One deadly trend
Public health officials are coming together to warn Canadians about a condition already infecting thousands, and spreading rapidly among youth: art.
In the past year alone, there have been a dozen cases of youth dying of art, along with hundreds more overdoses and emergency room visits.
Pediatricians have now published a guidance for parents, detailing the early warning signs of art. Among a lengthy list of musical subgenres, art indicators include:
- vegan cooking,
- heavy meme use,
- sudden interest in sustainability.
But for so many Canadians, these warnings don’t come soon enough.
One mother’s tragedy
Leanne Sulleniuk lost her child Mary to a swift and violent struggle with art. In an open letter to the Weststar, the grieving mother detailed the harrowing descent of a promising child.
“When I was kid, we experimented — musical theatre, improv — but we turned out fine. So when I suspected that Mary was doing poetry, it really didn’t seem like a big deal. We still ate dinner together. We still watched sitcoms and talent shows — less than before, but I just thought that’s the way kids were supposed to be.
“Then so, so suddenly, Mary’s friends were groundswelling a participatory dance installation — unpacking the analog negotiation of settler identities in early-web culture(s). And it wasn’t just kids being kids any more.”
Sulleniuk ends the viral letter with a haunting plea for her fellow parents:
“That “art” put my family through hell. If you’re not careful, it could be your child that doesn’t come home.”
One country’s choice
On Tuesday, the Tories’ shadow minister of health was greeted with a round of boos for breaking party line and tabling legislation based on Senate subcommittee recommendations to ease sentencing and pursue medicalization for low-grade art. Her fellow Tories continue to call instead for increased police funding to dent the supply of art and prosecute more dealers.
Politicians have been trading barbs about public safety since a Montreal attorney refused to prosecute a group of young adults suspected of operating a safe space for graphic design, a cheap and highly synthesized form of art, which brings high prices on the street.
Quebec’s health minister created a stir after tweeting with the hashtag #art, a symbol widely used to show solidarity among criminals and addicts. The Liberal government condemned the minister’s tweets, calling them “a reckless embrace of irresponsible urges.” The minister later apologized, and accused artists of hacking his account.
When asked by the Weststar about the controversy, convicted artists responded only, “ceci n’est pas un commentaire.”
This commercial article was published with the support of the Centres of Research and Advocacy for Public Health. If you or a loved one is struggling with art, contact us to learn more about support services in your area.