Stronger Four Pillars Drug Plan First Step to Healthy, Safe Neighbourhoods

Media Release: Thursday September 29, 2011

Vancouver Can Count on COPE to Deliver A Comprehensive Plan to Improve Public Health and Community Safety
Stronger Four Pillars Drug Plan First Step to Healthy, Safe Neighbourhoods

Vancouver- COPE Candidates are reinforcing Vancouver’s Four Pillar’s Drug Strategy as part of a comprehensive plan to improve Vancouver’s public health and community safety. COPE Council Candidate Ellen Woodsworth, School Candidate Gwen Giesbrecht, and Park Candidate Brent Granby outlined their plan today. COPE’s plan wants greater attention paid to all four pillars: enforcement, treatment, prevention, and harm reduction.

“Health and safety are synonymous when it comes to public policy in Vancouver,” said Ellen Woodsworth. “Vancouver’s supervised injection site is one example – a vital primary health care facility that saves lives by preventing drug overdose deaths, limiting the spread of disease, while also helping people access addiction treatment, and reducing public disorder by moving open drug use safely off the sidewalk.”

“Vancouver needs more facilities like Insite, not less,” said Woodsworth. “If Stephen Harper chooses to stand in the way of making Vancouver safer, then the community can count on COPE to stand with them to protect our neighbourhoods.”

Voters can count on COPE to ensure police resources are focused and directed where they matter most, by addressing violent crimes, while other social service components work on tightening the safety net around Vancouver’s struggling families and disadvantaged youth. “Police do not want to be mental health social workers and nurses, their job is to protect our community from violence and exploitation,” continued Woodsworth.

“More attention on prevention is crucial to a health city so Vancouver’s children are not lead down a path to addiction,” added Gwen Giesbrecht. “Vancouver Schools play a vital role in making sure kids do not fall through the cracks.”

COPE’s public health and safety program acknowledges that without accessible and affordable activities, young people are more likely to choose more dangerous options. COPE also urges the Park Board to work with the City to ensure places to play are safe with regular sweeps for needles and the instillation of safer disposal boxes in washrooms and park facilities.

“Basket ball is drug prevention, hockey is drug prevention, child care is drug prevention,” said Brent Granby. “Voters can count on COPE on Park Board to make sure programs that are fun for children and youth continue and are expanded.”

“We all must work together for a healthier, safer city,” added Woodsworth. “Everything is interconnected, and the harm of one neighbourhood, harms the entire city.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Sara Mohr 778-926-4657;
COPE backgrounder on public health and community saftey

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