Monday, December 03, 2007

Stephane Dion Liberal mailing on InSite safe injection site called "fearmongering" by Conservatives and "a waste" by NDP

Liberals' InSite mail-out panned


A federal Liberal Party mailing from leader Stephane Dion into a Vancouver riding about the controversial InSite safe drug injection site is under attack as "fear mongering" by the Conservatives, while the New Democratic Party calls it a "waste."

And the mailing, which misspells the word "minister" in referring to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is a "rush job" and "confusing," say the two parties.

The November mailing to thousands of households in NDP Member of Parliament Libby Davies' Vancouver East riding accuses the Conservative federal government of "dithering" on renewing InSite's mandate and says "harm reduction saves lives."

But Davies says the Liberals' mailing is ironic.

"I wish they'd done a lot more on harm reduction when they were in government but they don't talk about that," Davies said in an interview, calling it a "waste."

Conservative Party spokesperson Ryan Sparrow said the Liberal mailing strategy is "confusing" and rejected its points.

"We've long been the party that delivers initiatives rather than fear mongering," he said from Ottawa.

But Liberal Party Communications Director Elizabeth Whiting told 24 hours from Ottawa that InSite is a "major issue" worthy of mailing on.

Whiting said MPs can mail up to 10 per cent of a non- incumbent riding with their message, paid out of their House of Commons budget, not the party's.

InSite recently got a six-month extension to continue operating until June 2008.


Budd Campbell said...

I recall getting one of these mailings from Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry at my home in the Ridge-Meadows area about two years ago. Basically it gave a list of all the recipients of Liberal largesse in the area, be it a municipality saving money because of a GST rebate, or a private employment counselling company getting a two million dollar contract from HRSDC.

At the time I recall thinking that if anything the mailing tended to play to the image of the Liberals as a party in office too long and very full of themselves.

Anonymous said...

The Liberals are talking election. So the paper starts flying. The cons are weak on Insite so this issue will now be wrestled to the ground by the Liberals and the NDP each saying the other did nothing. Let's not forget it was Larry Cambpell, then of COPE and the previous mayor, Owens who pressed hard for the insite, besides the NDP and the Liberals. WE need the program so the pressure better be on to make sure it stays. DL

Anonymous said...

An article in 'Rolling Stone' about "How America Lost the War on Drugs" points out how time and time again the US caved to political and lobbying pressures to ignore the critical point of harm reduction.

Well worth the read.