If a mobile supervised drug injection site bylaw is approved for Red Deer, the trailer could only stop on land with signed property owners’ consent.
This stipulation is included in proposed new rules for mobile SCS that are expected to go to Red Deer city council next month. Another stipulation is that a proposed schedule of stops be provided to the city.
Erin Stuart, the city’s licensing and inspections manager, said no property owners have yet been consulted on the bylaw, even though five sites were suggested as possible stops for the trailer.
Kath Hoffman expressed surprise on Monday that a parking lot outside the mat shelter she operates as executive director of Safe Harbour Society was one of these proposed sites. She said no one from the city had talked to her.
“We haven’t had those conversations,” said Stuart because the suggested locations had previously been considered for SCS permanent sites during the process of amending the land use bylaw. (This was done before council approved Red Deer hospital grounds as an appropriate site for SCS site.)
Other proposed sites are: the Red Deer hospital parking lot; the old Bettenson’s Sand and Gravel site (at 4310, 4320, 4322, and 4348 52nd Ave.); the city’s old parks department building at 4934 54th Ave; and city parking lot P9 at 5000 47th St.
So far, Stuart said no neighbouring residents have called with concerns. And no one has so far applied to operate a mobile SCS unit in the city, since the bylaw is not yet in place.
Red Deer non-profit Turning Point prefers to open a permanent SCS site, but no location has been found that’s agreeable to both the city and the harm reduction group.
The proposed mobile supervised consumption services bylaw is expected to go before city council on May 14 or May 28. Stuart said it would not require a public hearing, but there will be a two-week period for the public to write or call the city with feedback.