Council approves contentious safe consumption site location

Council approves contentious safe consumption site location

Safe consumption site will go at 5233 54th Ave.

A safe consumption site will go at a contentious downtown location.

Council voted in favour of bylaw changes allowing Turning Point to set up a site to serve those struggling with opioid addictions at 5233 54th Ave., just around the corner from the Safe Harbour Society.

A public hearing two weeks ago drew a huge crowd to council chambers, spilling over into a nearby conference room, where people could watch the hearing through a video link.

Coun. Vesna Higham said she could not support the proposed location,pointing out there was a better location on former public works land nearby that would have less impact on neighbouring businesses.

Higham said she does not support the location because of its proximity to the nearby Central Alberta Archery facility, which attracts 7,000 largely youth visits per year, and the adjacent Harvest International Church, which draws many families.

”I think we need to remember what’s going on in the surrounding area,” she said.

Higham was also concerned that allowing the safe consumption site so close to Safe Harbour would amount to “clustering” social agencies.

Higham was critical of the provincial inaction on taking a co-ordinated approach to the opioid crisis. The city has been begging for more resources, she said.

”That request and those pleas have fallen on deaf ears.”

Coun. Frank Wong acknowledged that a number of concerns have been raised about the location. Most, if not all, of those can be addressed before the city approves a development permit, he said.

Coun.Ken Johnston said the community is facing a health crisis and the time is right to help Turning Point respond.

Johnston called on the city and the community to meet at a “summit” to discuss the opioid crisis and how it can be addressed.

”The status quo is not working.”

Coun. Lawrence Lee said the issues boils down to whether a safe consumption site is a proper land use for the site. It meets that test and the impact of the facility on the neighbourhood can be addressed through city requirements.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NDP MP Heather McPherson pictured in Edmonton on Friday, March 6, 2020. Alberta’s legislature may have been silenced but its partisan warfare has relocated to the House of Commons as MPs hold an emergency debate tonight on the province’s soaring COVID-19 cases. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Kenney under fire during Commons emergency debate on Alberta’s COVID-19 crisis

Edmonton New Democrat MP says Kenney ignored the evidence of science

A General Motors sign in Oshawa, Ont., is photographed on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. General Motors Canada says it will start truck production at its assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont., ahead of schedule. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Oshawa assembly plant restart ahead of schedule, GM Canada says

Closure of plant in 2019 was huge blow to Canada’s manufacturing sector

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2019, file photo, a woman walks by the Australian Embassy in Beijing. China on Thursday, May 6, 2021 suspended an economic dialogue with Australia, stepping up a pressure campaign that began over Australian support for a probe into the origins of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
China suspends economic dialogue with Australia

China’s relations with Australia, India and some other neighbours are increasingly strained

An electric car is seen getting charged at parking lot in Tsawwassen, near Vancouver, Friday, April, 6, 2018. Should Canada introduce a national mandate requiring the auto industry make or sell more zero-emission vehicles is a question facing the Liberal government as it’s not on the road to meet its own sales targets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Should Canada mandate sales targets for electric vehicles? Report says ‘yes’

Parliamentary committee studied how to incentivize the purchase and production of electric vehicles

LtE bug
Letter: Restrictions are a crime against humanity

I was distressed to note the seemingly superficial understanding of the holocaust… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: Follow restrictions so pandemic can be behind us

From one who feels that COVID could have been overcome long ago… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: Westerner needs help now

I have spent the last few days sifting through many pieces of… Continue reading

Jets beat Flames 4-0 to snap seven-game losing streak and clinch playoff spot

Jets beat Flames 4-0 to snap seven-game losing streak and clinch playoff spot

Most Read