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  • Safe Injection Sites
    Edmonton MP weighs in on safe injection sites; city councillors fire back
    By Julia Wong Digital Broadcast Journalist Global News

    WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton is speeding up a plan to open supervised injection sites in the inner city. Julia Wong reports on how the conversation is now ramping up even more.
    A A

    The debate over supervised injection sites in Edmonton has taken another step – with local Members of Parliament jumping in.

    On Monday, the Community and Public Services Committee will be discussing a report that shows 74 per cent of 1,869 survey respondents agree with the city’s proposed approach. That proposal would see supervised injection sites at the Boyle McCauley Health Centre, Boyle Street Community Services, the George Spady Society and the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

    RELATED: Edmonton accelerates plan to offer safe injection services in inner city

    The report was moved up in city council’s schedule to accelerate the process to open the sites; the mayor and police chief would be required to write letters of opinion to the federal government, which would then grant an exemption for a site to be opened.

    Warren Champion, a board member for the Central McDougall Community League, said he is concerned about the sites being concentrated in one part of the city.

    “Why don’t you actually take these sites to where the people are actually doing the drugs, which means off of Whyte Avenue, which means the West End, and you find a way to actually address the people who live in the River Valley?” he said.

    “What you do to the communities when you take all of those types of services and you put them in a very concentrated area… I don’t think anybody wants to live next to an injection site.”

    Champion said he is concerned about how the sites will affect the quality of life of residents in the area. He also expressed concerns about the consultation done by the city, saying there were none. However, a report going to committee Monday says there were six open houses, an online questionnaire, meetings with community leagues and door knocking around each of the agencies where the service will be provided.

    READ MORE: Supervised-injection service locations for drug users announced in Edmonton

    Concerns are making their way to the federal level; Edmonton Griesbach Conservative MP Kerry Diotte said he has been in touch with worried constituents.

    “These people are coming to me. They’re at their wit’s end they have not been heard,” he said.

    “People don’t feel they are consulted. That’s frustrating people.”

    However, Diotte is under fire himself. In a radio interview, he referred to supervised injection sites as “shooting galleries.”

    “That’s what people are calling them in my constituency.”

    That comment is drawing the ire of city councillors; Ward 5 Councillor Michael Oshry said he found the comment “offensive.”

    “At the end of the day, everyone should be working for what’s best for the people that live in those areas of the city, including in Diotte’s riding. These are constituents of his and I would think that he would be doing what he can to support them,” he said.

    “This is an issue of people dying every day.”

    Oshry also said Diotte’s comments were not a positive contribution to the conversation.

    “Those kinds of comments are fearmongering and trying to rile up neighbours for reasons I don’t know why. But when you look at the evidence, this is the right thing to do. It’s a more effective way of dealing with this medical problem,” he said.

    “The city and Alberta Health has done a lot of work on determining where these sites should be and how they should operate and what services they should include. I’m not sure the [MP is] actually up to speed on what is happening.”

    Oshry said the community consultation will be discussed at Monday’s meeting.

    -with files from Caley Ramsay

    © 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
    I had heard talk of this, but this thing really looks like it has legs and I can't find it on this forum.

    Does this actually to anything to address the homeless and mental health issues roaming around downtown?

    Why do we have to keep making Boyle-McCauley the dumping ground for all of Edmonton's social ills?

  • #2
    it certainly does seem to have legs but it doesn't have universal support. on that front, i find it interesting that those that complain about used needles and kits in back lanes and vacant lots seem to have an objection to safe injection sites. from my perspective, if you're finding used needles and kits in back lanes and vacant lots, you already have an injection site. what's proposed won't solve all the problems but it will address some of the symptoms and be closer to some of the solutions...

    boyle mccauley doesn't need to a dumping ground for all of our social ills. on the other hand, it's interesting to look past the statistics that create that impression. i'm not sure how broad the statistics so i won't attribute them to the entire community but it's my understanding that 60% of the existing housing in the quarters is subsidized/affordable. one solution would be to move it elsewhere but that moves away from many of the support services in the area (including things like the main library and being close to our main central transit hub). a better one would be to encourage more market housing to change that mix. i find it interesting that many of those that think there is too much imbalance presently were also opposed to the alldritt proposal (albeit not all for the same reasons) which would be a good start to changing the mix and the impressions of the neighborhood.
    Last edited by kcantor; 01-05-2017, 11:56 AM.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee


    • #3
      Would you be amazed. The same city that take education taxes and blow it on entertainment and getting a casino built as priority. Where you find 5 liquor stores on every block. Everything they can to destroy people and family's, dumb you down


      • #4


        • #5
          I like the idea of safe injection sites for addicts. I wonder though, why are there two sites at the Spady and Boyle Street Co-Op?
          "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.


          • #6
            I live in the community, there is not the support they are talking about it's a complete lie! There has been zero consultation, door knocking during the day while some in the community are at work is not sufficient. Everything is based on their word.

            I have been quiet, and I believe many others have been maybe hoping this would go away.

            this area is a complete disaster, I personally am going to lose over $100,000 dollers ( to date I've spent $225000 in just materials)I have invested into my home less then 1 block from McCauley health services. I'm not including thousands( I'm not kidding here) of hours doing all the work myself. I'm a red seal journeyman carpenter who has spent 10 years of hardcore savings, ruptured my bicep working myself into the ground , over a seven year span.

            Who am i?
            Im 34, I have a girlfriend, plan on kids, I make 6 figure, and ignorant to think that cities can change for the positive.
            I have isolated myself from my sister who refuses to visit me because she's terrified to even go from her vehicle to my door. ( this is my only family I have) I have dealt with judgement/ ridicule from 90% of people I know and have worked with, with the other 10% overly positive and feeling like I really made a great decision. Well this does have legs, I'm unfortunately totally f***ed on being able to sell, without moving backwards 7 years of hard savings. I am looking at wrapping up the final renos( which this area has sucked all the energy out of me already, so this will be another year to do). And will be moving,holding onto the house as a rental hoping for the best to find renters every 6-12 months relying on leases to pin people down. This is is what's happening instead of providing help for addicts they are going to make things worse. The city will never be able to correct the blunders of the past and this will forever be a ghetto going forward. I believe I'm the demographic the city wanted more of downtown which I actually started to see happen.

            Thanks for ruining my life


            • #7
              And to the critics:

              I will consider trading properties to get out of this area


              • #8
                i feel for you swill. I dont see why the we should start with 4 sites. Start with one or two and evaluate how they affect the community and see if additional sites are needed.


                • #9
                  The worst part is even if they had one site it would be 99% likely at the McAuley health centre
                  McAuley health centre has proven themselves to be a bad neighbour and they have not earned the social merit on what they have done to this community on allowing people sleeping on their property 24 hours a day shooting up needles

                  I had Jane Molstad at my house two years ago and she was telling me everything was perfect everything was going to get better there was massive changes coming for the positive Lotta buildings were going to get shut down houses re-renovated new house is built .there's a lot more in the details how about that the needle pick up has seen a 40% increase in the amount of needles but yet they hire two full-time people to pick up needles so there's just more people picking up needles this is all been a preamble to get this site past

                  The original grant was for approximately $500,000 and as a lot of smart average Joe people say follow the money someone's getting a handout as much as they say they care about life this does not preserve life this creates more addicts. if you want to save lives have detox centres available 24 hours a day without six week waiting list


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The_Cat View Post
                    I like the idea of safe injection sites for addicts. I wonder though, why are there two sites at the Spady and Boyle Street Co-Op?
                    Because one will be daytime, one will be night time. I believe just based on each agency's hours, but there could be other reasons.
                    There can only be one.


                    • #11
                      ^^I get where you're coming from - my brother lived on the block south of Lucky 97 for several years. We visited with our kids, but it wasn't a place to hang out outside. His issues were similar to what you've recounted in previous threads, lots of petty crime and public disorder.

                      I hope that you're wrong, and that the safe injection sites will make things better rather than worse. Most of the data that I've seen reported indicates that it should, but it's not like there's a whole lot out there.

                      Once the safe injection sites are open I hope that the authorites can start to take public use and intoxication more seriously - there will be no excuse.
                      There can only be one.


                      • #12
                        Definitely a good idea, as long as it's implemented right.

                        In other "well, duh" news, Diotte says something dumb, again.
                        "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal


                        • #13
                          The problem is nobody would want it next door to them. The one in the alex is logical to me (although why not all hospitals? e.g. Miscordia, etc.), but the other two, I don't know. I think its risking just making the area more of a draw for poverty - basically ghettoizing neighborhoods like what happened in East Village. Rather than Boyle / MacCauley, I'd prefer see it in Churchill square or somewhere else in the CBD, which is a short walk. It could be attached to City Hall. After all, downtown is for everyone isn't it?
                          Last edited by moahunter; 02-05-2017, 10:39 AM.


                          • #14
                            Watch The drain of any good people that do exist in South Mcc.Auley this is going to ghettoize the entire area for years to come this will never leave this will never get shut down investment is going going to dry up I for one am leaving, this has killed me as a person I'm broken

                            this city is a disgrace


                            • #15
                              I'm not sure I understand why you feel that safe injection sites are going to make the problem in the area worse. Isn't that basically the exact opposite of what has been experienced every time they're tried in other cities? They don't increase, encourage, or concentrate drug use. That drug use is already happening with or without the injection site.