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Books | 2008-06-19 11:21:12
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    ?FREE JUNE 19-JUNE 25 2008 VOLUME 24 NUMBER 1 Ready for Eddie

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    EDITORIAL Editor Alastair Sutherland Music Editor Rupert Bottenberg News Editor Patrick Lejtenyi Editorial Assistant Sacha Jackson Listings Editor Vidya Lutchman Copy Editor Lorraine Carpenter Contributing Editors Marites Carino (Dance), Sasha (Sex), Mark Slutsky (Film), Juliet Waters (Books) Contributing Writers Chris Barry, Neil Boyce, Scott C, Lorraine Carpenter, Michael Citrome, Johnson Cummins, Gerard Dee, Stacey Dewolfe, Len Dobbin, Samer Elatrash, Malcolm Fraser, Lina Harper, Matthew Hays, Christopher Hazou, Matt Jones, Raf Katigbak, AJ Kinik, Janis Kirshner, Erik Leijon, Peter Lightburn, Tracey Lindeman, Erin MacLeod, Jeffrey Malecki, Anne Marie Marko, Lateef Martin, Drew Nelles, Jack Oatmon, Genevieve Paiement, Mathilde Rabbat, Christine Redfern, Scott Saxon, David Shaw, Shane Sinnott, Al South, Christopher Sykes, Alex Tigchelaar, Vincent Tinguely, Lucas Wisenthal, Narcel X, Andrea Zanin, Steve Zylbergold ART Art Director Chris Tucker Assistant Art Director Nicolas Ct Photographers and Illustrators Rachel Granofsky, Dave Rosen, Richard Suicide, Rick Trembles Flat checker Jeffrey Malecki SALES Advertising Director Stephen Ct Sales Representatives Nathalie Beaulac, Pierre-Yves Clment, David Greer, Genevive Perras, Lucie Plante, Marie-France Sguin, Christian Veillette Sales Coordinator Genevive Denis Classifieds Sales Manager Amardeep Assi Classifieds Sales Assistant Vronique Fournier Classifieds Sales Representatives Louis Clment, Patrick Wellens Promotions Genevive Perras PRODUCTION Production Manager Martin Ouimet Designers Huguette Bergevin, Pierre-Franois Bigras, Jessica Charbonneau, Celine Poupart, milie Salles, Yannick Sasseville, Jessica Zohil ADMINISTRATION Accounts Payable Mica Foti Collection Agent Joyce Rabagliati Distribution Gama 2000 Receptionists Fariba Bonakdar The Mirror is published every Thursday and is distributed throughout Montreal. 1999 readership measured at 287,000 by SOM Inc. Entire contents are Communications Gratte-Ciel Lte. The Mirror is located at 465 McGill Street, 3rd floor. Published by Communications Gratte-Ciel Lte (head office 300, Avenue Viger Est, Montral, H2X 3W4). Printed by Quebecor World Inc. (head office at 612 St-Jacques). Printed at Imprimerie Mirabel-Division of Quebecor Media, 12,800 Brault Street, St-Janvier de Mirabel, QC, J7J 1P3. National Sales Toronto DPS Media, 1240 Bay Street, #305, Toronto, ON, M5R 2A7, (416) 413-9291 National Sales Montreal Quebecor Ventes Media, 465 McGill Street, 6th floor. Montreal, QC, H2Y 4B4, (514) 597-2231 Subscription rates: first class $100/yr; U.S. subscriptions $125/yr. Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement #0229865. Change of address can be sent directly to our offices. THE MIRROR 465 McGill St., 3rd floor, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 4B4 Tel: (514) 393-1010, 393-8002 (classifieds) Fax: 393-3173/3756 General e-mail: mirror@mtl-mirror.com Community listings e-mail: listings@mtl-mirror.com Publisher Michel Desbiens www.montrealmirror.com A.A.N. ASSOCIATION OF ALTERNATIVE NEWSWEEKLIES MONTREAL MIRROR JUNE 19 - JUNE 25 2008 3

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    LETTERS WE Down with God [Re: ?Church and state together again?? Letters, June 12] Championing religion, Paul Kokoski denounces as nihilistic ?legislation that legalizes homosexuality, samesex marriage, abortion, euthanasia and genetic manipulation.? The havoc wreaked by the religious could be ignored if it were relegated to crusades and inquisitions of yesterday. But the disease spreads its virus today, transmitted by mad mullahs, rabid rabbis and born-again preachers gleefully anticipating end times. Convinced that their Saviour will appear only after Armageddon has engulfed the Middle East, rapture-lusting evangelicals have infiltrated the highest corridors of a hyper-power and allied themselves to seekers of global hegemony in a ruthless marriage of convenience. With a compliant media and a population numbed by mindless entertainment, at no other time in history has a messianic cult wielded such potential for cataclysmic carnage. Despite its frightening future and horrid past, despite the charlatanism of its television evangelists and the contradictions in its sacred texts, despite the corruption of its clergy and the hypocrisy of its fol- 4 MONTREAL MIRROR JUNE 19 - JUNE 25 2008 lowers, religion continues to be defended. God-given precepts provide a blueprint for righteous living, its apologists proclaim. It offers a true moral compass in a transient world, they insist. These justifications betray not only a glaring cynicism but expose the ethical squalor of its proponents. Are believers so suspicious of rational thought that they distrust its capacity to distinguish right from wrong? And if it is to escape divine retribution that compels the faithful to behave decently, then what does that say about their true character? Religion is a child of fear conceived in ignorance. Terrified of thunder, early man bestowed it omnipotence. Puzzled by life's origins, he fabricated creation myths. Dreading mortality, he invented afterlife. In an incomprehensible world, religion provided the comfort of answers, albeit concocted ones. But today, it has outlived its usefulness other than as an instrument of manipulation, with Sunday schools in the West to madrassas in the East intellectually castrating entire generations. This process is systemic and carries too much vested interests to crumble lightly. But neither is it eternal nor unstoppable. Its fruits are too visibly rotten, its stench too putrid to forever stand. INSIDE June 19?June 25 This Week THE FRONT p. 5 Native fest gets cut?FRAPRU goes camping?Mines in Mexico?Stella meets. NEWS p. 8 Assessing China's earthquake? Insite and Quebec. MUSIC p. 16 Voivod's ?Away? on 20 years of tough times and triumphs?Situating Skratch Bastid?Follow the canal to the Folk Fest?Art Adams's return to rockabilly? Hallelujah, it's Oklahoma's Evangelicals. FILM p. 42 A sports film fest, just in time for Euro?Old-school adventure in Mongol?Hunting down a jazzman in 'Tis Autumn?MPP on The Happening. ARTSWEEK p. 54 Radical cartography at SKOL, Hungama 2008, Hip Hop Championships. THEATRE p. 56 Fringe, Fringe and yes, more Fringe. COVER p. 42 Global Metal and Heavy Metal in Baghdad rock out around the world. Cover photos courtesy of Martin Hawkes and Vice Films. BOOKS p. 57 Adam Leith Gollner's The Fruit Hunters. RESTO p. 61 Sushi Shten and Ramen-Ya. Columns PEOPLE p. 6 CinCit's Muriel Abraham. RIFF RAFF p. 12 Identity and the jean jacket. PRESS START p. 48 UEFA Euro 2008. SASHA p. 71 Dildo delusions. WWW.MONTREALMIRROR.COM If nothing else, millennia waiting for Messiahs in vain will tire all but the pathologically delusional. The requiem mass may be distant but the funeral inevitable. ?JOHN DIRLIK Every Week ROSEN p. 4 PUNKUSRAUCOUS REX p. 22 COMPACT DISCS p. 24 THE LOAD-DOWN p. 26 DISCO VOLANTE p. 28 RANT LINE? p. 30 THE INCUBATOR p. 31 VIDIOT'S BOX p. 46 SUDOKU p. 60 FREE WILL ASTROLOGY p. 62 CLASSIFIEDS p. 65 Listings LIVE MUSIC p. 32 FILM p. 49 OPEN CITY p. 58 STAGE p. 59 GALLERY p. 60 WELCOME LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. Send your comments, compliments or criticisms to: Letters to the Editor, Mirror, 465 McGill St., 3rd Floor, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 4B4. You may also fax us at (514) 393-3173, e-mail your comments to letters@mtl-mirror.com, or visit our Web site at www.montrealmirror.com. Letters should include your name, address and daytime phone number. I sense a common thrust behind Mr. Kokoski's half-argued points, and I further sense that I disagree with the premises. Since the arguments are typically religious?in that the premises and the reasoning are not stated, but merely the conclusions?I'm forced to go out on a limb and attempt to provide them myself. The thrust seems to be this: ?Because God says so? is the beginning and end of every argument, and the application of this is (I expect) as follows: I ?misunderstand? the ?authentic? separation of Church and State because I submit that it exists. The ?authentic? Church and State Mr. Kokoski describes does not exist, in that he describes the Church as the State, which is the old system, where ?God says so.? I didn't even attempt to equate Catholicism with totalitarianism. What I did was explain that the old Church?as a theocracy and a system of government, and not merely as a faith, as it stands today?fit the modern definition of totalitarianism perfectly. In such a system, you do what the clergy says or you burn for it, because ?God says so,? and heaven help you if you are not a Catholic. This is not how it is today because of the separation of Church and State. If there is another type to understand, then Mr. Kokoski should bring it to the attention of political scientists. Augustine and his fellow Neo- Platonists enjoyed a long run of claiming ancient and longstanding ideas for early Christianity. Plato and his reasoning were appropriated to explain a great many things: Transubstantiation and the old Church's (notoriously) imperfect description of the cosmos, among others. In those days, it was customary for a philosopher to retroactively claim whatever he liked for Christianity, actual evidence notwithstanding, and so democracy is Christian because ?God says so.? When Mr. Kokoski stumbles on down the well-trod paths of ?Absolute Values? (the real meat of fundamentalism) this leads him inescapably into the brambled mire of bigotry and his inevitable, ultimate denial of democracy. God, he explains (without offering arguments, or even basic premises) is the ultimate and only arbiter of good and evil (the only two states), and democracy, though it is Christian, if actually used? God forbid?risks offending Him by arrogating His power to itself. Hence those horrible homosexuals?whom we all know God ?hates??finally getting hold of the rights proper only to normal people like Kokoski. What Mr. Kokoski is describing is not democracy any more than the fundamentalist version of liberty?the mere freedom to choose God as fundamentalists describe him?is freedom. Democracy is risky, imperfect, and unfortunately, it tends to do what its possessors like, rather than what a judgmental, fundamentalist conception of God would like them to. Democracy?actual democracy?is beautiful precisely because it does not do what Mr. Kokoski would like it to. ?WILLIAM RICHARDSON

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    THE FRONT QUOTE Apologies and cuts Just what the federal government's policy is on First Nations these days is anyone's guess. Stephen Harper's apology for residential schools last week may have won him some applause, but is it enough to drown out criticism for voting against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples last September? Organizers of the annual First People's Festival may not think so, especially after Canada Economic Development, an agency of the federal government, pulled the plug on its funding for the festival four weeks before it opened. ?The sad part is that the program is for economic development and it's important that people see that First Nations are not only a cultural richness but also an economic partner,? says organizer Andr Dudemaine. The festival, which began on June 12, is heading into its final weekend, offering art showings, film screenings, digital media workshops, as well as Innu, Abenakis and Mohawk language classes. Saturday night's closing event at Place milie-Gamelin features Innu ambient-folk singer Kathia Rock and headliner Richard Gutare (aka Richard Desjardins). The evening will end with an openair screening of Desjardins's film, Le Peuple Invisible. The First People's Festival runs until Sunday, June 22. For details, visit www.nativelynx.qc.ca. ?MATT JONES Camping for homes In honour of Quebec City's 400th anniversary, the Front d'action populaire en ramnagement urbain (FRAPRU) is organizing a camping weekend in the heart of the provincial capital's downtown, a sure-fire way to have some fun and experience the same type of squalid conditions in which many Quebec residents are forced to live. The camping trip, from Thursday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28, is a chance for those who love the rustic outdoors and feel strongly about social housing reform to enjoy cook-outs, pitch tents and attend workshops and discussions on welfare policy, First Nations housing rights and the growing international network of social housing groups. Buses will pick up campers from several locations in Montreal for the free trip, and tents and sleeping bags will be provided to those without. Campers are simply asked to help out with general camping chores. ?We are using the 400th anniversary of our province to draw attention to the housing crisis,? says FRAPRU coordinator Franois Saillant. ?The government needs to invest more money in social housing. There are still too many of us without roofs, rights or a voice.? For bus departure and other info visit: www.frapru.qc.ca or call (514) 522-1010. ?STEVE ZYLBERGOLD A N G E L & I N S E C T ANGEL: Boosting recycling The city and some private companies are getting together to bring recycling back to Montreal's streets, and to its leisure industry. Two years ago, the Plateau and Ville-Marie boroughs yanked the three-holed bins because they weren't generating the ad revenue they were hoping for. This summer, in Ville-Marie at least, new ones will appear, thanks to a $6-million program involving 16 companies and government institutions. The fund will also go to providing recycling bins for hotels, bars and restaurants. The program will last for three years, but everyone expects the public and private funding to continue. INSECT: C-61 The updated version of the Copyright Act of Canada is already achieving something remarkable: it's managed to line up an impressive array of foes that is accusing Industry Minister Jim Prentice of being both a coward for caving in to American pressure, and of criminalizing erstwhile innocent Canadians for downloading movies, music and TV shows. Stiff fines?from $500 to $20,000?await anyone caught monkeying with copyright material, turning Canada, say critics, into a police state. That is, if it passes. If there is an election?and with a minority government like this one, there might well be one any time?it will die on the order papers. But even if it passes, it's not expected to alter p2p sharing one bit. OF THE WEEK: ?I think it is going to bring noise, and it is going to be a pain in the ass, but it's going to be more good than bad.? ?Ste-Catherine E. store manager Tyler Clark, on turning the strip in the Village into a pedestrian-only mall until Labour Day. TURKS JOIN IN: Proving that charging up and down St-Laurent honking, cheering and waving flags after their national team wins a soccer game isn't the sole domain of Montreal's Italian, Portuguese and Greek communities, a caravan of Turks displayed their own pride and joy on Sunday after their squad's surprising upset victory over the hapless Czechs. Turkey meets Croatia on Friday. PHOTO BY JASON FELKER Mines of ours The social and environmental havoc the Canadian mining industry wreaks overseas is pretty low on the public agenda, but a group of Mexican activists and politicians coming to Montreal tonight, Thursday, June 19, hopes to change that. The delegation, which includes a member of the national congress, will meet with local social justice organizations and academics in an effort to catalyze opposition to Canadian mining activities in Mexico. ?I would like Canadians to be informed and to be sensible about these issues, and not to see Mexico as the backyard where they can just go and make a mess,? says Juan Carlos Ruiz Guadalajara, a delegate and professor of history at the Colegio de San Luis. Earlier this week, the delegation met with Canadian opposition MPs in Ottawa and attended a demonstration in Toronto against Metallica Resources, whose operations near the town of Cerro de San Pedro have drawn fierce resistance. Critics say the Metallica mine is destroying an important mountain and contaminating the water? charges the company denies. The forum is open to the public and begins at 7 p.m. in McGill's University Centre (3480 McTavish). ?DREW NELLES Meeting Stella Calling all sex workers: if you're not a member of rights organization Stella yet, then now's the time to learn how they just might improve both your working conditions and overall quality of life. On Thursday, June 19, Stella's annual general meeting gets underway at 5:30 p.m. at the Centre St-Pierre (1212 Panet, room 204), with a small welcome buffet followed by the assembly at 6 p.m. ?Basically, this is our annual meeting where sex workers can have their say with respect to the direction they want to see Stella move towards,? says spokesperson Jenn Clamen. ?Over the next year, we're going to continue doing what we've always done, which is meeting sex workers in their places of work and responding to their needs and wants. We'll continue pushing for legal reforms, focusing primarily on municipal laws, and essentially keep trying to get more and more sex workers implicated in the cause. So this meeting is a great opportunity for sex workers to learn more about our organization, have their say about what we're doing and let us know more about the needs that they have working in their industry.? For more information, go to www.chezstella.org. ?CHRIS BARRY REAR-VIEW MIRROR 15 YEARS AGO - JUNE 17 ?24, 1993 On the cover: ?A former inmate's story of drugs and beatings in Montreal jails.? Going over prison's informal rules, former Bordeaux inmate ?Henry? says, ?You never steal from another inmate. The penalty for that is death?. You never rat out another inmate. You get severely beaten for that? If you borrow something, you pay it back. I've seen guys get beaten badly over a packet of chips. Anyone who has raped a child will suffer. They will be maimed, or even castrated.? ? The Habs win the Cup, the city riots. Photos show rioters, injuries and one fat man in a Stones t-shirt pulling out his penis. ? Local label EnGuard Records releases four seven-inches: The American Devices/Megalo, the Stand GT, the Ripcordz and No Offense/the Shitheads. ? Discussing Who's the Man?, ?a ?dramedy' about cops and rappers,? co-writer and star Dr. Dre says, ?Most writers don't have a clue when they're trying to write African-American characters. They use this old slang that's totally outdated because they're not in the scene.? ? MONTREAL MIRROR JUNE 19 - JUNE 25 2008 5

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    6 MONTREAL MIRROR JUNE 19 - JUNE 25 2008 PEOPLE BY CHRIS BARRY Movies for the people CinCit owner snubs the corporate model of film rental for unlimited rentals and no late fees Name: Muriel Abraham Age: 29 Occupation: Proprietor of CinCit Bio: Not so many years ago, this unassuming NDG gal was getting her Master's degree in geography at McGill while contributing film reviews to the McGill Daily, thinking that a fabulous career in journalism might be just the thing for her. After awhile though, Muriel decided she ?wasn't much of a writer,? and, while visiting London, England back in 2004, stumbled upon a video/DVD rental store with a business model that totally fried her burger, giving her the idea of doing something similar here in Montreal. ber-motivated and armed with a plan, she spent the next several years getting it together to finally open CinCit (www.cinecite.ca) last December, NDG's latest and most fab video/DVD rental joint at 5528A Sherbrooke W., right across the street from NDG Park. ?The thing about CinCit is that we have a membership plan. A basic membership costs $15 a month for unlimited rentals. And there are never any late fees.? How an energized Muriel went about making her CinCit dream a reality: First she scored a gig at another DVD rental outlet to learn the ropes and worked there for a year and a half. Then she took a free course for burgeoning female entrepreneurs via an organization called Compagnie F (compagnie-f.org) ?which was great, showing me how to create a business plan and flesh out my ideas. For example, one thing I did through the course was take a survey in three different neighborhoods learning about people's DVD rental habits and asking if an outlet like CinCit would appeal to them. People overwhelmingly said it would. Another extremely beneficial thing was they informed me about all these grants I could apply for and how best to do it. I don't think I would have been able to open this place had I not secured these grants and loans they told me about.? Something Muriel's survey told her: ?Everybody?okay, almost everybody?rents movies. Something like 80?90 per cent of the population spends about $20 a month on them, and the majority still rents them from video/DVD stores.? Is that what gave her the courage to put her heart, soul and savings into a mode of film distribution everyone expects to be obsolete in a few years, what with digital distribution increasingly being all the rage? ?Yes, it was one thing. So much of this business is about selection and service. And that's why the Blockbuster/Videotron model isn't doing well anymore. But CinCit is very different. One great thing about our membership model is that there's no financial risk involved when you take out movies you're not so sure about. And we have better selection than most video stores. Sure, we've got blockbusters, but we've also got documentaries, foreign films, French and Qubcois movies, as well as all these older, repertory-type films. And the vibe in here is kind of unique as well.? The approximate number of titles in her inventory that have never, ever, been rented. ?A couple hundred maybe, out of the roughly 2,500 titles we have in stock.? Childhood ambition: To become Jacques Cousteau. Last book read: Crackpot, by John Waters. Musical preferences: Nina Simone, Cat Power, Feist. Words of wisdom: ?It's the sick oyster that possesses the pearl.? ? COMMENTS? DIMWIT@HDOT.NET RACHEL GRANOFSKY

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    62126.1 JUNIOR HOCKEY IS BACK IN MONTREAL Buy your season tickets, mention The MIRROR and get a FREE team jersey! Call now: 514-670-2100 3 terrasses / 3 floors Djs spinning in the Lounge Thu. June 19 Pat Lesyk + Pat Blonk Sat. June 21 The Jack Sun. June 22 | Open Mike with Joel Sauve Tue. June 24 Maurice Benjamin 2008 Thank you you Montreal Montreal for voting us us best best locally brewed brewed beer beer ONCE AGAIN! Fri. June 20 The Ramblers 1219 Crescent | 514-393-9277 8 MONTREAL MIRROR JUNE 19 - JUNE 25 2008 Live entertainment every night at 10 pm Try Try our our zero-G zero-G zero-G it's it's our our our gluten gluten gluten free free free beer beer beer Sun. June 22 | Bluegrass Dirty Old Band Mon. June 23 | Trivia Dave Jaffer's Trivia Night Wed. June 25 Mick O'Grady Wicked kitchen kitchen by Brutapas 58056.13 NEWS CHINA Making sense of disaster McGill experts and students discuss the effects and implications of last month's earthquake by MATT JONES ix weeks after the earth- Squake that killed over 60,000 in China's Sichuan province, Montreal's Chinese community is finding ways to pick up the pieces together. The past weeks have seen numerous relief collections and fundraisers spanning the city's heterogeneous community, from Tibetans to ethnic Chinese from mainland China and Taiwan. Now a group of McGill students and professors is organizing a conference that hopes to find out what we can learn from such a cataclysm. ?I've never seen the Montreal Chinese community get together like this,? says conference organizer Julian Z. Xue. But collecting money only goes so far. ?Such passion and generosity is great, but ultimately it's not sufficient. You need a lot of knowledge, information, thought and reflection to understand what happened,? he says. The conference hopes to touch on APPEALING FOR SICHUAN: Julian Xue issues that went unnoticed in the few weeks of media frenzy that followed the disaster. A good place to start might be what caused it, a question seismologist Dr. John Stix, chair of McGill's Earth and Planetary Sciences department, hopes to shed light on in his talk about the natural history of the earthquake. Other panels will look at the politics behind what happened. ?There will be a panel that looks at how the earthquake will affect the Olympics and vice versa. And how the question of Tibet affects the earthquake and vice versa,? Xue says. Although the Chinese government's response to the catastrophe was generally applauded for its quickness and efficiency, there are those who say it wasn't enough. ?Some parents held a protest asking why schools had collapsed while government buildings remained,? Xue says. ?The earthquake happened during school time, so there were a lot of casualties. People were RACHEL GRANOFSKY asking why they had been so badly built and are accusing the government of corruption.? China is no stranger to natural disasters, having experienced some of the world's deadliest earthquakes, floods and droughts. McGill's Dr. Griet Vankeerberghen will look at how disaster response this time compares with China's history of dealing with disasters, while Dr. Erik Kuhonta from the Department of East Asian Studies will contrast it to the crisis that followed Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, when the military junta that rules the country initially rejected international aid. The conference won't limit itself to looking at how things happen on the other side of the world. Dr. Peter Button from McGill's Department of Media and Communication will take a critical look at how the Western media covered the earthquake. ?People in the West have a grand narrative about China and like to feed every fact they have into it,? says Xue. ?What's important is that stories have to come out in context.? Finally, a panel of medical professionals will look at the psychiatric disorders that may ensue from the disaster and how the five million made homeless can be reabsorbed into Chinese society. Proceeds from the collection at the event will go to Tzu Chi, a Taiwanese non-governmental organization that Xue says was the first to arrive in Sichuan after the earthquake. ?Tzu Chi was also the first group to send psychiatrists, which is difficult because psychiatry is not recognized in China. Before that, there were only about 10 psychiatrists serving [a population where] half a million may have post-traumatic stress disorder.? ? THE CHINA EARTHQUAKE CONFERENCE TAKES PLACE SATURDAY JUNE 21, FROM 1?6 P.M. AT THE MONTREAL CHINESE CULTURAL COMMUNITY CENTRE (1088 CLARK). ADMISSION IS FREE. SEE WWW. MEDICINE.MCGILL.CA/OSLERWEB/ EARTHQUAKE FOR DETAILS.

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    NEWS by PATRICK LEJTENYI ow that heroin addicts in N Vancouver can breathe a little easier, thanks to the British Columbia Supreme Court's decision late last month to extend supervised injection facility Insite's exemption from federal drug laws for at least a year, there are murmurs that Quebec is mulling a similar project. Earlier this month, provincial Health Minister Philippe Couillard said the government was ?looking into this very seriously,? sending shivers of excitement through the addiction treatment world. Of course, it's premature, and the province is backpedalling from any firm commitment. Marie-ve Bdard, a spokesperson for the minister, tells the Mirror the province still has a long way to go before it gives any kind of project similar to Insite the go-ahead. ?We are studying the results from Vancouver and from facilities over- ADDICTION Insite chez nous? The chances of a supervised injection site opening in Quebec aren't high, but the province is at least thinking about it ?I don't think, at the political level [in Quebec], they are ready. And the federal government has never taken a position on this except to appeal the B.C. decision.? ?Cactus's Jean-Franois Mary Special until June 30th, 2008* Upper lip or chin or underarms First treatment FREE for new clients METRO 10 MONTREAL MIRROR JUNE 19 - JUNE 25 2008 seas,? she says. ?But there are no concrete projects yet.? Insite workers will be coming to Quebec next month to meet with Couillard to present their findings in the hope that he will push for the creation of a made-in-Quebec version. But it won't be easy, and it won't be quick. ?We also have to consider the ethics of such a project,? says Bdard. ?Is our society ready to accept this? Where would it go? How would residents there react? What would the negative impacts be?? POLITICS AT PLAY At Cactus, a Centre-Sud needle exchange facility, no one is holding their breath. Jean-Franois Mary, a community organizer there, says they will continue doing what they're doing, and focus on how to improve it. From now until 2013, he says, Cactus will concentrate on issues like ?public drug consumption, reaching the people in need and halting the spread of disease? like HIV and hepatitis C, he says. Before anything like Insite arrives in Quebec, says Mary, ?There needs to be a feasibility study?. We'd have to look at things like how to make it work, whether it would be decentralized or one big centre, and what is the need?? He believes supervised injection sites work, based on the evidence from Vancouver and similar locations in Europe, but, in Quebec, ?I don't think, at the political level, they are ready. And the federal government has never taken a position on this except to appeal the B.C. decision.? Late last month, after the Insite decision was handed down, Health Minister Tony Clement told the federal Health Committee that the science surrounding the findings, following five years of research, ?can only be described as ?mixed,'? and that the many studies based on Insite are written by ?the same authors who plough their ground with regularity and righteousness.? He disputes the assertion that Insite has led to a decrease in the spread of HIV or hepatitis C, ?or whether Insite's benefits are greater than its $3-million annual cost.? Furthermore, since Insite opened in 2003, there have been 50 overdose deaths in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES). Insite, he says, ?saves about one life per year.? LESS DEATH, MORE TREATMENT Nathan Allen, an Insite organizer and DTES resident, is obviously disappointed with Clement's atti- NOT YOUR AVERAGE SHOOTING GALLERY: Vancouver's Insite tude, and says the facility saves many, many more people than just one. In the five years Insite has been operating, he says, ?There have been 868 overdose interventions, and each required either oxygen or a defibrillator. Ambulances were called. In each of those cases, the likelihood of death, if not imminent, was certainly there and prevented. Even if you lowball that number and just look at respiratory failure, or even if it is just one life, that's something.? Allen says Insite has supervised over one million injections since it opened, and, without quoting numbers, has had a marked change on life and death on the streets. ?In the '90s, there was literally a death every day. And the DTES is a relatively small neighbourhood. The experience of someone you know dying every week? that's just not hap- pening now.? He says many Insite users go on to seek additional detox programs. In Montreal and Vancouver, meanwhile, the North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI), a scientific study that provides addicts with heroin to consume on site to monitor how subjects would interact with society if they needn't resort to crime to pay for it, is set to expire at the end of this month. Initial results show, according to researchers, that the treatment has been positive: a retention rate of 85 per cent, with many subjects entering further addiction treatment, and showing the responsibility to hold down jobs and apartments. But NAOMI is not a policy, but a project, and Allen is pinning some hope on Quebec. ?Quebec has a strong voice in Canada as to how to look at health care,? he says. ? 59528.15 JOSH BERSON

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