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

Pope Francis, third from left, watches Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI entering St. Peter’s Basilica accompanied by Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Vatican clears retired US bishop of multiple abuse claims

Retired Wyoming Bishop Joseph Hart exonerated

A dealer slides chips across a blackjack table on Friday, March 16, 2012, in Bangor, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Robert F. Bukaty
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after travel to Yukon: media reports

Couple intercepted at the Whitehorse airport trying to leave Yukon

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

FILE - In this March 10, 2011, file photo, then-Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia. President Joe Biden has been thrown into a high-wire act with Russia as he seeks to toughen his administration’s stance against Putin while preserving room for diplomacy in a post-Donald Trump era. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
Arms deal, hacking complicate Joe Biden’s approach to Russia

Biden wants to manage differences with Russia

People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus walk on the Odaiba waterfront as Olympic rings is seen in the background in Tokyo, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Tokyo Olympic Q&A: Officials try to explain how games happen

‘Playbooks’ to provide step-by-step details on how athletes and others will get safely in and out of Tokyo

Canadian clothing line Rubies specializes in form-fitting clothing for trans and non-binary girls. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Toronto father-daughter duo design swimsuit tailored to transgender children

A Canadian clothing line is helping transgender kids feel confident at the… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs alumni George Armstrong, right, and son of Maple Leafs alumni Syl Apps, Syl Apps Jr., shake hands during a pre-game ceremony before the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets NHL game in Toronto on February 21, 2015. George Armstrong, who captained the Toronto Maple Leafs to four Stanley Cups in the '60s and wore the blue and white his entire career, has died. He was 90. The Maple Leafs confirmed the death Sunday on Twitter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
Former Maple Leafs captain George Armstrong dies

Former Maple Leafs captain George Armstrong dies

Green Bay Packers' Adrian Amos pauses after losing the NFC championship NFL football game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. The Buccaneers defeated the Packers 31-26 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Aaron Rodgers’ ‘uncertain’ future hangs over Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers’ ‘uncertain’ future hangs over Green Bay

Toronto Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich calls the plays on the sideline against Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the first half of CFL action in Winnipeg on August 14, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Scott Milanovich steps down as Edmonton’s head coach to pursue opportunities in NFL

Scott Milanovich steps down as Edmonton’s head coach to pursue opportunities in NFL

Most Read