into treatment.  We need to provide low-income housing in all sectors of society.  Keeping the ghetto that is DTES is not helping anyone except the “service providers”.  Railing against gentrification only upholds the ghetto.  I fail to see how this is working for the poor and unwell.  The DTES is not their neighbourhood, it just happens to be the place they’ve been plopped as a way of keeping them away from everyone else.  And I can’t take seriously the voices of people who are out of their minds and addled.  Generally, whatever they say you can be sure that the right way is probably the opposite.  We need to address their needs – not their wants – and then give them the chance to make their lives from that point on.  And how did the whole mess get this way?  Money and greed.  Not the developers’ blame, but those that would throw our money into Insite and needle exchanges instead of treatments.  Until we clean our glasses and see what a great scam “harm reduction” is we will not clean up this mess.  People are worth the time and money invested; we have wasted everything on greedy con artists who would style themselves as “caregivers” and now we see the results.  We’ve gotten exactly what we paid for.”

To my Pragmatic friend’s views, I will add that  Marc Townsend and his fellow directors at the Portland Hotel Society  were allowed to live very high off the hog, for many years, on the money ostensibly designated to help the poorest people, jammed into the Downtown Eastside.

Liberal MLA Rich Coleman assures us there will be no investigation of PHS, therefore no charges.  Theft endorsed by government is ‘legal’.  There are many prisoners who serve time for far less grievous crimes, than the millions politicians, and ‘non-profits’ siphon away from taxpayers.

Mr. Coleman, you should release many of the folk behind bars, if you don’t think what Marc Townsend, and his cohorts did, calls for a criminal investigation.