Please Simon … Let These Poor Souls Live

By Mike Archer. When was the last time you saw a politician who was particularly proud of themselves or their position run and hide from the media?

More to the point perhaps – how many more cases of HIV and Hep C will it take before Simon leaves these poor people alone?

While driving back from Langley this afternoon I was listening to CBC Radio and heard them discuss the latest twist in Simon Gibson’s endless battle to deny medical care to drug addicts in Abbotsford.

The CBC was able to reach a representative of the Pivot Legal Society which is suing the City of Abbotsford for endangering the lives of addicts and increasing public health risks in Abbotsford with its Anti Harm Reduction Bylaw.

The bylaw, championed by Abbotsford’s best known triple-dipper – UFV prof, City Councillor and MLA Simon Gibson – makes it illegal to use any property in Abbotsford to provide clean, safe needles to drug addicts.

This despite a clear and obvious need to prevent the spread of HIV and Hepatitus C and save the lives of addicts so that those who want to help them kick the habit can begin their work. The FHA has pointed out that, as a direct result of Simon’s deadly bylaw, Abbotsford has among the highest rates of both Hep C and HIV in the country.

Triple Dipper Simon Gibson

Triple Dipper Simon Gibson

Simon has always argued that, being the only municipality in BC to have such an ultra vires and illegal bylaw, Abbotsford would be inundated with drug addicts if we ever chose to rescind the bylaw and obey Canadian.

CBC spoke to a representative of the Fraser health Authority which is attempting to perform its constitutionally mandated job of delivering health care to the desperate souls in Abbotsford who need it despite the City’s determined effort to keep them from doing so.

The FHA is trying to provide desperately needed, life-saving health care to Canadian citizens and is beinjg prevented from doing so by the City of Abbotsford.

It’s the main reason we keep people like Abbotsford’s local politicians from being allowed anywhere near important things like public health. It’s why small town politicians aren’t legally authorized to make such deadly decisions.

Abbotsford's most famous chiropractor, Bruce Banman

Abbotsford’s most famous chiropractor, Bruce Banman

Mayor Banman’s pompous defiance in the face of the FHA and the Pivot legal society because they didn’t ‘do their homework’ and bring a detox centre to the table, as though this were a negotiation, belies a belligerent arrogance born of ignorance – as if being a chiropractor entitles him to decide who does and doesn’t receive health care in Abbotsford.

Though the FHA is desperately seeking some common ground and trying to avoid political battles it has stated that, if push comes to shove, it will seek legal helping in forcing Abbotsford to allow it to do its job.

Absent in the whole discussion was anyone of the politicians who collect pay cheques as public representatives of the City of Abbotsford. Not one of them was prepared to stand up and be counted on an issue they have all said matters greatly to them.

It is astounding to watch a group of men and one woman who are pleased as punch to call themselves community leaders when it comes to defending things like clean air, scurry from sight and step as far away from the limelight as possible on an issue that is holding the entire community up to ridicule across the province and the country.

They must be very proud of themselves for taking such a tough stance on the need to allow Abbotsford addicts to die in the alley while hiding like mice when they are asked to explain themselves to the public.

How many more cases of HIV and Hep C will it take before Simon leaves these poor people alone? Do Abbotsford residents actually have to die before our local politicians will learn their place.

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