Resources for Consumer / Survivors/ Service and Substance Users / Fun Folks in TORONTO AREA
#5 – 602 June 1, 2018: Big Deal!
Victories and losses. Implications of the drug policies. Elections. Street Soccer. Resources Empowerment Council. Community in action. Advocacy. Pride. This will be the June issue. We will be updating the website in the next week to increase the flow of information. Let us know about your events and important issues if you please at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speech by Frank Crichlow – Impact of drug laws on people who use drugs
Moment in C/S Bulletin History
Election 2018: the How and the Who
Community Dialogue and participation opportunities
1. Impact of drug laws on people who use drugs … Speech by Frank Crichlow
* Reprinted with permission 2018
My name is Frank Crichlow. I am a former civil service employee with the Ministry of transportation in the legal department. I now work in the CounterFit harm reduction program at South Riverdale Community Health Centre as a Harm Reduction Worker. I didn’t choose harm reduction, harm reduction chose me. I am a drug user with many friends who also use drugs. I first began as a volunteer at South Riverdale and was then hired as a worker. I have now worked at South Riverdale for 12 years and live in the community.
I have been asked to speak to you today about the impact of our drug laws on people who use drugs, in particular on racialized communities.
Our response to drugs and our drug policies has very little to do with the “dangers” of any drugs themselves. The way we view police and treat drug users has always and continues to be based largely on fear and on political or economic gains.
An American academic author, Michele Alexander, argues that the current War on Drugs is nothing less that a continuation of the race war by other means. She describes how our current drug law’s stem not only from racist bias but are unequally enforced. In addition they then reinforce the poverty of black Americans by excluding by excluding them from jobs, student loans, public housing and even food stamps.
The situation is not much better in Canada.
In Toronto, black youth are 3 times more likely to be stopped by the police than non-black youth (Policy Accountability Bulletin, May 2014) and the proportion of young black inmates in Canada has spiked recently. 10% of inmates are black, although they only make up 2.5% of the Canadian population (2013 stats). Aboriginal men and women are also over represented in the prison system. And these arrests or imprisonments are justified largely in the name of drug policies.
Further, poor people are more likely to be targeted and more harshly punished for their drug use.
If you are wealthy it is very easy for your drug use to go undetected. If you are poor, especially if you are homeless or live in social housing , it is very difficult to not come to the attention of the police before to long. And remember that research such as “The Colour of Poverty” report has shown us that people of colour are more likely to be poor in Toronto.
The stigma around drug use in the black community is very high – especially for women who have kids. Because drug use is criminalized and stigmatized, women are afraid to reach out for help and support, and worry about having their children taken away by the Children’s Aid Society. The stigma around drug use makes people feel like a disgrace to their family and friends, and keeps them from reaching out for support. Strong feelings of pride also prevent people from accessing harm reduction services and programs that can help them. Black men who do access harm reduction services are typically already socially isolated so they no longer have those same family concerns. Strong feelings of pride also prevent people from accessing harm reduction services and programs that can help them. Black men who do access harm reduction services are typically already socially isolated so they no longer have those same family concerns.
The way that we are handling the overdose crisis is also a big problem. When you call 911 for help in an overdose, the police still come. And we hear stories all the time of people being searched and harassed by the police when they were just trying to get help for friends and family members. Fears of eviction mean that people avoid calling 911 at the scene of an overdose in low-income housing. How can someone feel safe enough to call 911 when they might be homeless if they do?
People who use drugs are forced into situations nobody should ever have to experience. We call it being “poisoned by policy”.
Sentencing differences for white men and black men are another example. We see black and aboriginal peoples over represented in Canada’s prisons. Crack possession can get someone far more prison time than cocaine. For what reason?
They’re the same drug.
But black communities are targeted for selling crack.
White people face fewer legal consequences for cocaine possession.
In closing I would like to add that we need to ensure the voices of current and former people who use drugs are heard and are not front and central when the government makes public policy. I am a board member for the Canadian Association of People who use Drugs (CAPUD) for the Ontario region. CAPUD is a national drug user’s Union focused on increasing the human rights of people who use(d) drugs. We are activists , first and foremost, fighting for our lives during a overdose epidemic. Our board of directors is made up entirely of current and former people who use drugs. CAPUD has grown over the years by being attentive to issues raised by our membership, and by focusing on ending the war on drugs. One of the strongest steps we can take to address the overdose crisis is to decriminalize drug use, and start looking at how to build better drug policy.
Thank you kindly.
2018 Reprinted with permission from Frank Crichlow, Harm Reduction Worker, Board Member of CAPUD for the Ontario Region.
2. Moments in C/S Bulletin History
Laughter, food, sex, exercise, meditation, they all change our biochemistry. Who is to say what is medicine? – Pat Deegin
From Bulletin 301, June 1st, 2005 : Personal Medicine prepared by Helen Hook.
Q 1: Do you choose or have control over taking meds? Control could include knowledge, understanding, relationships, support, sufficient money and time.
Q 2: Do you see medicine as pills and injections? medical? Could medicine include other substances, tools, treatments, connections, supports?
Drug discussions will continue…
….as part of C/S History.
3. Make sure you are ready for the Election
PROVINCIAL ELECTION – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Election Day: Wednesday, June 7, 2018 Voting window: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. You must be 18 or older to vote
ID required: On election day you must either bring your voter’s information card or ID and/or mail with proof of address. You can find of ID requirements here. Website: elections.on.ca
For who? Check out the score cards and surveys
The Income Security Advocacy Centre, which organizes around ODSP and OW has collected many of these kits
//incomesecurity.org/policy-advocacy/election-2018-tools-that-you-can-use/. There are many provincial issues that directly affect survivors, for example, health care, housing, education, ODSP, OW, criminal justice reform,
4. Community dialogue and participation!
ANTI-RACISM ADVISORY PANEL (ARAP)
ARAP will be mandated to advise the Toronto Police Services Board with respect to its role in overseeing and monitoring the response to and implementation of the recommendations directed both to the Toronto Police Service and to the Toronto Police Services Board, by the jury in the Inquest into the Death of Andrew Loku.
The committee should consider the intersectionality of mental health and race both in terms of member composition and issues to be addressed. Click here to apply.
An emphasis will be placed on applicants with a background in anti-racism, anti-Black racism, mental health and addictions, as well as those who have familiarity with the issues raised at the inquest into the death of Andrew Loku.
NOTE: IF YOU WISH TO SUBMIT YOUR FILE BY MAIL, SEND TO:
Toronto Police Services Board
40 College St. 7th floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2J3
All applicants should mark the correspondence as follows:
re: ARAP to the attention of Sandy Murray .
CALL FOR RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS
Exploring the Use of Leverage to Enhance Adherence to Treatment in Community Mental Health Services
As part of a study called Exploring the Use of Leverage to Enhance Adherence to Treatment in Community Mental Health Services, we would like to discuss your experience with community mental health services to understand how often patients receiving community mental health services feel pressured to accept mental health treatment and how these pressures impact patient experiences.
We will be doing a survey with approximately 150 people who receive services from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), St. Michael’s Hospital, and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto (CMHA). This study has research ethics approval from Saint Michael’s Hospital and CAMH.
A small honorarium and two tokens will be provided after completing the survey.
You may be eligible to participate if you are:
•Currently receiving outpatient treatment (have been receiving mental health services for at least the past 6 months with at least one appointment over this time period) at CAMH, CMHA or SMH
•Over 18 and under 65
If you are interested in learning more about this study, please call the Research Coordinator at 416-864-6060 x77359 or email email@example.com
Public interest inquiry into racial profiling and discrimination
Call for participants: Public interest inquiry into racial profiling and discrimination by the Toronto Police
If you, or someone you know, would like to take part, contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or
416-314-4547 by June 30, 2018. Follow, share and engage with us and use #TruthBeforeTrust.
Empowerment Council General Meeting
June 13, 5:30 @ 1001 Queen St. W. Community Centre Training Room A
Further Information or to RSVP Beth.email@example.com or (416) 535-8501 x36837.
Dinner and Transportation subsidy provided.
5. Street Soccer Toronto
Find more information about the league on Facebook. You can also find highlights from the Homeless World Cup. We may also have walking football (All the kicking without the running).
Street Soccer Poster: June 2nd we kick off at Riverdale Park East just south of Danforth and Broadview at 12:00pm – 4:00pm. Games June 2, 9, 16,30. July 14, 21, 28. Bring a team, bring a friend, bring yourself. We provide a friendly and inclusive place where people can kick a ball and have fun. All levels of players welcome.
ALL welcome you can come as an individual or a team. No expertise or fancy shoes required! Totally free.
TTC – Fair Pass Discount Program Has arrived!
Find the forms and the details at: //www.toronto.ca/transitdiscount/You are eligble if you are an adult living in Toronto and in receipt of Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and not receiving transportation supports equal to or greater than $100 in the current month (i.e. Employment or Medical Related) through OW or ODSP.
How to apply
To apply for the Fair Pass Discount Program, you must complete and sign an application and consent form. Completed forms can be submitted by mail, fax, or in-person at any of the following Toronto Employment & Social Services (TESS) locations.
Safe injection sites: Toronto Public Health (The Works), Queen West-Central Toronto Community Health Centre, South Riverdale Community Health Centre. Fred Victor at 45 Queen Street location.
Moss Park Overdose Prevention site by the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society, which demonstrated and advocated successfully for safe injection spaces.
And now the RPHC’s Overdose Prevention Site (Regent Park Community Health Centre 465 Dundas St East at Parliament 416-203-4506)
Monday: 9:30am to 6:30 pm
Tuesday: 12 pm to 6:30 pm
Wednesday: 9:30am to 6:30 pm
Thursday: 9:30am to 6:30 pm (*Only women identified and trans people may access the OPS on Thursdays)
Friday: 9:30am to 4:00 pm
Kensington Market – St. Stephen’s Community House 260 Augusta Ave (416) 964-8747.
Sunday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Lots more newsletters
· Ontario Peer Development Initiative OPDI “News to go” //www.opdi.org/news-events/news
· Empowerment Council //www.empowermentcouncil.ca/
· Citizens With Disability Ontario (CWDO) //www.cwdo.org/
· Housing Action Now—Great resource on housing advocacy in Toronto //housingactionnowto.wordpress.com/
· ARCH Alert, ARCH Disability Law Centre //www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/arch-alerts
· Voice of Our Own, Newsletter of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), published four times per year //www.ccdonline.ca/en/publications
· The Advocate – A Government Affairs Advisory Newsletter, Ontario March of Dimes //www.marchofdimes.ca
Looking for Resources in the Regent Park and Moss Park area?
Check out the resource booklet prepared by Regent Park Community Health Centre. The booklet is meant to be printed and shared. Consider printing out a copy or two and sharing with friends. Could your area use one of these?
7. Fun Free Events
General Tips on finding events:
We know there are lots of folks collecting events for Survivors so we don’t want to duplicate their efforts. If you do have a consumer survivor event, please submit it. If we don’t receive your event we probably won’t include it. Sources of events:
Toronto Public Library
Now Magazine, Torontoist (torontoist.com) BlogTo (BlogTO.com)
Toronto Public Library
Big events with huge authors and speakers at the Reference Library (789 Yonge Street //www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/programs-and-classes/appel-salon/
SEX, STIGMA, AND HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS June 13
Courtyard by Marriott Porter Room 475 Yonge St. Informal community consultation for guys into guys investigating experiences with accessing mental health, addictions, and medical services. ASL / ALL-GENDER / ALL AGES Pride Community Event
Courtyard by Marriott Porter Room 475 Yonge St. 6:30-9:30
Trans* March—June 22
#TRANSMARCHTO #TRANSPRIDE #STANDFORTRANS Trans women of colour and people with different abilities are encouraged to lead the march and set the pace for all. Start: 7:00 Church and Hayden. Finish at Allan Gardens where we host a fantastic lineup of trans performers for a post-March showcase until 10PM.
Dyke March —June 23
The Toronto Dyke March is a political demonstration of critical mass, welcoming all self-identified dykes to create political and visible space. This grassroots event is not a parade. The women and trans people of our dyke community take over the streets of downtown Toronto to celebrate our power, strength, diversity and passion of dyke experiences and identities. Start: 1:00 at Church and Hayden, march at 2:00.
Pride Parade—June 24
Stand loud and proud with more than 120 groups marching in Pride Toronto’s Pride Parade, one of the largest in North America.
The procession starts at 2pm at the corner of Bloor and Church and stomps its way down Yonge Street to the Dundas Square stage.
Starts At: Bloor and Church and stomps its way down Yonge Street to the Dundas Square
Time: 2:00pm Website: //www.pridetoronto.com
Where we post even more information and resources.The Bulletin is free to receive.
All previous issues are available on our website: www.soundtimes.com/bulletin
The Bulletin is published on the 1st of every month
by Sound Times Support Services. Funding for this Consumer/Survivor initiative has been provided by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the
Toronto Central LHIN, the Government of Ontario,
Sound Times Support Services Staff or Board Members.
Thanks: to survey participants, callers and emailers and the C/S Info Bulletin Team helping with the handoff. Go green; get The Bulletin by email! Bulletin@soundtimes.com
And that is all!