There is ongoing concern in our communities about injection drug use in public spaces and discarded needles found in parks, alleys, and schoolyards.
In response to this concern, an interdisciplinary team called Access to Medically Supervised Injection Services Edmonton (AMSISE) has addressed public health issues surrounding injection drug use in the inner city.
In the third-floor office of the Hull Block, a red brick Edwardian building on the edge of Chinatown, Georgina Fiddler keeps a photo album most people would find unsettling.
The images capture scenes she sees during walks around the southwest corner of McCauley: discarded syringes, empty vials, and people curled up on the concrete.
“I would have called 911 on that one because he wasn’t moving,” she said, lingering on one. “A needle with blood in it, people sleeping—this is every single day, and these are only a few of the pictures I have.”
It’s 5 p.m. on a Monday in early December. I’ve got my camera ready, waiting to capture hungry and homeless guests who enter the dining hall at the downtown Hope Mission. I hope to share their smiles as they see the placemat a donor has signed for them. I want pictures of these guests laughing between bites of turkey and gravy so that I can share them on our website. Near the end of the meal, I’ll ask some of these guests to speak a thank you message into the camera so our donors know their money has been well spent.
Constable Price is often found patrolling the streets and back alleyways surrounding Spruce Avenue Junior High School and Rosslyn Junior High School, keeping an eye out for mischief that could find its way to the school yard.
Since September, Price has been the School Resource Officer (SRO) for both schools. She is part of the initiative program that began in September to bring SROs to junior high schools.
Through boom and bust, calls for action on affordable housing have prevailed for at least a generation. Despite countless announcements and interventions from various levels of governments over the past decade, the situation continues to get worse rather than better.
At the end of September, Mayor Don Iveson joined other big city mayors in Toronto to ask the federal government for a major infusion of money for affordable housing. Iveson has joined his counterparts across Canada in referring to the affordable housing situation as a “crisis”.
You can’t watch television anymore without seeing multiple commercials for payday loan companies. They are as bright and jingly as fast food commercials. To hear the commercial personality speak, a payday loan is just another tool in your financial toolkit.
Growing up as a post-war baby boomer, I’ve often thought the Second World War cast a shadow over my childhood and youth. My father lived through occupied France between the ages of eight and 13. My close friend’s father was a veteran who had marched north up the Italian peninsula with the Canadian Army. My grandmother would speak sadly of her older brother, who was lost when his plane went down while serving in the air force. War left a strong impression on these people which took a long time to process, not only touching them but also those close to them.