Monday, May 26, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

Ethical Concerns Arise

As reported on Frances Bula's blog at the Vancouver Sun,
it has come to light that Mayor Sam Sullivan personally hired a lobbyist to stick handle his ill thought out Chronic Addiction Substitution Treatment (CAST) program for drug addicts. The lobbyist hired is John Reynolds, the former Conservative MP for West Vancouver.

Readers might be aware that this CAST project has been controversial from its inception. The Mayor initially claimed the project would be directed at female survival sex trade workers.

CAST which would provide the drug Ritalin to crystal meth users as a drug substitute should never have been political since clearly this matter is health related, however, the Mayor made it highly highly political by personally initiating the program and claiming that it would be privately funded. He later went on the record claiming a non-profit group, Inner Change society which he set up and personally hand picked the officers to manage it, would oversee the operations.

Substituting Ritalin and other legal drugs for illicit drugs like crystal meth has ethical concerns. These concerns are compounded since the limited research so far being conducted in other jurisdictions has been inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of treating addicts with other potentially and equally harmful drugs.

This issue regarding the hiring of Mr. Reynolds as a lobbyist should have been presented to Council, thereby scrutinized by Council and it appears it hasn't and this demonstrates very poor judgement on the part of the Mayor.

Mayor Sullivan has consistently stated Inner Change, was responsible for the operations of CAST, yet now we learn that under the federal Lobbyist registry, Mr. Reynolds, who is Co-Chair of CAST, lists his client as Mayor Sam Sullivan.

Recently, Mayor Sullivan and Conservative Heath Minister, Tony Clement announced plans for 20 treatment beds for prostitutes located right in the heart of the drug mecca of Canada.

One is left wondering if the Mayor, Mr Reynolds, Minister Clement and Inner Change are planning to use these proposed treatment beds as a trial run for their scary Ritalin trials.

It is time for Council to address this mess created by their Mayor.

Jamie Lee Hamilton