Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Insite Report: the one that disappeared

This week the Harper government did not give Insite, the supervised drug injection site, the 3 yr. extension they had asked for. They gave them 6 months, claiming that more research needed to be done.

The cash-addicts who operate Insite had been doing some 11th hour parading in front of media cameras, talking about how Insite must be saved. When I see them, I think, "What about that report?" That long awaited report produced by Insite based on statistics collected by its own staff during the first year of operation. I remember Larry Campbell, the Mayor of Vancouver at the time, repeatedly telling reporters to wait for that report in response to questions about whether Insite was saving lives.

The report came out. I recall Campbell telling the media that he was disappointed that the results weren't more dramatic. The report revealed that Insite staff had saved just one life. And Campbell admitted to reporters that there is a possibility that even that one person may have survived without intervention.

So now we hear the povertarians in the media sounding alarms that people will be dying in droves if Insite isn't saved. What drug are they on?

"Soup Nazi" Returns to Sally Ann Soup Truck

Last week, a BCTF member who teaches at the Downtown East Learning Center stopped at the nearby Sally Ann Soup Truck for the poor and had a bowl of soup. This raised questions about whether a working person should be using the free soup truck as a convenience. An article about this teacher standing in the charity soup line was reported on the Downtown Eastside Enquirer.

Last night she came back! On Tues. Oct. 2, the teacher once again lined up for a free bowl of soup. Since this unionized worker is taking soup meant for the poor and hungry on the Downtown Eastside, residents jokingly call her the "Soup Nazi".

Pedestrian Struck in School Crosswalk at 41st and Fraser

"Dad, you hit him." That's what a pedestrian who was struck yesterday afternoon in the crosswalk in the school zone near 41st and Fraser, recalls a teenager girl saying to her father as they gazed down at him. He was lying on the street in front of their car.

There were many witnesses to the accident which occurred around 3:30 or 4 p.m., just after school had gotten out, on Tues, Oct. 2.

The pedestrian says he had the right of way; his light was green.

The driver, with his teenager daughter in the car, had turned the corner into the crosswalk and run into the pedestrian. The pedestrian says, "I can still see the grate coming at me." Upon impact, the pedestrian flew up onto the hood of the car and his hand rammed into the windshield wiper area below the window, leaving him with a serious gash on the palm of his hand. His blood was on the windshield. The impact also injured his knee and left him banged up over other parts of his body. He is walking stiffly and limping badly. His friends have been coming to his aid.

[On the weekend after the accident, the pedestrian told his friend, Tom, that when he woke up one morning, he couldn't see for a few minutes. "Everything was fuzzy." He was lying on his bed looking toward the kitchen and even the fridge was a blur. That's a sign of a concussion, Tom told him.]

The pedestrian is a 53 yr. old caucasian man. The driver of the red car which struck him looked like an Indo-Canadian man in his 40's. The driver "didn't seem like a bad guy", the pedestrian recalls. He speculated that the guy had just picked up his teenager daughter at school and was preoccupied talking to her when he turned the corner into the crosswalk.

Four lanes of traffic were interrupted by the accident. Several people helped the pedestrian. One man pressed on the gash on his hand, which helped stem the bleeding. Another man rolled up a coat and put it under his head, keeping it off the pavement which was wet from an earlier rainfall. Two other people brought blankets to put over him.

The ambulance and firemen arrived at the scene and cut off the pedestrian's clothes as he lay on the street. Then he was whisked to Vancouver General Hospital. There he was given numerous x-rays and scans. They were concerned that he might have broken his neck, but he hadn't. He was in the hospital for about 6 hours. He has no complaints about the treatment he got at VGH Emergency. The supervising physician, Dr. Rubacher, seemed really "on top of things".

Two police officers, one being Constable Peter Campbell, visited the pedestrian at the hospital. They pointed out that he had an umbrella and wanted to know if he'd had it open, if it had been raining. He said there was moisture in the air but it had not been raining at the time so his umbrella had been closed.The pedestrian told the cops that if the driver had killed him, it would have at least been a convenient spot. Why?, one cop asked. "It was next to the cemetery."

Other school-related news:
International Boycott of Vancouver High School Diplomas Concealed By School Board
Vancouver Teachers Demand Recycling in Schools