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After almost 40 years of public service and elected office, it's time for me to call it a day. I have worked hard as the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East for the last 18 years and I know it's time for me to pass the torch. I will not be seeking re-election in the next federal election.
It has been the most extraordinary experience to represent the people of Vancouver East. I have loved my work both in the community and in Ottawa and I thank the good folks of east Vancouver who elected me six times as their representative.
It is with a heavy heart that I write about the death of Bud Osborn. He was a true hero to a community we know as the Downtown Eastside, but far beyond that, he inspired and gave hope to our city, and many people across the country.
I knew Bud for many years and he was a dear, close friend. When times were dark and people felt hopeless; he gave us hope. When people felt they had no voice; his poetry raised many voices and gave people courage. When people yearned for belonging and community; he led by example and united people in a common cause for human dignity and respect.
It's ironic, and typical, that as Insite celebrates its 10th anniversary of successful operation in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, the Conservative government in Ottawa is still railing against Safe Injection Sites and no doubt has Bill C-65 ready to go when Parliament returns October 16.
Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, was the last bill to be introduced before parliament recessed in June. It's a nasty bill, couched in anti-harm reduction rhetoric, full of misconceptions, and designed to shut down any attempt to open a safe injection site in Canada.
The bill is a shining example of Conservative ideology trumping evidence-based health and science.