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Fentanyl Fiasco: The Tragic Missteps of BC’s Drug Policy


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From The Opposition News Network

Unmasking the Destructive Cycle of Drug Policy in British Columbia. A Tale of Good Intentions and Dire Consequences

My fellow Canadians, it’s been a challenging time. I had initially planned to bring you the latest spectacle from the House of Commons, featuring Kristian Firth, but fate had other plans. A personal emergency struck closer to home—a fentanyl overdose in the family. This tragic event threw us headlong into the chaotic circus that is the British Columbia health system. Let me be frank: the system is a mockery. The privacy laws that supposedly protect us also shroud our crises in unnecessary mystery. When my uncle was found unconscious and rushed to the ICU, the walls of confidentiality meant we could not even ascertain his condition over the phone. They notify you of the disaster but cloak its nature in secrecy. It’s an absurdity that only adds to the anguish of families grappling with the realities of addiction.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: our approach to drug addiction. The authorities label it a disease, yet paradoxically offer the afflicted the choice between seeking help and remaining in their dire state. This half-hearted stance on drug addiction only perpetuates a cycle of relapse and despair. As we speak, thousands tumble through the revolving doors of our medical facilities—5,975 apparent opioid toxicity deaths this year alone, an 8% increase from 2022. Daily, we see 22 deaths and 17 hospitalizations, and yet our response remains as ineffective as ever. This issue transcends our national borders. The U.S. has openly criticized China for its role in the opioid crisis, accusing it of flooding North America with fentanyl—a drug so potent, it’s decimating communities at an unprecedented rate. Just last year, over 70,000 Americans succumbed to fentanyl overdoses. And what’s more damning? Reports from U.S. congressional committees suggest that the Chinese government might be subsidizing firms that traffic these lethal substances. Lets be clear this is a state-sponsored assault on our populace.

In response to this crisis BC NDP policymakers have championed the notion of “safe supply” programs. These initiatives distribute free hydromorphone, a potent opioid akin to heroin, with the intention of steering users away from the perils of contaminated street drugs. At first glance, this approach might seem logical, even humane. However, the grim realities paint a far different picture, one where good intentions pave the road to societal decay. Addiction specialists are sounding the alarm, and the news isn’t good. While hydromorphone is potent, it lacks the intensity to satisfy fentanyl users, leading to an unintended consequence: diversion. Users, unappeased by the drug’s effects, are selling their “safe” supply on the black market. This results in a glut of hydromorphone flooding the streets, crashing its price by up to 95% in certain areas. This collapse in street value might seem like a win for economic textbooks, but in the harsh world of drug abuse, it’s a catalyst for disaster. Cheap, readily available opioids are finding their way into the hands of an ever-younger audience, ensnaring teenagers in the grips of addiction. Far from reducing harm, these programs are inadvertently setting the stage for a new wave of drug dependency among our most vulnerable.

Programs designed to save lives are instead spinning a web of addiction that ensnares not just existing drug users but also initiates unsuspecting adolescents into a life of dependency. What’s needed isn’t more drugs, even under the guise of medical oversight, but a robust support system that addresses the root causes of addiction yet, the stark reality on the streets tells a story of systemic failure. Let’s dissect the current approach to handling addiction, a condition deeply intertwined with our societal, legal, and health systems.

Take a typical scenario—an individual battling the throes of addiction. Many of them find themselves ensnared by the law, often for crimes like theft, driven by the desperate need to sustain their habit. Yes, many addicts find themselves behind bars, where, paradoxically, they claim to clean up. Jail, devoid of freedom, ironically becomes a place of forced sobriety.

Now, consider the next step in this cycle: release. Upon their release, these individuals, now momentarily clean, are promised treatment—real help, real change. Yet, here’s the catch: this promised help is dangled like a carrot on a stick, often 30 or more days away. What happens in those 30 days? Left to their own devices, many relapse, falling back into old patterns before they ever step foot in a treatment facility.

This brings us to a critical question: why release an individual who has begun to detox in a controlled environment, only to thrust them back into the very conditions that fueled their addiction? Why not maintain custody until a treatment spot opens up? From a fiscal perspective, this dance of incarceration, release, and delayed treatment is an exercise in futility, burning through public funds without solving the core issue. Moreover, from a standpoint of basic human decency and dignity, this system is profoundly flawed. We play roulette with lives on the line, hoping against odds for a favorable outcome when we already hold a losing hand. This isn’t just ineffective; it’s cruel.

Final Thoughts

As we close the curtain on this discussion, let’s not mince words. The BC system’s approach to drug addiction treatment isn’t just flawed; it’s a catastrophic failure masquerading as mercy. Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre has hit the nail squarely on the head in his piece for the National Post. He articulates a vision where compassion and practicality intersect, not through the failed policies of perpetual maintenance, but through genuine, recovery-oriented solutions. His stance is clear: treat addiction as the profound health crisis it is, not as a criminal issue to be swept under the rug of incarceration.

Contrast this with the so-called ‘safe supply’ madness—a Band-Aid solution to a hemorrhaging societal wound. In the dystopian theatre of the Downtown Eastside, where welfare checks and drug dens operate with the efficiency of a grotesque assembly line, what we see is not healthcare, but a deathcare system. It’s a cycle of despair that offers a needle in one hand and a shot of naloxone in the other as a safety net. This isn’t treatment; it’s a perverse form of life support that keeps the heart beating but lets the soul wither.

Come next election in BC, if any provincial party is prepared to advocate for a true treatment-first approach, to shift from enabling addiction to empowering recovery, they will have my—and should have your—unwavering support. We must champion platforms that prioritize recovery, that respect human dignity, and that restore hope to the heartbroken streets of our communities.

The NDP BC government’s current model perpetuates death and decay under the guise of progressive policy. It’s a cruel joke on the citizens who need help the most. We can no longer afford to stand idly by as lives are lost to a system that confuses sustaining addiction with saving lives. Let’s rally for change, for recovery, for a future where Canadians struggling with addiction are given a real shot at redemption. This isn’t just a political imperative—it’s a moral one. The time for half-measures is over. The time for real action is now.

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Recycling Coaches In The NHL

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“The world will ask you who you are, and if you do not know, the world will tell you.” Carl Jung

As long as you’re willing to re-locate frequently the job of NHL head coach has a fair degree of job security. Even when you get fired it seems there’s a ready appetite in some other town for a skill set you have just failed at.

Latest evidence that failure has an I and U in it: Having canned Sheldon Keefe after a lengthy (note: sarcasm) five years at the helm of the Toronto Maple Leafs, club management scoured the bushes to find former player Craig “Chief” Berube, who has previously hung his coaching shingle in Philadelphia and St. Louis, where he won a Stanley Cup as an interim coach.

Chief wasn’t the glamour name (we were praying for Bruce Boudreau.). If the idea is how do the Leafs motivate their four mega-millionaires, he’s more like Mike Babcock than Sheldon Keefe. He won’t look at players’ cell phones, but he will give them that old-time religion. Knowing Chief from his Calgary days we’d say he can probably take the Toronto fishbowl.

(For those with long Leafs’ memories Berube was part of a famous trade in 1992 to which we devote an entire chapter in our new book Deal With It. He went west to Calgary while Doug Gilmour headed east to Toronto in the massive 10-man trade. While the Leafs “won” the trade, only the maligned Gary Leeman and journeyman Jamie Macoun won Cups– for teams other than Calgary and Toronto.)

But we digress. Sometimes it seems that NHL teams would rather lose with a known commodity than win with someone bold and unconventional behind the bench. While almost 30 percent of NHL players are European there have only been two European heads coaches, none in the past 20 years. Why? NHL owners are risk averse. And the league is a fraternity of forgiveness for guys you played junior with.

A brief ramble through the 2023-24 coaching roster shows several peripatetic bench bosses, led by the inimitable John Tortarella, who wore out his welcome in Vancouver, Tampa Bay, NY Rangers and Columbus before Philly curiously decided he had something left to offer. Let’s also not forget Lindy Ruff, who was pink slipped in Buffalo, Dallas, New Jersey and the NY Rangers— and now has been resurrected in Buffalo as a “fresh voice”.

Some retreads are getting results. Peter Laviolette has the Rangers into the third-round of the 2024 postseason, after gigs in Carolina, Philadelphia, Nashville, Washington (pause for breath) and the NY Islanders. Paul Maurice, currently guiding Florida in the playoffs, has had two stints with Carolina, plus Toronto and Winnipeg. Peter DeBoer, whose Dallas Stars are odd-on faves to with the 2024 Cup, has also coached Florida, San Jose, New Jersey and Vegas.

You want more? Rick Tocchet was head coach in Arizona and Tampa Bay before getting the perch in Vancouver. Travis Green, newly hired in Ottawa, has previously been found wanting in Vancouver and New Jersey. We could go on.

The king of the coach-for-life carousel is the just-retired Rick Bowness who finally called it a day in Winnipeg after the Jets were eliminated this spring. How long has Bones been knocking around? He was the coach of the expansion Ottawa Senators in 1992, one the worst five teams ever by NHL standards. Wonderful man who also spent stints as an assistant in cities in 30-plus years around the continent.

There are more. Sitting in the green room, polishing their pregame speeches are the well- travelled Boudreau, Dallas Eakins, Gerard Gallant, Todd McLellan, Claude Julien and Mike Yeo. Heaven forbid someone might still ask one of the Sutters to saddle up again. Brian (St. Louis, Chicago, Boston, Calgary), Darryl (Calgary, L.A., Anaheim, San Jose and Calgary again) and Brent (Calgary, New Jersey) have been perennial NHL coaching prospects for decades.

So take, heart, Sheldon Keefe. Joining Keefe in looking for a rebound job are Scott Arniel, Jeff Blashill, Jeremy Colliton, Kevin Dineen, Phil Housley, Kirk Muller, Davis Payne, Todd Reirden, Joe Sacco, Brad Shaw, Geoff Ward and Trent Yawney. Good company.

Don’t cry too hard for these coaching candidates. Unless they have years left on contract (Keefe has two) most wait out the time between head-coaching stints by accepting assistant-coach positions. The ranks of assistants contain a second tier of talent, also ready to go at a moment’s notice.

There are a scant few who’ve hung on in one town. Jon Cooper has been in Tampa since 2013, a Methuselah stint in today’s terms. Rod Brind’Amour has managed to avoid the chop in Carolina since 2018. But the reality is that, since the start off the 2023-24 season alone, there have been 13 head-coaching changes in the NHL. Go back to January of 2023, and 19 of the league’s 32 teams have changed coaches.

Which brings us back to the original idea: “Is there no one in international hockey who knows anything?” We won’t profess to be coaching talent scouts, but the idea that no one working outside North America can meet the job description better than some— if not most—of the coaches mentioned above beggars the imagination.

One final note: If you’re looking for an explanation of the coaching carousel and its recent frequency, look no further than Gary Bettman and his salary cap obsession. By forcing a hard cap on teams he’s concentrated the money— and the power— on a few players per team. When a coach is pitted against his stars it’s a no-win proposition.

The Leafs stars used their power to get Babcock fired. And it’s been repeated on other teams. While Keefe didn’t lose his Core Four he also couldn’t get them to win in the postseason. For that he got the chop— and a premium place in the next coaching carousel.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the publisher of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Now for pre-order, new from the team of Evan & Bruce Dowbiggin— Deal With It: The Trades That Stunned The NHL & Changed Hockey. From Espo to Boston in 1967 to Gretz in L.A. in 1988 to Patrick Roy leaving Montreal in 1995, the stories behind the story. Launching in paperback and Kindle on #Amazon this week. Destined to be a hockey best seller.

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UK set to ban sex ed for young children amid parental backlash against LGBT indoctrination

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From LifeSiteNews

By Jonathon Van Maren

There is undoubtedly a backlash against LGBT ideology unfolding in many Western countries, the source of which includes many ambivalent towards LGBT lifestyles but who are still uncomfortable teaching the ideology to children.

In March, podcaster Joe Rogan paid tribute to his favourite teacher. His seventh-grade science teacher, he noted, “was a brilliant man and he taught me about wonder. I think about that guy all the time.” But now, Rogan said, teachers are frequently fixating on issues of sex and gender. “I don’t want that gang of morons teaching my children about biological sex or gender,” Rogan said, adding that Drag Queen Story Hour is unacceptable for kids. “I don’t want you teaching them about any of those things.”  

Instead, he suggested, teachers should focus on history, and math, and… all the things teachers used to focus on. 

Rogan’s position on sex education is significant not only because he is the most popular podcaster in the world, but because he has achieved his success because he is a microcosm of the average adult. He is largely libertarian in the “live and let live” sort of way that saw a huge public opinion shift in favour of same-sex “marriage,” which Rogan supports; he is not religious; but he is still very uncomfortable with the full-scale sexualization of our education institutions and the insertion of gender ideology into public school curriculums across the board.  

Rogan is something of a bellwether on these issues – he articulates the sort of common sense that many people hold but cannot articulate (or are too fearful to). 

The “silent majority” is not a moral majority, but they are uncomfortable with the vast, swift social changes we have seen unfold over the past decade. Much of the backlash against gender ideology and increasingly explicit and instructional sex education in schools comes not from Christians – there are simply not enough of us – but from people who do not have moral objections to LGBT ideology, but do not want it taught to children. In short, most people are fine with adults doing whatever they want to, but they still believe that these behaviours and lifestyles are the purview of adults, not children. 

That is why we are beginning to see government action on public school sex education even in the post-Christian United Kingdom. According to a recent BBC report, the U.K. government is planning to ban sex education for children under the age of ten, including a ban on any content about gender identity. Teachers’ unions, predictably, have pushed back, insisting that the proposed plan is “politically motivated” and that there has been no issue with inappropriate material. That claim is laughable; parents have been protesting the LGBT curriculum and other explicit materials for years now, and school staff have frequently responded by accusing them of various phobias. 

According to the BBC, the “statutory guidance on relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) – which schools must follow by law – is currently under review. The government believes clearer guidance will provide support for teachers and reassurance for parents and will set out which topics should be taught to pupils at what age.” Sex education is not “typically taught until Year 6,” when children are 10, and “parents already have the right to withdraw” their child, although this has proven difficult to do. 

Sex education has been mandatory for older students since September 2020, and the “government strongly encourages schools to include teaching about different types of family and same-sex relationships.” 

This curriculum – referred to as “relationships education” – is compulsory and parents cannot remove their children. 

The BBC notes that parents have been demanding changes in order to protect the innocence of children, while educators are insisting that the content is necessary because children are exposed to this information online anyway and that it is important for “trusted adults” to contextualize that information. That is the crux of the issue here that few are openly addressing: educators want to “contextualize” this information from the perspective of a pro-LGBT worldview, while many parents do not want this material taught at all because they fundamentally disapprove of the LGBT ideology itself. 

There is undoubtedly a backlash against LGBT ideology unfolding in many Western countries, but it is important to recognize the source of that backlash. Although Christians and other religious objectors are certainly part of that backlash, their numbers are not large enough, in most places, to force government action. 

The growing discomfort we see in polling data is thus far more likely to be of the Joe Rogan variety – we should live and let live, but we should also let kids be kids. As the U.K. government’s proposed guidance highlights, this means that there will be changes, but not significant ones.  

LGBT ideology will still be compulsory for later grades, and state schools will still be teaching state dogmas. 

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016

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