Not in my backyard -

Not in my backyard

Montreal residents worry a new Inuit treatment centre in their part of the city will bring trouble


A significant number of residents of Villeray, part of a Montreal borrough in the north of the city, don’t want Inuit patients in their neighbourhood. Reacting to provincial government plans to turn a vacant hospital into a treatment centre for 150 Inuit natives from the northern reaches of the province, a flyer was distributed to homes warning of “imminent danger” in the form of increased crime and prostitution should the Inuit patients be brought in. “There is a primary school, a high school and several kindergartens in the area,” says resident Nicholas Polyzos. “Why put the centre here? Just because they have a vacant hospital?” For her part, Jeannie May, head of Inuit health and social services agency, says the neighbours are confusing Inuit with homeless natives. “Most of the patients arriving in Montreal aren’t in very good health, and aren’t in shape to run around the city and party,” she says.

La Presse

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Not in my backyard

  1. Surely that’s “Inuit”, not “Inuvik”. Inuvik is a town in the Northwest Territories. The patients are Inuit from northern Quebec. I note the original article refers to Inuit.

  2. Won't somebody think of the children!

    (Of which there must be many, as there is a need for "several kindergartens")

  3. Why even include "Inuvik" in the headline at all. I wouldn't want ANY treatment centre in my backyard and specifying that it is Inuit seems like an attempt to paint the objectors as racists.

    • It is not a "TREATMENT CENTRE" the Inuit from Nunavik need in Montreal but a PATIENT TRANSIT HOUSE. The headline of this story has it incorrect.

  4. I don't like throwing around the accusation casually, but their concerns strike me as at least somewhat racist.

    • I'd say you are throwing around the term casually. The biggest health issue in Inuit communities is substance abuse. With substance abuse typically comes crime. Racism has nothing to do with their concerns. If the hospital is intended to be a hospital and not a detox/rehab centre, then I think they have no reason to be concerned.

    • Oh, their concerns are somewhat racist. There are a lot of people who have prejudices against Natives: a lot of decent, normally opened minded people I know are convinced Natives are lazy, useless, alcoholics who will never amount to anything.

  5. I had started to prepare a comment on this topic, but I could not find a way to express my concerns carefully enough. It had to do with the "grain of truth" syndrome behind most prejudices, the evil of prejudices, the demons many disadvantaged persons struggle against (often unsuccessfully), and the wide, wide variety of tempting demons available in the big city. So maybe I should just leave the laundry list at that and everybody can bring his or her own biases to weave a tapestry of their choice from the items listed.

  6. The truth is ugly, and the people in the town are finally finding the gonads to admit it.

    If it comes to fruition, you can be sure there WILL be an increase in:
    -drug abuse
    -public drunkeness
    -drug abuse

    However, I believe the institute is meant to fix these very things. The fact that they are Inuit has little to do with it other than the fact that these troubled folks just happen to be from that Community.

    I've recently moved from Victoria, and we had plenty of whites that fit those very same categories. Drug-addled, shiftless, and to be completely honest…..of absolutely no value to society in their current state. Fix them….or get rid of them. (jail/institute…I don't care which)

  7. I sympathize with the folks who live in the area, however, they continue to vote for bleeding hearts, social worker-types, etc…….

    If they don't want "garbage" in the neighborhood…… for someone who won't allow it. Although….given it's Quebec, my advice would be to get some extra locks for the door…and maybe some fencing.

    Good luck.

  8. It is not a "New Treatment Centre" that Inuit want but a transit house for hospital patients because there isn't adequate hospital facilities in Nunavik (northern Quebec) so patients must go to Montreal for medical treatment. A "treatment centre" implies a place where people would go to be rehabilitated for substance abuse. Also ironic, Inuit want to move from the present patient transit house In the NDG area of Montreal because it is too rough and dangerous around there, but a few people in Villeray think Inuit patients staying there will make their neighbourhood too rough and dangerous.

    • I live in NDG, not far from where this "treatment center" is located. Our community is in no way "too rough and dangerous". If anything, it's many of the patients of this centre that are the ones who are constantly getting themselves into trouble with neighborhood residents, as well as with the police. A lot of these "patients" have the tendecy to binge drink frequently, thereby getting themselves into trouble frequently. Now, by no means am I suggesting that all Inuit are like this, because there actually are quite a few that carry themselves with respect and pride, and actually come down to Montreal in order to seek medical treatment. On the other hand though there are also many who tend to use this time in the city for than just treatment, and take it one step too far in the process! I personally think that medical treatment centers such as this one are a good idea, but they should in no way be located in the core of a major city where patients have easy access to alcohol and illegal narcotics.

  9. IMPORTANT NOTE: It is NOT a Drug Treatment Centre, it is a transit house for Nunavimmiut (Inuit of Nunavik) who require medical treatment in southern hospitals. There is a limited range of medical services available in Nunavik, and thus patients who require specialized care for cancer or pre-mature births, for example, must come to Montreal to have medical attention.

    In fact, my mother is in Montreal at this very moment, receiving medical attention which is not available in the North. She is a normal person, like any normal patient seeking medical attention. For anyone to suggest that my Mother, or any others who come to Montreal to have medical attention is "garbage" as JamesHalifax said in his disturbing, racist, and deeply offensive post, is just sick.

  10. Joey Flowers wrote:
    "In fact, my mother is in Montreal at this very moment, receiving medical attention which is not available in the North. She is a normal person, like any normal patient seeking medical attention. For anyone to suggest that my Mother, or any others who come to Montreal to have medical attention is "garbage" as JamesHalifax said in his disturbing, racist, and deeply offensive post, is just sick. "

    Sorry Joe……but the term "treatment center" is for the most part synonomous with drug addicts, prostitutes, and generally unwelcome people with very bad habits.

    If you get angry about anything, get angry with the person who wrote the article, because the warnings and comments he/she wrote make it sound exactly like the kind of place no one would want in their neighborhood.

    If this place is simply a place to heal for the sick……I can see no problems with it.

  11. by the way Joey flowers…..when I referred to "garbage" I was talking about junkies, hookers, and other folks' no one would want as neighbours.

    You will note my comments about Victoria.

  12. So let me get this straight. Residents passed around flyers warning of “imminent danger” because sick people of another ethnicity want a hospital to stay at? Reminds me of that rural Quebec town that passed a municipal law stating it’s “illegal to stone your wife” which was rightfully seen by the country as racist and anti-Islam and the town that passed it had NO Muslims living there anyway. For example two Inuit patients that are in Montreal as this story passes are there for spina bifida treatment (12 year old girl) and an emergency appendectomy (17 year old girl). VERY dangerous sounding. To say people are “dangerous” because they need health care and treatment but are of a different ethnicity is barbaric, backwards, frightening and sad.

  13. I think the write from La Presse has some "splainin" to do.

    He or she wrote this thing up to sound like the kind of place filled with drug addicts, hookers, and other assorted dirt bags. There is no indication this is a place for the sick to get better.

  14. Geez, you people think that Inuit people are all drug addicts, alcholics, crimnals, and everything else that you guys are saying.

    I'm a STUDENT of MONTREAL! I''ve been going to college for 2 years and I don't DRINK, I've never touch DRUGS, I'm NOT a crimnal!
    I was raised by a non-inuk and an inuk
    In every race theres alcholics, drug addict and crimnals and yet your forcus is on us!
    I'm not the typical stero-type Inuk. and yet I will also be judge because of my race. I will alway be an alcholic/drug addict through youe eyes. You will try not to get to know me even if I'm different. It's ok, I love myself and my people. You will never see for what I truely am.
    And how there is different Inuits, people who are not drug addicts or alcholics.

  15. I am Inuk and at times go to Montreal for medical reasons when I go with my family, I went with my mother who needed assistance when she went to Montreal for heart surgery, father for cataract surgery and sister who goes to hospital regularly for being physically challenged. Was I danger to public, cause prostitution or became prosititute and drugged myself and others? This is the question I ask who assume all Inuit are addicts and alcoholics. Personally, I dont want to label anyone, do have non Inuit and Inuit who have lived/live in main street. When will we hear their side of the story, who are they, where are they coming from? Arent we all responsible for each other?

    We are so quick to judge others without cleaning our own backyards first, eating others vomit and vomitting towards others (saying my father used to say). Frankly I am still standing, one of the greatest word of advise my father used to say. And I firmly am on stand tall together.

    I encourage people and thank people who came together and supported/support for center to have access for medical treatment Inuit need.

    I am not make sense, at least I wrote what I wanted to say.


  16. I've been living in the NDG are of Montreal all my life, only a few blocks away from where this so called "treatment center" is currently located, and needless to say I am one of the MANY residents who will be very relieved when this place finally closes down and relocates.

    On a daily basis the residents of this treatment center are spend most of their time binge drinking at local bars, and purchasomg large amounts of alcohol at local depanneurs and grocery stores. As a result, they often get into scuffles with many of the local residents, passing out on sidewalks and street corners, and getting into altercations with the police. I find it pretty difficult to believe that these people are here supposedly getting medical treatment, yet are allowed to go out and drink themselves stupid on a nightly basis and get themselves into trouble. It seems more like an all inclusive vacation resort to them than anything else.

    This medical facility should not be located in an urban neighborhood where there is easy access to aclohol, but rather in a more secluded location where they can get the proper treatment and rehabilitation that they need!