Mr. Speaker, Bud Osborn was an extraordinary leader and activist in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. His death has caused grief and sadness of a magnitude rarely seen.
Bud was a critical part of the struggle for the rights and dignity of drug users. He worked tirelessly for the opening of InSite. When times were dark and people felt hopeless, he gave us hope. When people felt that they had no voice, his poetry raised many voices and gave people courage. When people yearned for belonging and community, he led by example and united people in a common cause for human dignity and respect.
He worked with elected representatives, academics, journalists and more to stop the madness of the so-called war on drugs. He spoke the truth always and without equivocation. Bud’s greatest impact was his life’s work for and with those without voice. He showed people that they could speak out, be heard and change the course of history.
In the 100 block East Hastings Street tomorrow, the community will unite to grieve and to celebrate the life of Bud Osborn and what he gave us.