Six In The Morning: Farewells, Saving Lives, Electoral Reform, Bad, Bad Dog

1 R.I.P. In case you missed it, former Saskatchewan Premier Allan Blakeney passed away this weekend. So did former MLA Serge LeClerc.

2 VANCOUVER’S SAFE INJECTION SITE LITERALLY SAVES LIVES One of my big deal breakers with Stephen Harper and the Conservatives is that they come to a situation with their minds already made up. They don’t listen to facts. Example: For years, they’ve been battling in courts trying to shut down Insite, the downtown Eastside safe injection site for drug addicts. The facility has been shown to reduce hepatitis and HIV rates in the troubled neighbourhood’s addict population, and it has helped keep dirty needles off the streets. In short, it’s a realistic, grown-up solution to a difficult problem — a neighbourhood wracked by catastrophic addiction, poverty and mental illness — that’s resisted solutions.

Well, the medical The Lancet has now proved that Insite literally cuts down on drug overdose deaths in the area.

I’m going to have to slug the Conservatives again. They want to shut down a program that literally saves lives and is supported by the province (both the Liberals and the Opposition NDP) and the city. This is not a good bunch of people, people.

3 BRITAIN HAS AN ELECTORAL REFORM BATTLE GOING ON British voters will vote on the alternative vote system (AV) system on May 5. Here’s the latest from the referendum campaign. Great Britain currently has a first past the post (barf) system, like Canada’s. Under AV, voters rank candidates rather than just picking one, and the second, third and etc.-place votes are important in determining who wins in a constituency. I like the proportional representation system, where every vote cast has an equal chance of electing a representative from a party, better than AV. But AV is better than what Canada has. Unless you like majority governments that got only 40 per cent of the popular vote.

4 70 PER CENT OF JAPANESE WANT PRIME MINISTER NAOTO KAN TO GO AWAY There’s a lot of anger over the ongoing reactor crisis and the rebuild.

5 UNHAPPY ANNIVERSARY THIS WEEK The oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, 2010, causing a three-month oil spill and general environmental catastrophe. Here’s a report on the state of the Gulf as we ooze sadly toward the one-year mark.

6 SHIH TZU? EFF YOU! A cute widdle doggy bites the end off a Home Depot greeter’s nose. But Shih Tzus are so cute! And BRAVE!

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth will never, ever pass up a chance to make a Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo pun.