The subject of harm reduction is heating up in Abbotsford, as city hall staff anxiously await the Fraser Health Harm Reduction Implementation Plan that will be submitted to mayor and council this spring.
Recent letters in the media appear to be from citizens concerned about a mayor and council that attempt to control/impede the access to health care for the most marginalized and vulnerable in Abbotsford.
Abbotsford’s zoning bylaw that essentially prohibits harm reduction services in Abbotsford is in direct contradiction to national health policy, provincial health policy, Fraser Health policy, and let us not forget the BC Centre for Disease Control health policy.
Citizens of Abbotsford rely on a mayor and council to keep themselves and their children safe and healthy. Known also as “Murder Capital” and “Disease Central,” Abbotsford citizens need to educate themselves on what type of decisions/bylaws will keep them safe and healthy. A recent report by Dr. Evan Wood which won the British Medical Journal’s doctor of the year award indicates that criminalizing drug users causes the spread of violence and disease in communities.
So, in “Murder Capital” and “Disease Central,” can a reasonably educated individual believe the right decisions are being made to keep them safe and healthy in Abbotsford?
Message to mayor and council: Get out of health care and let the experts tell you what you need to have a safe and healthy community.
You have failed miserably at the expense of the most marginalized and vulnerable.
Inflicting unnecessary suffering is cruel and unusual!
Barry Shantz, director Fraser Health Region, BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors, Founder Abbotsford Chapter