Some things just need to be said...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Mayor's Transformation of Victoria

Is Mayor Lowe saying no to Harm Reduction and yes to God?

I have been somewhat perplexed by Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe's s apparent reversal on Harm Reduction and supervised injection sites. You can see in this earlier post that the Mayor was extremely supported of an initiative to bring a supervised injection site to Victoria.

Between May 15, 2005 when the Mayor was quoted as saying ....
"If I had a wish list, I would like to see a safe injection site with housing, with a drop-in centre and with medical treatment." ~ Times Colonist reported on May 15, 2005

and on July 19, 2005 at a public meeting hosted by the City of Victoria and the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the Mayor told city council hopeful Paul Lidgate...
"The city needs to talk to people, a safe injection site is not yet what we're looking at."

What has happened to have the Mayor move away from his strong supportive position to one of "I don't know if we need one?" Has the Mayor got cold feet because the municipal elections are happening this fall and he doesn't want to offend anyone? That's my guess and here is why I think it has some validity.

In my internet search for information on Mayor Lowe, I found Sunday Magazine, the monthly newsletter for Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church. The lead story is ~ Canada headed for transformation? Many cities, regions and whole nations are being transformed by the power of God. Is Canada next?.

The article begins ...
On June 12th Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church was the host of a significant event in the history of our city. All the churches of Victoria were invited. Over 800 people from nearly 30 congregations gathered together in unity with expectant hearts to hear Dr. Alistair Petrie share about communities around the globe experiencing transformation and to pray that Victoria be transformed by the power of God.

Now all of that is pretty much expected when you have 800 faithful together. The potentially troubling point came in this next segment and may explain the mayor's 180 degree reversal on supervised injection sites...

"The highlight of the evening was a prophetic exercise involving a key that Alistair Petrie brought with him. He asked the pastors of the city to come up to the front. One pastor was given the key and prayed that God would close doors of activity that are not consistent with His purposes and plan for Victoria and to open doors to extend His Kingdom here. He then handed the key to Pastor Ron Michalski, pastor of Glad Tidings, to lead the pastors around the sanctuary to signify unity in the ministerial. This was followed in similar manner by the laity represented by three leaders. Following this came the youth.

Finally, His Worship Mayor Lowe and Grace, his wife, were asked to come up again. He was given the key and asked to pray over the city of Victoria. Besides the closing and opening of doors, Mayor Lowe committed and gave the city of Victoria to God and asked God to be a permanent resident of Victoria. In all of the cities that Dr. Petrie has visited with the key, Mayor Lowe was the first mayor in all of Canada to consecrate and commit a city to the Lord."

We know the Mayor changed his tune significantly between May 15, 2005 and the July 19th public meeting. The Mayor's participation in the "Transformation of Victoria" on June 12, could be the reason. Evangelical groups are some of the most ardently opposed to harm reduction measures for drug users. Mayor Lowe did not just attend and accept a prayer for the transformation of Victoria, he offered up a prayer in which he "committed and gave the city of Victoria to God."

Dr. Petrie holds these "transformation" meetings across Canada and the world. The article states, "In all of the cities that Dr. Petrie has visited with the key, Mayor Lowe was the first mayor in all of Canada to consecrate and commit a city to the Lord."

All of this could be looked as innocent and the Mayor practising his faith if it were not for the unaccountable and surprising change in his position on a major public policy issue facing the citizens of Victoria.

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