Regarding the people caught up in the opioid crisis and safe injection sites:  While serving food with Humanity First’s program to aid the homeless, I encountered a former teacher whose path to addiction began with a prescribed opioid for a car accident.

This encounter vividly underscores the human cost at the heart of Canada’s opioid crisis. His journey from classroom to street corner starkly illustrates the need for harm reduction and the decriminalization of drug possession.

Handing him a meal, I realized these interactions are more than acts of service — they are vital steps toward bridging divides and fostering healing.  However, I know we need to do more.

We need policies that weave safety nets from both necessity and compassion, integrating harm reduction facilities within community health centres to provide a holistic approach to addiction that embrace strategies that ensure stability for those grappling with substance use disorders.

This pivot towards a public health approach over a criminal justice one challenges the outdated stigma, advocating for decriminalization and harm reduction as pathways to safety and recovery, thereby reconciling public health imperatives with community concerns.

Mubariz Maqsood, Calgary

(Masqood is research assistant and a Department of Medicine developmental sssistant in Calgary.)

Beck well-suited to be premier

In his Feb. 15 column, Phil Tank states that Carla Beck lacks a compelling background. It is my understanding that Carla Beck was the executive director of a shelter for woman and children fleeing violence.

That is a compelling background dealing with social services, health, justice, education and through helping families start over, as well as business and economics. Administrating all that is also compelling and good background for a premier.

Jeff Jones, Duval

No roads, no need for electric cars

Since the Trudeau federal government has mused that we should have zero dollars for new roads in Canada, can we just cancel all the billions (with a “B” dollars) the federal government is giving away for electric cars and their parts? I would rather just have that taxpayer money back in my own pocket.

Chris Robertson, Stony Plain, Alta.

Navalny death shows Putin brutality

Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime most probably caused of the death of Alexi Navalny by the toxic organophosphorus Novichok, a binary nerve agent chemical weapon.

If you dare criticize the Moscow hierarchy for the most trivial of reasons you may suffer a regrettable mishap or are exiled to the outer limits to a “special regime” penal colony above the Arctic Circle as was Mr. Navalny.

This detention centre is the highest level of prisons in Russia and comparative to a “black hole” where nothing ever escapes.

This news of Navalny’s death is not surprising, as countless other Russian compatriots have met their untimely deaths by falling out of windows or various other mishaps that were never explained.

Russian dissidents suffer from this common malady, but you can’t determine the cause of death through autopsy when the deceased has been cremated. The prison inquiry will determine the cause of death as natural causes. It’s a shame that Mr. Navalny had to pay the supreme sacrifice.

Ronald J. Yaschuk, Quispamsis, N.B.



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