Geoff Young

1. Do you favour the re-opening of a fixed site needle exchange in the city of Victoria?

The previous fixed sites produced unacceptable local impacts. Major changes in operating procedures and legislation will be required before I would consider supporting the reopening a fixed site.

2. Do you support the opening of a safe consumption site (like that of InSite in Vancouver) for the City of Victoria?

Only in the context of a treatment program based on supplied drugs. I do not support a site for "safe" consumption of drugs procured illegally and usually with the proceeds of crime.

3. What does the term harm reduction mean to you?

Reducing not just short-term harm to the individual client, but also reducing the probability of new individuals entering the drug culture. It should also include the need to reduce the harm to those who might choose to live or work downtown.

4. What role do you see harm reduction playing in the creation of a healthy, thriving Victoria?

A true harm reduction program would involve a significantly increased expenditure by the Provincial government and legislative changes by the federal government, but will result in a far more livable downtown.

5. What actions will you take to ensure the City of Victoria follows the principals of harm reduction?

I will support moving toward action consistent with the view of harm reduction I have outlined above.

6. What is your position on the current 'war on drugs' and the Victoria Police Department's approach to substance use and users?

The war on drugs cannot be won because the current drug laws do not have the support of a majority of our residents and thus are virtually impossible to enforce. The federal government seems to have adopted the policy of retaining the laws to satisfy some segments of the electorate, yet allowing them to be ignored in  regions where they are not supported. Unfortunately, the Criminal Code is set by the federal government, and the Victoria police must enforce the provisions as they stand. A major impediment to meaningful enforcement is the lack of treatment programs.

7. What, if any, alternative approaches to current drug laws have you considered? Please describe.

1. Develop drug laws that are widely supported.

2. Enforce the new drug laws that do have support.

3. Provide adequate treatment systems so that enforcement can take the form of referrals to drug treatment.

8. What further commitments or additional comments would you like to make on your position on drug use and harm reduction, as they affect your candidacy?