LETTER: Prejudices run deep

Regarding recent letters to the editor from Frank Wirrell and Gertie Pool ...

Regarding recent letters to the editor from Frank Wirrell and Gertie Pool: Seldom am I floored speechless. Some of your ideas, in my opinion, encapsulate and most succinctly portray the worst of Abbotsford.

Granted, there does need to be more emphasis on sobriety options such as detox, treatment centre spaces, and the like. That is only one pillar among that which is needed.

When you take a group(s) of people that you obviously have no actual understanding of personally, and unilaterally exclude them from the “diversity” club, it is the essence of prejudice and hatred.

Gertie, have these “horrible” drug abusers restricted your access to health care? Did you not know that the majority of drug addicts work and pay taxes? There are also many professionals, including doctors, addicted to what we call the harder drugs, especially opioids.

Treatment, including not just methadone but even heroin replacement, is just a small fraction of the societal cost of the alternative.

When counting avoided crime, policing and jail, $27,000 a year is cheap. Health costs savings on just hepatitis C and HIV alone are monumental. Hospital stays are borne by the taxpayer. What about those with diabetes or other serious, costly ailments from lifestyle choices?

Who gets to decide whose life is without dignity and worth? Do you want a world like the days of slavery? Or the native residential school abuses?

This is the situation we are currently in as it pertains to people such as drug addicts, homeless, mentally ill, etc. Philippine President Duterte is pushing for the murder of over a million drug addicts in that nation. Holocaust? It’s going on right now here, and not just with the fentanyl crisis.

Well-paid, tax-funded, civil servants actually sprayed chicken manure on a homeless camp in our city. The reaction world-wide was revulsion. Here, from most churches even, the silence was deafening and spoke volumes.

These prejudices run deep with far too many in multiple areas of our city – not just the religious, but in many business people, government employees, sadly some police, and tragically even in our medical community.

How some groups of people get treated in our hospital even will be looked back on one day with the horrors of the residential school abuses. Prejudice, hatred, and abuse is what really hurts everyone.

Gary Falk