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More enforcement needed to clean up DTES: mayoral candidate

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – People using and dealing drugs is a familiar scene on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside but one mayoral candidate thinks he can clean it up.

The NPA‘s Kirk LaPointe says the focus has to be on predators, not on the vulnerable people. He’s talking about open drug sales within a short distance of the Carnegie Community Centre at Main and Hastings.

He says more enforcement is needed to crack down on people dealing drugs.

Fraser Stewart with the Carnegie Community Centre says getting rid of the open drug market is a good thing but it has to be done in the right way.

“He should be finding out how come it is that so many people need psychotic drugs that they’re willing to self medicate with drugs on the street. That’s the problem, the problem is poverty, these people are selling drugs that they need in order to survive,” explains Stewart.

The candidate agrees more needs to be done.

“There’s no question that there needs to be greater support services in order to deal with treatment and other support services to make sure that we’re dealing with people who are most vulnerable,” says LaPointe.