Drug and crime documentary "Canada Is Dying" bolsters anti-Trudeau sentiments

May 24 2023, 7:47 pm

Canada’s struggle with the overdose crisis and violent crime is the focus of a new documentary called Canada Is Dying.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the follow-up to the highly watched documentary which focused on Vancouver’s issues with drugs and crime, called Vancouver is Dying.

The documentary comes from filmmaker Aaron Gunn, a social commentator who has worked for organizations like BC Proud and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Gunn has been getting lots of support from his followers with the release of the new documentary, which was officially released on YouTube on Wednesday.

“What is happening to Canada? A country once considered immune from the most appalling displays of homeless and chaos has become an epicentre for shocking and violent and, at times, random attacks,” Gunn says.

“Are once-safe city streets increasingly defined by chaos?” Gunn asks.

Gunn first focuses on crime in Vancouver, detailing different attacks that have taken place before making the point that the issues around violent crime aren’t exclusive to Vancouver, shifting focus to other Canadian cities. It also compares Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to a third-world country.

Crime has made policing challenging in parts of Vancouver.

Some have been critical of Gunn due to his political leaning and affiliations with groups like BC Proud, which has been accused of encouraging “toxic” commentary.

Gunn says, “Anarchy and open drug use have taken over” in some parts of the country and shifts focus from crime to the drug crisis.

Many of the reactions to the new documentary are pointing fingers at Justin Trudeau and “liberalism” as the reasons for the drug and crime issues that are impacting some major Canadian cities.

“Liberalism is killing us,” one person wrote.

Another user said, “Thank you for exposing Trudeau’s Canada.”

Even some politicians are suggesting Trudeau has something to do with the documentary not picking up as many views as it should on YouTube.

Gunn has also expressed anti-Trudeau sentiments on social media.

Is Trudeau or “Liberalism” to blame?

We connected with Adjunct Professor Mark Haden at the UBC School of Population and Public Health to get his thoughts on some of the claims in the documentary.

“Many different governments have been in power and have overseen this problem. And, largely, none of them have done anything particularly effective,” said Haden.

He added that the actual causes of these issues include poverty, the gap between the rich and the poor, and how services are structured.

He also pointed to a Health Authority decision in BC many years ago to close mental health institutions. People were told that they would be found housing but weren’t. Many moved to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, creating a population that included people with mental health and drug use problems. That wasn’t a government decision.

Haden says, “To blame any one government is disingenuous.”

“So it’s a very complex social problem that we’re dealing with, and blaming any government is lacking the complexity of what we’re actually dealing with.”

Safe supply seems to be one of the targets of the documentary, and at one point in the documentary, someone is quoted saying, “I hate the word safe supply.”

Meanwhile, Haden says that a safe supply is the best shot at saving lives, which keeps drug users from the toxic drug supply.

Still, most of the reactions to the film are praising Gunn’s efforts.

Keep rocking it with these great documentaries, Aaron! This is how we change culture,” said someone in support.

“Canadian politicians are soooo smart that common sense is incomprehensible to them,” said another.

In less than 10 years it has become unrecognizable!” said another user, though Haden points out that the problem has been going on for much longer than that.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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