It seems second-tier blog, BeyondRobson, has launched a full-on assault of Vancity Buzz via this post. Lead by their leader Sean Orr, his cronies have attacked posts Woodwards Set To Revitalize Gastown and Liberal Policies Leading to Economic Prosperity.
Some of the solutions Orr has offered in improving the Downtown Eastside seem compelling, however, let’s dissect them:
“build more treatment beds away from the DTES (NIMBY)… build a mental health centre…”
-Many smaller ones being sprung up all over the city as we speak including this Triage one in Money J Skeets’ neighbourhood
“tax the Port of Vancouver (the source of the drugs) to pay for it”
-And hurt one of the most important industries in our province? Also, things are a little more delicate with regards to the Port with the HA running the show there. It’s tough to impose policies on them.
“create a mental health task force that looks at policing the mentally ill (See VPD report)”
-Ask any criminology professor at SFU or UBC, task forces don’t work. Important staff and resources are diverted to task forces away from important line officer and administrative positions. This hurts the police force’s effectiveness. A better solution would be to merge several police departments, creating a Regional Police Force. With the merging, this eliminates the need for unnecessary task forces since there is now fluid communication over municipal borders. Then, perhaps, you can think of creating more targeted task forces.
“make the area more condusive to artists, rather than shouting down venues who have parties to pay for their ridiculous rent”
-If I ignore the grammar, I like this. It’s on Gregor Robertson’s platform.
-I like this idea to a certain extent. However, which political party is going to touch this?
“offer incentives to developers who incorporate social housing components into their designs”
-This has already been done, to as far as Richmond. Ask the Suburban Don.
Some other solutions which Orr has presented include, “…stop allowing slumlords to evict SRO residents, abolish the 3 week welfare rate, re-instate the Mental Health commissioner… re-instate the Federal Housing Program.” I can not delve into these solutions at this time.
Regardless, it seems most of Orr’s solutions are either already in the process of being implemented or already have been. Before the cronies of BeyondRobson decide to attack Vancity Buzz again, they should try to come up with some strong alternative solutions rather than just bickering about the context in which we present our ideas. Furthermore, Sean Orr is in the running for asshat of the month.