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Needle Exchange - Updates, Opinions and Other...


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#1 Holden West

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 07:44 PM

CBC Radio One, On The Island

January 8

Jeff Weaver reports on Victoria's Cormorant Street, which some say is starting to resemble Vancouver's Downtown East Side.
[url=http://www.cbc.ca/ontheisland/media/20070108NEEDLES.ram:f6fc9]Listen to the interview[/url:f6fc9]. (RealAudio)
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#2 G-Man

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 08:04 PM

If it is in Victoria wouldn't it be a mini-downtown east side?
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#3 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 08:05 PM

Without the skyscrapers.
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#4 m0nkyman

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 08:51 PM

The needle exchange is a lovely idea, but these idiots defecate in their own bed way too much. The police need to let these folks know that the idea is to go and exchange their needles, then go somewhere else. Not to make the area a toilet.

Yes, I am indeed advocating that we sweep the problem under the carpet. Today.

Tomorrow we can solve the problems of addicition, poverty, mental illness, etc. that are the root cause.

#5 aastra

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:04 PM

I blame Corazon. Tallish buildings are the root of all social problems.

#6 Scaper

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:10 PM

It will all go away once those old bank buildings are claimed heritage status. :roll:

#7 aastra

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:10 PM

Are they talking about Cormorant and Blanshard?

Silly people. Everybody knows that area isn't downtown. To be correct we would call it "Victoria's North Park East Side."

When describing the street, why did the guy say "there's an apartment building on it"? Did he only see one?

#8 Scaper

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:12 PM

Is he calling a condo building an apartment building?

#9 aastra

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:18 PM

Aren't there at least three or four residential buildings on those two blocks?

I'm not sure why the reporter guy sounds so incredulous. Didn't we all know the short-lived McDonald's in the Monday Magazine building had a terrible time? I've also heard all sorts of tales of folks shooting up in stairwells at the Jack Davis Building.

#10 Holden West

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:21 PM

The little hidden semi-underground walkway on the north side of the Min. of Health building is a junkie's paradise of privacy.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#11 aastra

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:28 PM

Too bad there's no cut-through on that block. Problem solved.

#12 m0nkyman

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:32 PM

No cut through. Just Amelia St.
[url=http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Victoria,+BC&ie=UTF8&z=18&ll=48.428474,-123.360801&spn=0.002239,0.007634&t=h&om=1:c3307]Google Map View[/url:c3307]

#13 Ada

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:30 PM

After I drove a friend home tonight, I tried to find the area. I felt like a dweeb not recognizing it on television - like downtown Victoria is all that large. Yet, I still couldn't find it.

Finally, I got home and googled around. Where would I be without the Internet? Probably right smack dab in the middle of our "mini-Eastside" at 10 in the evening with my running tights on, that's where.

Anyway, I found some interesting historical websites on the area while surfing.

The early 1900's:
http://www.mala.ca/history/victoria/8a.htm

And a short history of the opium trade around the same area - although apparently this is the original centre of China town so it's not all that surprising. (you'll have to scroll down a little).
http://www.miniland.ca/Victoria.html

#14 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:47 PM

Ada, did you notice that Monika Tomaszewski is the author of the "Victoria Miniland" entry?? A sister or other relative of Max's?
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#15 Holden West

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:58 PM

Ah, I hadn't seen that Market Square history before.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#16 Mike K.

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 11:40 PM

Ada, did you notice that Monika Tomaszewski is the author of the "Victoria Miniland" entry?? A sister or other relative of Max's?


That would be his daughter, I think (but I'm not 100% on it).

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July 15, 2014: [Mayor] Fortin told C-FAX's Bruce Williams that he expects the [Johnson Street Bridge] project to be completed "on time and on budget."


#17 G-Man

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 07:40 AM

I big difference could be made just by making some minor alterations to the streets and increasing the police presence. First block off the Ministry of Health walkway. Second Put way more lighting on Cormorant and Mason Street. Third Widen the West sidewalk of Amelia to full width by removing the stupid planters along the sidewalk. Put in sidewalks on the East side of Amelia Street and on both sides of Mason.

Right now the junkies are just ONE of the reasons normal people won't go down there. Add more police as Monkeyman suggests and bingo the mini DES is solved.

Also for the record Between Quadra and Douglas I would count 6 residential buildings on Cormorant.
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#18 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 08:36 AM

It seems to me the police are always on that block now. I shake my head when I see 5 or more cops there for some incident. One permanent one would be cheaper.
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#19 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 09:31 AM

It seems to me the police are always on that block now. I shake my head when I see 5 or more cops there for some incident. One permanent one would be cheaper.

Bingo!
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#20 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 11:12 PM

Hard-core drug users invade Cormorant Street at night
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Font: * * * * Carolyn Heiman , Times Colonist
A "tribe-like" group of hard-core drug users has taken over the 800-block Cormorant Street near the needle exchange headquarters, transforming the area with quaint homes into a "war zone" at night.

Stewart Johnston, a lawyer who moved his practice to the area last summer, said by daytime "it is a quiet and quaint area with nice heritage houses" ... but at night it turns into a "war zone" with people "going out of their minds" strewing needles, garbage and even feces around.

Johnston said cars have been vandalized and he fears for the safety of his female staff.

The problem has become so extreme that a volunteer who picks up needles in the area to top up his $100 disability allowance says he won’t do the rounds on Cormorant because it has gotten so dangerous.

Michael Miles, 44, said another volunteer with AIDS Vancouver Island was beaten at 4 p.m. when taking donated sandwiches into the needle exchange. He urged the non-profit society to hire security.

A spokesman for AVI could not be reached for comment but mention of the group of drug users outside the AVI office is in a Victoria police report on homelessness. That report is going to city council today.

The police report notes that about 45 homeless drug users do not use shelters "and would rather hang around together in a ‘tribe-like’ culture moving from AVI, to Streetlink, to the west side of the Johnson Street bridge."

Police estimate there are 163 people living on the street and in parks, and the remainder of the 315 identified as homeless are housed daily in emergency shelters.

The figure is lower than 700 estimated by the Victoria Cool Aid Society, which did it’s first homeless count in 2005 and is repeating the exercise next week.

But Victoria police Insp. John Ducker said the figures would likely be consistent had police included people who used shelters, lived in vehicles or hotels, sex trade workers who stayed with dates night to night and those who couch surf.

Ducker said the police survey was intended to identify the truly "roofless" or visible homeless living on streets or in parks, and those who regularly came into contact with police.

In 2006 police responded to 2,357 calls in the area bounded by Blanshard, Caledonia, Vancouver and Pandora which includes Cormorant Street.

The group hanging around Cormorant Street is among the toughest to house, said Don McTavish, manager of shelters for the Victoria Cool Aid Society.

"They need a place geared to their addictions," said McTavish, adding that some can’t use the available services because of their behaviours. Required services range from safe injection sites through to more treatment beds for people with addictions.
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