Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mayencourt and Insite: You be the judge

Following-up on my post from on Tuesday on the video of Conservative candidate for Vancouver-Centre Lorne Mayencourt refusing to get pinned-down to a position on the Insite safe injection site, later in the day Mayencourt was a little more forthcoming with Public Eye Online’s Sean Holman, having apparently received the talking points from Stephen Harper and Tony Clement: never mind what you supported as a member of the Campbell government last week; you’re a Harper Conservative now, so Insite bad.

Mayencourt also claimed, bizarrely, that the Young Liberals’ video was “disingenuous” and cherry-picked clips. Yes Lorne, it’s called editing. He seemed to be implying things were taken out of context though. So, the Liberals released the full, unedited interview so people could judge for themselves.

First, the edited clip:

And now the full interview:

I think you’ll agree the full interview shows nothing was taken our of context or edited unfairly. It also shows many other answers to other questions by Mayencourt, where he demonstrates an unfortunate lack of understanding of just what Insite is about, what it’s accomplishing (property crime is down), and of the community support (business groups once opposed are now onside).

The Globe had a pretty good hit on this later in the day:

Hedy Fry, Liberal MP in Vancouver Centre, is challenging her expected Tory rival to explain whether or not he supports attacks that Health Minister Tony Clement has levelled on the Insite safe-injection facility in the Downtown Eastside.

Lorne Mayencourt, a Liberal MLA in a riding that overlaps Vancouver Centre, is expected to nab the Tory nomination in the riding. As a member of the B.C. legislature, he sat with a government that has been strongly supportive of Insite, located in an adjoining riding but an issue that affects all of the downtown.

In recent weeks, however, Mr. Clement has suggested that doctors who permit or encourage patients to shoot up at Insite lack medical ethics. In August, he told the annual gathering of the Canadian Medical Association that Insite has created a “slippery slope” for physicians, wondering aloud whether it was “unethical” for them to support the administration of drugs that cannot otherwise be legally used. “This is a profound moral issue and when Canadians are fully informed of it, I believe they will reject it on principle,” he has said.

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Ms. Fry said Mr. Mayencourt should take a stand on Mr. Clement's views.

Insite needs to be a bigger issue in this campaign, and not just in BC – Insite is a national test site. This is an issue that speaks to the fundamental differences in approach between the Liberal Party and the Conservatives: we favour a comprehensive approach from cracking down on crime to harm reduction and treatment, they just want the tough on crime part.

That’s not the Canadian way, and it just doesn’t work anyways. Mayencourt can’t run from the issue, and neither can the rest of his new party.

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1 comment:

Canajun said...

The tape was altered. Now he's going to have to sue.