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Friday, April 20, 2007 

Ottawa Mayor Says Panhandlers Just Buy Meth And Crack

Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien says "when you give a toonie to a panhandler, that's just part of the money they are going to use to go off and buy some crystal meth or crack."

Ahhh.... good old fashioned christian charity .... 'eh Your Worship!?

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I am at a loss for words. Larry "Ottawa's George Bush" O'brien continues to embarass our fair city.

wtf is wrong with people?

I guess they are all so perfect and privileged they simply can't conceive of what a life of hardship must be like.

The main problem with his statement is that it comes out of the mouth of a mayor. If he can't come up with a more humanistic solution to homelessness then why the hell did he become mayor? And how does this reflect to the people of Ottawa?

He's probably right though, it is a "solution" of some sort. It's the "don't feed the birds in the winter, there'll only be more of them to feed next year"-theory. Much like the "Endlösung (Final Solution)", only slower in execution. And easier too.

Survival of the fittest, I suppose.

Right on Erik!!!
And even if a panhandler did spend their money on drugs - that is indicative a 'health' problem that needs attending to, not a moral 'deficiency'!

I agree with your post!

Wording is wrong, intent is right. Not liking the words does not make it any less true. Last time I offered to buy food for a pan handle instead of give money, I was told to "f*** off"... Incidently, not the first time I made the offer, but definatly the last time I EVER considered giving money to a panhandle.

Want to do something right? Give to a food bank, Habitat for Humanity, volunteer at a soup kitchen.

Giving money to panhandles is foolish, and does not address the issues these people deal with on a daily basis, but rather reinforces them with a feeling that their choices are currently right and "
valued". You feed the disease, instead of helping the victim.

If you must do something on the spot, run into that Tim Hortons, and purchase a hot chocolate and a small soup or sandwich for them. If they are not scrapping for drugs (and even some that are), they will appreciate it.

Sometimes the addict needs to fall down themselves in order to pick themselves up... Others need to be knocked down. A few will never want to get up. Feeding the problem, and none will see a reason to get up.

Jeff you missed my point with this post. It's not about giving money to the homeless or hungry - it's about the fact that the mayor of a major Canadian city (the capital city) assumes all panhandlers are some kind of drug addict or dope fiend.

A stupid blanket judgement and statement by someone who should know better.

That was the point of this post - the callous, cold hearted dismissal of all who have fallen on hard times.

The unfortunate reality is that many of the more aggressive panhandles ARE addicted to substances in Ottawa. I am from the region, and have to deal with them on a very regular basis.

I did not miss his, nor your intent in this. He needed to say it, but needed to word it differently.

As a humanist, when you witness first hand the damage that these substances do unto others (I have seen a friend destroyed in this way), you have to realise that feeding that particular habit is not a good thing. There are ways to help street people without giving them money directly... In point of fact, many of those ways are far more valuable (soup kitchens etc that I listed before) then giving money, as those charities actually do help get people back on their feet.

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