Thursday, February 09, 2017

VCH Office for Youth with Addictions

It's election time, and once again the Liberals are just brimming with money to help people that they've ignored for the last four years. This week Christy (and her local North Shore contingent) really, really care about kids with substance abuse problems, and really, really really want to help them.
If you follow such things you'll know that the provincial government has grossly underfunded services for at-risk youth, and that treatment for addictions in particular has been lacking to a frightening degree. (see also below)


(Moved from the previous topic)


Anonymous said...

A North Shore resident, and journalist Bob Mackin has a new topic for discussion:

".... January 9th in North Vancouver with the four North Shore BC Liberal MLAs Jane Thornthwaite, Naomi Yamamoto, Jordan Sturdy and Ralph Sultan - to announce a new Vancouver Coastal Health office for youth with addictions will be opening in May.

The 9,000 square foot Foundry North Shore is described on a VCH website as a "one-stop shop for youth needing easy access to mental health, drug, and alcohol services and social services on the North Shore."

Sounds like a step forward. Except the building next door is a liquor store. ...."
Wednesday, February 08, 2017 11:07:00 pm

Anonymous said...

The real objection to the location is from the owner of the liquor store: Riedlinger said. “It’s not going to help our business in any way. It’s going to make it more difficult to operate there.” First it's wine sales in grocery stores, then liquor sales in hair salons. Now he wants to opposes services to at risk youth. Maybe its time for him to move out of the neighbourhood if he feels he can't be a good neighbour. It's a bit late for him to be sounding so concerned now that the building is constructed.
Thursday, February 09, 2017 9:28:00 am 

Anonymous said...

One can buy smoking cessation aides at the prescription desk of the pharmacy and, at one time, pay for them at the front cash while buying cigarettes. The liquor store and the office for addictions story is simply the private sector model of revenue and profit maximization applied to the public sector as promoted by the Alt-Right.
Thursday, February 09, 2017 10:59:00 am

The Tyee today looks at the case of Alex Gervais, who committed suicide while in the care of the Province.
There is no guarantee bad things won’t happen to children and teens, in or out of care. Mistakes will be made, warnings missed.
But Alex didn’t end up in that motel, desperate and a mess, because a mistake was made. The government had set up an underfunded, dysfunctional system that failed him repeatedly, even when the need for help was obvious. ... 
Minister Stephanie Cadieux reacted in the usual way, with sympathy, claims work is already under way, promises of action and some misdirection. 
The problem was not a lack of resources, she said. But that’s not true,  ... If the ministry was adequately funded, ...  Alex would not have been shuffled from placement to placement. He would have had an effective care plan, regularly updated. ... His life could have turned out very differently. ... 
In 2009, when 12-year-old Alex was moving into his fifteenth placement, the ministry budget was $1.4 billion. This year, it’s $1.45 billion. If funding had simply kept up with inflation, the ministry budget would be $51 million higher.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bygone Days in Lynn Valley

There are actually some pretty big things going on - more pre-election announcements from the Liberals, who suddenly have gazillions of dollars for all sorts of things like bridges and... bridges, but in the meantime check out this gem of a report The Lynn Valley Local Plan - Planning Report from back in 1998.

It's fascinating to see how this might of led to the current Official Community Plan, but also how priorities have changed in that time.  There was a strong emphasis on maintaining single family homes, but they also saw a need to protect existing rental housing - something that lots of Lynn Valley renters would  appreciate today.

My favorite part though was about the lack of entertainment in Lynn Valley:
"The lack of entertainment in Lynn Valley was a common concern expressed by people of all ages; the suggestions included a theatre, cinema, bowling alley, a dance club and a pool hall (the last two coming from youth). As well, people of all ages expressed the need for more gathering places. Youth desire affordable places to meet their friends; older people have requested restaurants and attractive resting/seating areas. Private enterprise should be encouraged to provide restaurants and entertainment venues."
A pool hall for Lynn Valley! Love it! Those crazy "youth!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

NSN on Population Changes

If you don't rush to the door each week to breathlessly peruse the North Shore News you may have missed today's lead story by the prolific Brent Richer: West Vancouver’s population shrank in 2016 and the accompanying editorial titled: Blame game(The image above is from the story, and obviously is property of the North Shore news)

In a nutshell, despite the outcry about increased density, the populations of the two North Vancouvers have only seen marginal increases, and West Vancouver has actually lost people.

In their editorial the News makes a very specific and succinct point:
The most commonly blamed culprits are our growing population and residential redevelopment. But, it seems we may have made a wrongful conviction. According to stats released by the province ...  there are fewer people living on the North Shore today than there were a year ago. 
According to BC Stats, in a region where growth and densification are the norm, we’re the laggards despite how it may appear. ...  
It’s time we started having a more evidence-based debate about the problems of and solutions for the North Shore.
If the North Shore is actually losing people it's a significant story, and  one that should frighten any of our local politicians.  I don't think it impossible that the population decline in West Vancouver could make its way across the Capilano River.

As the story in the News suggests, we still need to wait for next batch of statistics to emerge if we're going to have better idea why these changes are happening.

In the meantime, I'm going to agree with the News: lets make decisions based on facts, not emotion, and in the context of this site, let's debate facts, not speculation.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

CNV Ponders Liquor Changes

According to our friends at the North Shore News, the City of North Vancouver is in a minor tizzy over some of the new BC liquor laws.   It seems that the fine publicans at Sailor Hagars feel that competition from restaurants, hair dressing salons , and hardware stores could drive them out of business now that those enterprises can also apply to serve liquor to customers.
“Many businesses – once granted a liquor licence – will stretch the rules of their licence to the nth degree,” he wrote in a letter discussed at council Monday. “We already have many food primary licences (restaurants) that act like bars … do we now want to have barber shops and bookstores operating like bars as well?” 
That may be a fair criticism of the Liberal's changes, but to give credit where it's due, they've been promising "liberalized" liquor laws for a few decades without ever delivering much of consequence beyond allowing a tiny handful of supermarkets to also sell BC wine. Let's applaud an actual effort to live up to a campaign promise.

I would love to see small, quiet enough to have a conversation, big-screen TV-free pubs scattered about the North Shore, close enough to walk, and filled with locals and their dogs, but that is apparently far too radical a notion for this province.  I'm still wondering why there isn't a quiet drinks place in Edgemont Village.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Designated Corruption Thread

The last comment by Hazen Colbert has been removed from the previous discussion topic because it really wasn't on-topic. I had asked who or what we should name things after in our District, and there were actually several interesting suggestions.  Accusations of bribery don't really fit under that umbrella.

Allegations of corruption on the part of our local politicians have plagued this blog for years, usually without any real documented evidence beyond "Developers gave money to their campaign" and "They voted to build a high-rise building that I didn't want."

If there is actual evidence of corruption -- a paper trail, bank records, plain brown envelopes, secret videotapes -- then yes, everyone needs to know about it.

To date, as far as I can tell, no-one has produced the smoking gun.

If you can back up your accusations, this might be one place to do it. If you would prefer, you can email me directly and I'll vet what you have before posting it.

Here are the ground rules before you start typing furiously.

  1. The lack of proper campaign finance laws in this province is not proof of corruption.
  2. I do not think that any of our local officials are lazy enough or shallow enough to be swayed by a couple thousand dollars in campaign donations.  And if they are, then your solution is obvious: dig into your own pocket and make a similar sized donation.
  3. If I give money or time to a politician's campaign, it's because I assume they'll further some cause that I support.  Usually people give money because of a politician's current or past positions, not because they think it will make them vote differently in the future.
  4. However, it's obvious that people who support a campaign in some fashion will have the politico's ear more than someone who doesn't.  That's also not "corruption," it's human nature.
  5. Usually when a local politician votes for something that you don't like it's not because they're "corrupt," it's just that they don't agree with you.
  6. Donations to campaigns are not kick-backs and do not usually directly benefit the candidate.  Yes there are ways to game the system, but on a municipal level we're talking small potatoes, and I doubt many people would bother.
  7. Similarly, developers' contributions to community amenities are not "bribery," even the absurd idea of British Properties paying for extra planning staff in West Van.  Just because it's crazy doesn't make it "corruption."

Two final points before opening this up.

Before you write anything alleging "corruption" or "bribery" I'll expect you to define pretty specifically what those terms mean to you.

Second, the opinions of someone like Hazen Colbert, who not only posts under his own name, but has actually run for office, carry a lot more weight than most Anons.

Disclaimer: If developers, Anti-developers, mountain bikers, oil companies, unions, Marxist-Leninists, or the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation want to finance me I will certainly run for office.