Last Saturday I attended what was billed as a "public conference" organized by the NIABY group in opposition to the proposed Turning Point facility on Ash Street. I found it saddening.
I had assumed that a "conference" would be a place of discussion, but the first piece of information that greeted us was: "It is not a debate and no questions or comments will be entertained on the floor." That, and the explanation of the name NIABY, "not in anyone's back yard" set the tone.
There followed a series of speakers who made statements containing many half truths, inaccuracies and false statistics. Quite remarkably the first speaker, a man with the title "Dr." who conducts research at UBC, spoke only in Chinese. It was clear the speakers were not knowledgeable about addiction or its treatment and they clearly regarded all people with addictions as bad and dangerous. This of course is fundamentally wrong. The vast majority of people with addictions are just like everybody else, often working regular jobs. When they reach the decision to stop using drugs or alcohol they should be supported.
And the letter ends
I call on all the citizens of Richmond and particularly the mayor and council, to resist this attack on Richmond and its lifestyle, and support Turning Point's application to build this very much needed facility.