COVID-19 crisis fast-tracks safe drug supply

2 Apr

Local lives filled with risk have gotten a lot riskier lately. In the Cowichan region, the COVID-19 pandemic is a triple whammy for people who use drugs and don’t have secure housing. Already dealing with the opioid overdose crisis and the affordable housing crisis, they are particularly vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus. They can’t stay […]

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COVID-19: How are people on the streets coping?

26 Mar

Over the past few months I’ve talked to dozens of people experiencing homelessness on the streets of Duncan. They’ve shared their daily struggles to find food, shelter, sanitation and safety. Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 public health emergency, those struggles are much, much harder.  As I reported last week, homeless shelters are cutting […]

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Mapping how we can safely support local businesses in Cowichan

26 Mar

This is a difficult time for a lot of people, including the local businesses in Cowichan and the people who rely on it. At The Discourse Cowichan, we want to help. That’s why we’ve built a tool to help you support local businesses in Cowichan. It brings all of the information we can gather about […]

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COVID-19 response: 5 ways you can help

24 Mar

This article is from the Curious in Cowichan newsletter. We’ve updated the web version with additional information. Sign up to get information like this straight to your inbox.  It’s been a rough week for most of us. I’m counting my many blessings, including that I still have a job and am familiar with working from […]

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COVID-19 closures leave some homeless people out in the cold

21 Mar

This week, across the Cowichan region, the organizations that serve people experiencing homelessness are making extraordinarily difficult decisions. Do you welcome people in, knowing that doing so could increase the risk of an outbreak of COVID-19? Or do you turn them away, leaving vulnerable people without food, shelter, a place to wash their hands and […]

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Calling local businesses! Tell us about changes to your operations and how Cowichan can support you

20 Mar

This is a difficult time for a lot of people, including the local business community and the people who rely on it. At The Discourse Cowichan, we want to help.  That’s why we’ve decided to build a #SupportLocal directory for the Cowichan region. It will bring all of the information we can gather about small, […]

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Why are First Nations and non-First Nations communities so separate?

10 Mar

This article is from the Curious in Cowichan newsletter. Sign up to receive stories like this in your inbox every Tuesday. My name is Jared Qwustenuxun Williams. Here’s a note from Jacqueline Ronson on why she decided to hand the reins over to me today: “I’ve heard from readers, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, that they […]

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Why we want Jared Qwustenuxun Williams to write for The Discourse Cowichan

9 Mar

Canadian news media has done a terrible job including the perspectives of Indigenous people. The Discourse is committed to doing better. We know that that means going beyond reporting on First Nations issues, by reporting with First Nations people.  At this particular moment in time, as the Wet’suwet’en conflict continues to inspire demonstrations across the […]

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The hidden costs of overdoses

3 Mar

Over the weekend, a man living on the streets of Duncan told me that he has overdosed 28 times on opioids. Others say they have lost count. Their survival, at times, was thanks to bystanders with naloxone kits, which have become ubiquitous in the street community. Harm reduction measures — including access to naloxone, access to overdose prevention […]

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Tax refunds for the homeless, with a side of hope

27 Feb

Four times a year, PO Box 21021 at the Canada Post office at London Drugs in Duncan is crammed full with light-brown envelopes. Inside those envelopes are quarterly GST credit payments for about 100 people experiencing homelessness in the Cowichan Valley. Clara Rempel has the only key. Rempel prepares taxes for a living. She makes […]

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Remembering Ladysmith’s great coal mining strike

25 Feb

On the night of Aug. 12, 1913, a riot erupted in the streets of Ladysmith. Between 200 and 400 striking coal mine workers and supporters swarmed the Temperance Hotel on High Street, which housed some of the miners who were working in defiance of the strike. The strikers threw rocks through the windows of the hotel, shattering […]

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How can we tell better stories about homelessness?

19 Feb

Last week, about 25 community members gathered at The Duncan Showroom to give their input on how The Discourse Cowichan can contribute to better reporting on issues of homelessness and life on the streets of Duncan. Reporter David Minkow has been digging into this topic for the past month or so. If you missed it […]

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Where do the homeless people in Cowichan come from?

12 Feb

Thanks to your input, I’ve spent the past few weeks investigating homelessness and life on the streets of Duncan. I’ve spoken with dozens of people, including service providers, people who are or have been homeless here, and others.  Here’s the question I’ve heard most often as I’ve dug into this topic: Where do the homeless people […]

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After Cowichan flooding, recovery efforts begin

4 Feb

This article is from the Curious in Cowichan newsletter. Sign up to get stories like this in your inbox. Darin George spent most of last Saturday in his rowboat, helping people who were trapped in their homes by the flood. Rains hit the Cowichan region hard on Friday night, flooding low lying areas near the […]

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