“The Golden Hour” is Disappearing in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver

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“The Golden Hour” is Disappearing in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver

by pmnationtalk on March 23, 2020192 Views

“The Golden Hour” is Disappearing in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver

(Vancouver, British Columbia – March 23, 2020) The opportunity to break the chain of coronavirus infection in the Downtown Eastside is quickly disappearing. “The Golden Hour” is the narrow window in which social distancing can slow up community spread and flatten the curve to prevent a sharp peak of new cases.  From a practical perspective, the federal government’s “distinctions-based” Indigenous Community Support Fund is leaving out urban Indigenous peoples, who make up the largest and most vulnerable sector in this pandemic.

It’s disturbing to see how the Indigenous Community Support Fund is perpetuating the discrimination and disadvantage that exists in the federal administration of Indigenous programs and services. The appalling social disadvantage of urban Indigenous peoples has been compounded by the pandemic and the federal government’s refusal to change its distinctions-based approach.

There is no defensible reason for treating Indigenous peoples differently only because they are not as effective as others in lobbying. Every day that the federal government continues its “distinctions-based strategy” will result in increased numbers of urban Indigenous peoples becoming infected.

Urban Indigenous peoples in British Columbia have been systematically excluded in the response to Covid-19.  Poverty, marginalization and social despair have always been part of life for urban Indigenous peoples and now they are being left ill equipped to respond to the fast-growing coronavirus pandemic.

“With Covid-19, I believe and expect that the chain of infections will grow exponentially in the Downtown Eastside,” said Scott Clark, President of the North West Indigenous Council and a strong advocate for urban Indigenous peoples. The uncertainty and unpredictability of this virus has shown that it can only be stopped with comprehensive action; not one based on making distinctions in an already vulnerable Indigenous population. “There’s been no involvement with our organization in the federal government’s response and now we are about to witness a Covid-19 outbreak which may overwhelm British Columbia’s health care system,” said Clark.

For more information contact:

Scott Clark, President
North West Indigenous Council Society
Cell: 604-417-0327

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