Alberta vs Drugs, Gangs & Cartels | Minister Jason Nixon | EP 432

Alberta vs Drugs, Gangs & Cartels | Minister Jason Nixon | EP 432

Tour update 2024 (00:00:00)

  • Jordan Peterson announces a new tour for 2024, starting in early February and running through June.
  • The tour will visit 51 cities in the US.
  • Peterson will discuss ideas from his forthcoming book, "We Who Wrestle with God," which will be released in November 2024.

Coming up (00:00:40)

  • The biggest protesters of tent cities are often members of the official opposition party, the NDP, which is a Socialist Party in Alberta.
  • Vulnerable people in tent cities are excited about the opportunities provided by the government's approach of reaching out and offering warm facilities, showers, food, and access to medical resources.

Intro (00:01:10)

  • Jordan Peterson interviews Jason Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services in Alberta.
  • Alberta, under Premier Danielle Smith, has taken a forthright stance against issues such as trans Butchery and deceit, and has also taken action to remove tent cities.
  • Nixon's personal experience with homelessness and addiction, as well as his upbringing surrounded by homeless people, gives him a unique perspective on the issue.
  • The discussion focuses on the details of Alberta's approach to cleaning up tent cities and rehabilitating individuals who have ended up there.
  • Peterson hopes that Alberta's success can serve as a model for other jurisdictions in North America and the Western World.

The current state of Alberta’s homelessness crisis (00:03:34)

  • Edmonton, Alberta's capital city, has seen a significant rise in tent cities, with hundreds of encampments and structures.
  • The city of Edmonton initially embraced these encampments, leading to increased problems and safety concerns.
  • The Edmonton Police Chief reported alarming conditions within the encampments, including:
    • Sexual exploitation of underage girls.
    • Gang activity and extortion for access to tents and resources.
    • Presence of weapons, stolen goods, and dead bodies.
    • Deaths due to people burning to death while trying to heat tents with propane.
  • Premier Danielle Smith instructed the government to develop a new plan to address the encampments.
  • A task force led by the Minister of Social Services was formed to establish a navigation center in Edmonton.
  • The navigation center provides various services to support individuals experiencing homelessness, including:
    • Health services.
    • Housing support.
    • Income support.
    • Prescription assistance.
    • Assistance with obtaining identification documents.
  • The government collaborated with the police to tear down the encampments and achieved positive results.
  • The government made it clear that the province will no longer tolerate encampments due to safety concerns and the desire for a clean and livable city for Edmontonians.

Why and when the tent cities populated (00:07:24)

  • Tent cities started appearing in Edmonton over the last 2-3 years, particularly in the last year and a half.
  • They were initially concentrated in the downtown core but have since spread across the city.
  • Edmonton has a population of around 800,000-1 million people.
  • There were hundreds of encampments, some with over 400 structures.
  • The causes of this rapid increase are complex and include factors such as housing costs, mental health issues, and drug use.
  • The government of Alberta rejects the notion that housing is the root cause of homelessness and tent cities and instead emphasizes addiction recovery and helping individuals in need.
  • Some elements within the province advocate for accepting drug use and addiction as a means of dealing with these issues, which the government opposes.

This is primarily a drug addiction and enabling problem (00:11:36)

  • Drug addiction, particularly to fentanyl and methamphetamine, is the root cause of the encampments issue, not housing.
  • The majority of individuals in the encampments struggle with mental health issues and addiction.
  • Deinstitutionalization in the 1970s contributed to the current homeless epidemic, as mentally ill individuals ended up in prison or on the streets.
  • The compassionate approach of providing parks as living spaces inadvertently creates opportunities for drug pedaling gangs.
  • These tent cities serve as major drug distribution hubs, generating revenue for local gangs and organized crime groups.
  • Hardcore criminals exploit the vulnerable addicted population in various ways, taking advantage of their weaknesses.

Where are the drugs coming from? (00:21:05)

  • Alberta is seeing a variety of gangs, including indigenous gangs and cartels, including Mexican cartels.
  • The Asian supply is mostly associated with fentanyl.
  • Cartels are bringing drugs across the southern border and Alberta is becoming an exporter of fentanyl.
  • Lethbridge, the closest city to the American border, is experiencing some of the largest drug problems due to drugs coming from the border.
  • In the 1980s, Edmonton was a safe place with few organized indigenous street gangs.
  • Now, there are more organized indigenous street gangs operating in Alberta.

Decriminalization, drug policy, enabling versus recovery (00:25:06)

  • The increase in drug money has led to more organized gangs in Alberta, and the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General believes this is driven by the federal government's decriminalization of drug use without proper treatment and support.
  • Alberta is taking action to prevent the province from becoming like British Columbia, where the drug problem is more severe, and is not arresting individuals for drug addiction but providing them with resources for recovery.
  • The Alberta government believes in reaching out to individuals and investing in resources to address the root causes of drug addiction and homelessness, rather than providing a safe supply of drugs.
  • Fentanyl is a highly dangerous drug, and the government's approach has proven successful, with over 200 individuals from encampments voluntarily seeking help at navigation centers in the past three weeks.

Alberta’s government is dedicated to this goal (00:32:10)

  • The Alberta government aims to ensure that dangerous tent cities are not present within its cities.
  • The government acknowledges that eliminating tent cities entirely may not be feasible, but they aim to prevent their future establishment.
  • Instead of managing tent cities, the government will invest in proper resources and support the Municipal Police Force to take down encampments.
  • The goal is to protect citizens from the dangers associated with tent cities and provide wraparound support and opportunities for individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • The government recognizes that homelessness will still exist, but they aim to reduce the number of individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • The government will provide full wraparound support and opportunities to help individuals overcome their situations.

The theft of public spaces for tent cities (00:34:57)

  • Tent cities increasingly occupy public spaces, especially green spaces, in cities like Toronto, Edmonton, and Calgary.
  • This takes away from people's ability to enjoy parks and other outdoor areas, especially children who use these spaces more than anyone else.
  • In some cases, tent cities have led to safety hazards, such as needles being found in playgrounds.
  • Allowing tent cities to occupy public spaces is not the right thing to do for constituents, as it wrecks beautiful green spaces that people should be able to enjoy.

The ongoing municipal standoff (00:38:26)

  • Alberta is experiencing a standoff between its conservative provincial government and radical leftist municipal governments.
  • The provincial government has a cooperative relationship with the municipal police, bypassing the municipal governments.
  • Large cities in Alberta tend to have left-wing mayors and city councilors, leading to ideological differences with the conservative provincial government.
  • Some left-wing individuals genuinely believe that providing harmful substances to addicts will help them get better, but this approach is criticized as false compassion.
  • The current approach to drug addiction is hurting people and perpetuating an ideology that allows harm to continue.
  • The speaker advocates for a different approach that involves providing warm shelter, food, medical resources, and addiction treatment, rather than leaving individuals in dangerous and life-threatening situations.

When problems overlap, navigating anti-social repeat offenders for effective treatment (00:45:01)

  • Antisocial behavior and drug use often overlap, making treatment challenging, especially for antisocial criminal behavior and drug and alcohol addiction.
  • The city of Edmonton is piloting a new approach to address homelessness and drug addiction by establishing navigation centers that provide a warm and safe environment, access to various services, and support for individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • The Alberta government has implemented navigation centers, which offer services such as showers, food, medical care, prescription access, and assistance in obtaining identification documents, as well as representatives from government services and non-profit organizations to help individuals register for income support, housing resources, and drug recovery programs.
  • Over 200 individuals have actively participated in this process, and over 500 different services have been referred to, with plans to expand the approach to emergency homeless shelters and other areas where social services interact with similar clientele.
  • ExpressVPN provides a secure encrypted tunnel to protect sensitive data from hackers, especially on unencrypted networks in public places like cafes, hotels, and airports, where hackers can easily steal personal data such as passwords and financial details.

The tent city experience, displacement and dealing with police (00:55:22)

  • The vast majority of tent city inhabitants react positively to government and police intervention.
  • The biggest protesters are not tent city inhabitants but members of the NDP and activist groups.
  • Vulnerable people are excited about the opportunities provided by the navigation center.
  • Tent city inhabitants are often unaware of available resources.

Managing treatment centers, weeding out potential corruption and crime (00:57:44)

  • The government is aware of the potential for criminal activity and gangs in treatment centers and has taken steps to mitigate these risks.
  • Security has been increased to protect people and their belongings.
  • The government is working closely with local police services to address any issues that arise.
  • Overdoses and other medical issues are being managed within emergency facilities.
  • The government recognizes that there will always be some trouble when large groups of people are gathered together, but it is significantly less than what is seen in tent cities.
  • The government is tracking data on the size of treatment facilities and has found that smaller facilities are less likely to experience criminal activity and gangs.
  • The government is opening up smaller shelters that are focused on specific demographics, such as women-only and indigenous-only shelters.
  • The government is working to connect the social services system with the mental health and addictions system to provide a more comprehensive approach to recovery.

Getting past present distress to treat core problems (01:02:36)

  • The "self-authoring" program consists of past, present, and future authoring exercises to help individuals reflect on their past, assess their present, and envision their ideal future.
  • Future authoring exercises have been proven to reduce dropout rates and improve academic performance, especially among disadvantaged young men.
  • Addiction is not just a present craving but also destroys the future, and people need a better plan for their lives to overcome it.
  • Integrating a process that helps people generate a concrete plan is important in addiction treatments.
  • Alberta is committed to helping individuals recover from addiction, building a system that bridges into recovery programs and provides support after treatment to prevent relapse.
  • Alberta's approach to drug addiction is to provide help and support rather than accepting it as a fatal disease.
  • The province is currently reforming its social services system to focus on drug addiction.
  • Hallow's annual Pray 40 challenge encourages Christians to focus on prayer, fasting, and giving during Lent, with this year's challenge focusing on surrender.
  • Tammy Peterson, Jordan Peterson's wife, shared her story of being diagnosed with terminal cancer and surrendering to God during Pray 40.
  • The Hallow app offers a transformative experience to connect with faith and includes an exclusive 3-month free trial with Jordan Peterson's code "Jordan."

Dr. Joan McCord, unintended consequences, tracking progress (01:14:27)

  • A study in Summerville, Massachusetts, found that grouping children prone to criminality together outweighed the positive impacts of interventions, despite offering various resources.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of budgeting for evaluation when introducing interventions to ensure effectiveness and avoid unintended negative consequences.
  • The Alberta government is implementing statistical systems across housing and homeless shelter spectrums to understand the numbers and evaluate program results.
  • The government is also putting in evaluation programs across the entire social services system based on results.
  • The Alberta government is investing millions of dollars in work placement programs to help individuals on welfare programs get back to work, demanding clear assessments based on results to ensure effectiveness and accountability.
  • The government is committed to helping people in need but wants to ensure resources are used efficiently and effectively to achieve results.
  • The government is working to set clear goals and hold funded organizations accountable for achieving those goals, recognizing the complexity of the issue and committed to finding solutions that will help people get out of the system and live independently.

When Jordan Peterson worked for Alberta’s social services department (01:21:03)

  • Jordan Peterson worked for Alberta's social services department in 1984.
  • He was hired as an intern for four months and then as an independent consultant for a year.
  • He was tasked with developing an evaluation system for daycare programs and updating a comprehensive evaluation of social services provision.
  • He discovered that the numbers provided by the previous consulting firm, Deo, were not accurate.
  • The department did not have a clear understanding of how much of its budget was spent on supporting bureaucrats versus delivering direct services.
  • Peterson was shocked that he was hired to do the job, that he could do it better than Deo, and that the department lacked transparency and accountability.

How public services departments track progress and assess cost (01:24:25)

  • The degree to which the Department of Social Services knows its spending and what it's getting for its dollar varies depending on the area of the department.
  • In areas like children with disabilities, people with developmental disabilities, and affordable housing, the department can show clear statistics of investments and results.
  • In more complicated areas, there is a need to do more to track progress and assess cost.
  • Alberta is one of the best provinces in Canada at tracking progress and assessing cost in social services.
  • After 1984, Alberta underwent a fiscal revolution led by former Premier Ralph Klein, which made the province's social services system operate differently from many other provinces.
  • Alberta became more comfortable working with outside agencies, including non-profits and faith-based organizations, to deliver social services.
  • This culture of distributed responsibility is a conservative principle that believes not everything needs to be centralized.
  • The goal is to provide people with responsibilities that give them meaningful lives, rather than relying on centralized agencies for handouts and security.

Tightening restrictions on “gender affirming care” (01:26:51)

  • Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has implemented controversial policies, including restrictions on gender-affirming care for children and minors.
  • Hormone treatment for transgender purposes will not be provided to individuals under 18, except for legitimate medical reasons, and parents must be involved in the decision-making process.
  • The government aims to protect children, ensure proper care, and respect the role of good parents.
  • New legislation restricts mutilating and sterilizing procedures for minors, requires parental notification for discussions about changing pronouns or seeking gender-transition-related treatments, and prohibits underage surgeries and hormonal treatments for transitioning.
  • The government is committed to protecting women's participation in sports without competition from biological or former biological males.
  • Despite criticism, the government remains committed to protecting children and will not back down from its stance.
  • The Alberta government has dismantled over 200 out of 300 tent cities in the province and plans to continue removing any that reappear, including those in underground transit systems.
  • Minister of Justice Jason Nixon emphasizes that the government will not tolerate tent cities and is dedicated to supporting the police in taking them down.
  • The public response to the government's actions has been largely positive, with both the Chief of Police and the Minister receiving more positive correspondence on this issue than any other in the past 10 years.
  • The government is open to discussing the rehabilitation of tent cities with other jurisdictions and believes that Alberta's comprehensive plan can serve as a model for North America.
  • Minister Nixon expressed concern about the direction in which criminal organizations are headed and described it as a "dark and cold place."

Overwhelmed by Endless Content?