Time for change in Vancouver East, and in Ottawa

What would make Vancouver East matter more than ever in Ottawa? Voting Green. Here's why. 

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Whether it has been to force pipelines through our communities with flawed review panels, limiting public inquiry and process, or harassing our many charities with CRA audits that appear to be politically motivated. Or dismissing concerned British Columbians as "radicals" and "extremists" and then introducing a disturbing bill that can act as a catch-all to persecute environmentalists and First Nations in B.C. like terrorists.

In B.C., it feels like we have been defending ourselves from this government for years now. In some cases, literally. On the receiving end of "Alberta style siege politics". So to many of us C-51 just feels like another link in the chain that is being tightened around Canadian democracy and our lives, part of a systematic process to dismantle and remake Canada into the things we've criticized our neighbours to the south about for years (lovingly, and with genuine concern of course).

Gun culture, mass surveillance, racial profiling, domestic spying, mega-prisons, growing racist and bigoted language from politicians, erosion of debate and parliamentary process, the Tea Party and the race to the right, Fox News style media, a departure from evidence-based decision making. Things we always thought were American problems, under Harper and the Conservatives, are becoming Canadian problems.

Here in Vancouver the Harper Government has battled relentlessly to close Insite, the safe-injection site in the Downtown Eastside. This despite reports that Insite has saved lives and dramatically reduced disease rates as it helps people to transition out of addiction. People here fought to have it opened for a reason and we're fighting to keep it open for a reason. It works in this community.

The federal government has also enacted laws that make sex work more dangerous, because after 62 women disappearing from our communities in Vancouver East to be murdered by a sadistic creep what we need is vulnerable women to be even less safe here, right?

It's cruel. And I believe things have to change.

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