Articles by Sarah Sheridan
Community Spotlight – Jean Swanson, a life against poverty
For our issue on the BC Liberal legacy, Volcano editors turned to our Community Spotlight on a legacy of our own to highlight her over 40 years of anti-poverty work. (…)
The NDP won’t save renters
with Harold Lavender
The situation for low-income renters in BC has never been worse. (…)
Death prevention sites don’t stop overdoses: decriminalize drugs now!
In the fall of 2016, through necessity, two alleyway tents complete with clean injection supplies and staffed by naloxone-trained volunteers were set up in Vancouver responding to the overdose crisis that killed over 900 people in British Columbia alone last year. (…)
Not the solution we need – A first glance at the federal government’s legal response during the opioid crisis
On Monday December 12, 2016, the federal health minister, Jane Philpott, announced a new bill, almost 100 pages in length, intended to address the overdose crisis. (…)
Chinatown not Coffeetown! An interview with Mrs. Kong from the Chinatown Concern Group
Mrs. Kong, who goes by 鄺太 (or Kong Tai), has lived in BC Housing in Vancouver’s Chinatown neighbourhood for over 20 years.
Manufacturing success – A response to the Tri-City News article titled “Most who go to Coquitlam shelter end up in housing”
Gary McKenna’s article “Most who go to Coquitlam shelter end up in housing,” reveals RainCity Housing and Support Society data showing where shelter guests move after they leave their Coquitlam shelter.
Responses to the overdose crisis must include an end to prohibition
with Ashley Mollison
People across Canada are continuing to die at staggering rates from illicit drug overdoses. Advocates have recognized a lack of real action from the government in an overdose crisis that has killed at least 555 people from January until September this year in BC alone – an average of two people per day. Beyond its inaction in response to the overdose crisis, we think it’s necessary to reflect on the critical role of government action in killing people under its jurisdiction in a war on (people who use) drugs — through prohibition. (…)
Police and Naloxone – Prioritizing Those with Badges
This week the public learned that the Royal Canadian Mountain Police will soon be carrying nasal Naloxone (or Narcan), the antidote for an opioid overdose. The provincial government made a statement on their website: “We strongly commend the RCMP for proceeding with a national rollout of naloxone for both their member’s safety, as part of their personal protective equipment, but also for emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdoses among the members of the public.” (…)
August 31st Overdose Awareness Day – A Day of Reflection, a Push for Action
Across the world people recognize August 31st as International Overdose Awareness Day. From Vancouver to Edmonton, Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal and beyond, families, friends, and advocacy groups rally together to remember those who’ve died from drug overdoses. (…)
Guaranteed Annual Income – the good, the bad, and the ugly
Imagine you’re a person with disabilities living on the BC welfare rate of $610 a month, paying $500 for rent. You get a part time job, earn $200, and declare it. This is completely legal, but then your welfare cheque stops for no reason. You need to solve this problem or risk eviction and starvation. You’re standing in line in the rain at the welfare office for hours and start to have a hard time standing. You could call but you don’t have a phone and you know that you’ll be on hold for upwards of an hour anyways. (…)
What happened to a National (Social) Housing Strategy?
People across Canada are facing hours of sifting through newspaper articles, watching interviews, and following tweets from MPs in hopes of gaining clarity about their federal party platforms and promises about housing. Sometimes op-eds, press conferences, and news releases add to the confusion. For example, in regards to housing, “affordable” and “social” are terms these politicians use to describe housing models. But when I surveyed friends and family about their definitions for both, no two responses were the same. (…)
The Truth about Rent Subsidies: from British Columbia to the Section 8 program in the U.S.
with Ivan Drury
In 2013, Housing Minister Rich Coleman told The Globe and Mail that British Columbia has “the most aggressive housing strategy in the country”. In January of 2015 he wrote an article in The Georgia Straight stating, “Rental assistance is so effective we created the new Homeless Prevention Program to provide people at-risk of homelessness with rent supplements to help them stay in the private market.” But if rent subsidy programs are so “effective,” why is homelessness increasing? Why do the BC Liberals prefer rent supplements to building social housing? (…)
Volcano Community Spotlight: Jack Gates
Interview by Sarah Sheridan
Beginning in this Winter issue, the Volcano will recognize a community member for their advocacy and organizing efforts in the Downtown Eastside community. For our first recognition we would like to spotlight Jack Gates, a resident of the Regent Hotel. Over the past few months Jack has been bringing media and community attention to the lack of heat and hot water in his building. I met with him to talk about his involvement in renters’ rights and organizing in the Downtown Eastside. (…)