Updated: Mobile supervised consumption site clears first hurdle at Red Deer council

A supervised consumption site may be in Red Deer’s future after council gave first reading to an amendment that would licence a mobile version of the site.

Late last year, council decided the only place in the city where a permanent supervised consumption site could be was the Red Deer Regional Hospital.

Turning Point’s executive director said 17 people have died from an overdose since then.

“It will take several months to make this happen, if it’s a route we want to go,” said Stacey Carmichael. “We could have been well on the way for a permanent site by this time.

“This is a health crisis. If this were any other health concern, resources would be in place, the facility would be operating, and it would have community support. Addictions and people who use drugs are shrouded by stigma.”

Read more: What’s inside Red Deer conucil’s proposal to allow mobile supervised consumption sites.

Carmichael believes a mobile site would be able to prevent some overdose deaths, but a fixed site would provide a significant reduction in those deaths.

At a special meeting Tuesday, council made the first step to approve mobile supervised consumption sites in Red Deer. The issue will return to city council May 28.

“It’s a first step,” said Coun. Ken Johnston. “Obviously, it’s not as ideal as a permanent location. It’s a step we really need to take.”

The bylaw proposes fives locations in Red Deer where a mobile unit could be set up: the hospital, a city parking lot at the intersection of 51st Avenue and 47th Street, near the intersection of 54th Avenue and Taylor Driver, Safe Harbour or the parking lot on 52nd Avenue north of 43rd Street.

A unit, typically a recreational vehicle, would operate under specific hours and would be housed at a separate location when the site is closed.

Coun. Tanya Handley added an amendment to limit the number of permits to one unit. Coun. Lawrence Lee added an amendment requiring the site to be left the way it was found or the provider would face fines.

“I want to see us limit the amount of licences that may be allowed, just until we can see the impact on our community,” said Handley.

Handley supported the motion, but admitted she had some concerns around issues mobile sites have had in Kelowna and Kamloops such as queue management and capacity inside the unit.

“That caused lineups outside, which led to things like fighting and loitering,” she said.

There will be no public hearing about the issue at the May 28 meeting because it is being considered through the city’s license bylaw.

The permanent site was considered as a land-use amendment, which required a public hearing. Land owners within 100 metres of a site will be consulted when an application is made for a licence.

Council did invite public comment, saying there will be an opportunity for people to submit their thoughts about the decision. People can submit written comment by May 19 for inclusion on the May 28 agenda.



mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Red Deer’s indoor trampoline park announces closure

Citing mounting costs, Red Deer’s indoor trampoline park recently announced it was… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of the year

Hundreds came out to the first farmers market of 2018 Saturday

Bighorn Backcountry ATV users in wait-and-see mode on future of West Country access

As off-highway vehicle users started a summer of trail riding on the… Continue reading

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

WINDSOR, England — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gazed into each other’s… Continue reading

Canadians rise for early-morning royal wedding celebrations

It was a thrilling first glimpse of Meghan Markle on her wedding… Continue reading

Red Deer Silhouettes prepare for year-end show

Synchronized swimming team will perform its last show this season May 30

Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip

KATHMANDU, Nepal — A veteran Sherpa guide who scaled Mount Everest for… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of the year

Hundreds came out to the first farmers market of 2018 Saturday

Canadian families among throngs of royal fans camping out for glimpse of newlyweds

WINDSOR, United Kingdom — Intense security measures, massive crowds, jet lag and… Continue reading

Swiss stun Canada, Sweden crushes US in ice hockey semis

COPENHAGEN — Switzerland stunned title favourite Canada 3-2 to reach only its… Continue reading

Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

HAVANA — The only three survivors of Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Lacrosse action heats up in Red Deer

More than 50 teams from across Alberta took part in the Tradition… Continue reading

Canadian royal watchers heartened by unusual wedding role for Prince Charles

An unconventional wedding entrance for an unconventional bride sits just fine with… Continue reading

Street Tales: Life according to music

At Tuesday supper we had the privilege of hearing not one, but… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month