Archive for the tag "Canada"

Unconditional homophobia? Jamaica and Canada at the extremes? (23/08/11)

Trawling through an old paper lying around in a hotel lobby in Jamaica, I found this pastor’s reflections on gay men. Jamaica has the dubious distinction of being a world leader in homophobia. Now a senior police officer, Fitz Bailey, had said that most of Jamaica’s booming lottery and credit card fraud businesses are run […]

Sex workers (and their grannies) speak up (31/01/11)

On the one hand, Canada bans Dire Straits. On the other, it fills the streets with posters aimed at extricating sex workers from social non-existence. Halifax group Stepping Stones is running an ad campaign reminding people that hookers are mothers, daughters, brothers, friends. They are also PhD students, civil servants, dental hygienists, actors and many […]

Dire Gays: whining Canadian gets MTV song banned (20/01/11)

It’s not that I think Canada is an over-protective nanny state full of cry-babies who had their sense of humour excised at birth and wouldn’t recognise irony if it bit then on the bum or anything. But really, scrubbing the airwaves of Dire Strait’s “Money for Nothing” because it uses the “F”(aggot) word is a […]

Men who have sex with me: typo of the week (15/10/10)

While I try to find time to do justice to the looming decriminalisation of sex work in Canada, I offer this wonderful correction to a blog post about the hideous HIV rates among gay men in the states. Apparently, I’m not the only gay man trapped in a straight woman’s body. Thanks to RH for […]

Blood donation: rights and wrongs (12/09/10)

In the last few days, Canadian and American courts have ruled on gay rights. Somewhat unusually, activists are happy with the Yanks and cross with their northern neighbours. Even more unusually, I’m happy with both. The Canadian ruling is the more complex, because it has given us the right decision for the wrong reasons. A […]

Oh Canada! Insite stays, but for how long? (19/01/10)

Great news from Vancouver: the city’s safe injecting facility, Insite, is allowed to continue saving lives. For now. It’s the second time that Insite has won a case brought by the right-wing rottweilers of prime minister Stephen Harper. This victory was in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. But Harper may decide to put more […]

Traffic jam: where are all the bonded hookers? (21/10/09)

Finally, a major paper has bothered to deconstruct the mythical numbers that are bandied about to justify the UK government’s idiotic conflation of sex work with sex trafficking. The fact that raids on over 800 brothels didn’t net any traffickers doesn’t mean that there isn’t anyone in the UK selling sex against their will. But […]

Heroin on prescription: for some, the facts are never enough (18/09/09)

It’s not just because I was in Vancouver last week that I have heroin on the brain. Less than a month after a Canadian team found that prescribing heroin to addicts works where other treatments have failed, scientists in the UK reported the same thing. That stacks more evidence in favour of heroin prescription on […]

Those perfect Canadian men (update) (24/04/09)

I’ve been meaning to write a cross-patch piece about Margaret Wente’s front page Globe and Mail story about the wickedness of gay men, but Chris Dupuis at Toronto’s ever-wonderful Xtra has done it for me. Although he doesn’t even get to the bit that most annoys me about her piece, her complete failure to recognise […]

Swapping one prejudice for another (29/01/09)

New HIV-infections among gay men are rising everywhere they are measured, with the sole apparent exception of Sydney. That’s in part because Sydney has not dropped the ball (and the budget) on prevention. It hasn’t swallowed the “Treatment IS Prevention” mantra that seems to be behind the rise in many other places. If we want […]

Signing your life away: absurd defences against an absurd law (05/01/09)

As Canada prepares its first murder case against a man who had sex without telling his partners he had HIV, support groups are urging infected people to prepare the sexual equivalent of pre-nuptual agreements (shall we call the pre-fucktuals?) The wonderful Xtra gives us strategies for putting the lid back on the can of legal […]

Canada makes HIV prevention count (14/08/08)

One of the current buzzwords in HIV is “combination prevention” — a polite way of saying that anything that works even a little bit should be on the menu. It’s a way of trying to tear people away from the kindergarten level “Abstinence works, No, no, condoms work, No, no, circumcision works, No, no, it’s […]

Canadian government calls in the executioner (30/05/08)

I ended my last post on an optimistic note. I should have known better. Canada’s health minister is sharpening the guillotine, and hopes to chop down North America’s only supervised injecting site despite a court ruling that the execution would be unconstitutional. “In my opinion, supervised injection is not medicine; it does not heal the […]

Stay of execution for Canada’s life saving injection room (29/05/08)

Drug Warriors have been gloating about the imminent closure of North America’s only supervised injecting site for drug addicts. (“The injection site is expected to close next month,” reported one conservative group. “Congratulations to members who have worked so hard to keep the pressure on the powers to be to close down this madly insane […]

Can Canada save its safe injecting experiment from the politicians’ axe? (03/05/08)

Vancouver is the only city in North America that provides a safe place for addicts to shoot up in. The local government thinks it’s a good idea. The national government doesn’t. So they’re sticking their oar in to undermine the project, according to local researchers. “Scientists accuse Tories of ‘despicable’ interference”, yells a headline in […]

Canada could inject sense into Ukraine’s HIV response (18/04/08)

A Canadian group has just been holding a pow-wow on HIV prevention in Ukraine. The Winnipeg Free Press notes that Winnipeg’s the right place to be holding these discussions because the city is home to so many people whose roots are in Ukraine. In fact, it’s appropriate in another way. Ukraine’s HIV risk looks a […]

Canadian cops support safe injecting, not (04/04/08)

The Canadian city of Victoria (not Vancouver, sorry) is still dithering over a home for its needle exchange programme: no-one wants it in their back yard. British Columbia’s top health official has a solution: open supervised injecting sites around the city. The cops are not too pleased. In an editorial in the British Columbia Medical […]

Importing HIV: does it matter? (26/03/08)

For 15 years, the United States has tried to bar its doors to immigrants with HIV. Like most decisions related to HIV in the States, that one was motivated more by political expediency than by common sense. It seemed to play to fears that if immigrants with HIV came to the States, they’d start spreading […]

Vancouver’s needle exchange is homeless (25/03/08)

Drug use and homelessness go together in many cities around the world. The Canadian city of Vancouver, for many years a shining example of sensible drug policy, is no exception. Now, however, it’s the city’s much-vaunted needle exchange programme that is being thrown onto the streets according to Cindy Harnett of the Times Colonist. The […]

Named reporting: scientists can’t manage it (21/02/08)

Public health scientists love to whinge that no-one listens to us. We wring our hands endlessly over what we can do to better communicate the results of research to policy makers and the public. And yet a new study suggests that some scientists can’t even report their own names and e-mail addresses correctly. And the […]