(Contributed image).

(Contributed image).

Six Red Deer locations to be considered for supervised drug consumption site

Public hearing will be held on Dec. 19 in council chambers

Red Deer council left its options open by giving initial approval for six possible locations for a supervised drug consumption site in the city.

At a special meeting Monday, council resolved to consider allowing the site to open at the Turning Point or Safe Harbour facilities, Red Deer hospital, or the health clinics in Johnstone Park, 49th Street, or Bremner Avenue.

Administrators had presented four recommended locations for council’s consideration. As well as Turning Point, Safe Harbour and Red Deer hospital, a mobile unit was suggested. But council wasn’t in favour of the latter, since a mobile unit can’t easily be regulated.

Councillors unanimously agreed to direct administrators to suggest new bylaws by the end of January that could be applied to help regulate mobile units.

Adding the city’s three community health clinics as possible locations for the supervised drug consumption site was suggested by Coun. Dianne Wyntjes, since the facilities deal with health issues, and the opioid crisis is a major health concern.

Not all councillors liked this amendment, however. Mayor Tara Veer noted the health clinics are located close to some residential neighbourhoods. She and councillors Buck Buchanan, Vesna Higham, and Tanya Handley voted against Wyntjes’ amendment. But it was still carried by the majority of council, who wanted health clinics to be part of the discussion.

A public hearing on the site location will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 19 in council chambers.

Council, which will be the authorizing body on the controversial question, wants to hear from individuals, businesses and social service groups, either at the meeting or in emailed comments over the next two weeks.

Council was previously told it had no say on whether a consumption site was needed in Red Deer. An Oct. 3 letter from the health minister bluntly stated municipal input was neither requested nor wanted, since a Turning Point needs assessment determined such a site was needed to deal with Central Alberta’s opioid crisis.

Council continued expressing frustration that its voice wasn’t heard, asking for a copy of a needs assessment on having a supervised consumption site in Red Deer.

The information vacuum caused Coun. Handley to be the one dissenting vote on possible location sites. Handley said she couldn’t make an informed decision because she lacked knowledge on the issue.

But Coun. Lawrence Lee said it’s better for council to at least have a say over land use, since “our hand has been forced” by the province.

Wyntjes and Coun. Ken Johnston spoke about the urgency of doing something to help stem the opioid crisis that is causing a high number of fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Red Deer.

While the community health clinics being considered as possible locations are close to residential areas, Wyntjes said it’s good to have all possibilities on the table before narrowing options. “The other downtown locations are close to the business community,” so someone will always be affected, she added.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

safe injection site

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

Just Posted

The Red Deer Rebels will have three new assistant coaches when the WHL regular season starts on Friday. Brad Flynn (left), will be on the bench alongside fellow assistant Ryan Colville (right) head coach Brent Sutter (middle). (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Sutter steps down as Red Deer Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner, GM and head coach Brent Sutter has stepped… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney announced $200 million more money that will benefit seniors living in continuing care on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program expanding

Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program will expand to as many as… Continue reading

Parents and students learned Tuesday what the coming school year will look like. It's pretty much back to business as usual, said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. School precautions include frequent cleaning, keeping students in the same groups where possible, planning the school day to allow for physical distancing and staying home when sick. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s largest school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

CALGARY — Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the… Continue reading

Cowboy Kicks, originally scheduled for May 5, will now take place Sept. 18. (Contributed photo)
Westerner Park’s Cowboy Kicks fundraiser moved to Sept. 18

A major fundraiser for Westerner Park and the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Josh Tarzwell tries to tip a point shot past Lethbridge Hurricanes goalie Car Tetachuk in WHL action Friday night at the Centrium. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels struggles continue, drop seventh straight to Hurricanes

Hurricanes score three power-play goals in 6-3 win

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher makes a shot against Italy at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Men’s world curling championship in Calgary in COVID limbo

CALGARY — The men’s world curling championship in Calgary remained suspended Saturday… Continue reading

Pipes intended for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are shown in Gascoyne, N.D. on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Non-profit Quebec law centre to aid environmental group targeted by Alberta oil firm

QUEBEC — The Quebec Environmental Law Centre is coming to the aid… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives cite empathy, relationships as ways to help expand their movement

OTTAWA — Conservatives should show empathy with Black residents who say they’ve… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. New Democrats are reconvening for the second day of a three-day policy convention as they look to push past the glitches of the virtual event's opening sessions and rally around keynote speaker John Horgan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
New Democrats reconvene as hiccups, frustrations plague national policy convention

OTTAWA — New Democrats reconvened Saturday for the second day of a… Continue reading

Owner of 4 Point Taekwondo Kevin Mejia holds a board as organizer and martial artist Kevin Olsen breaks it in Edmonton on Friday, April 9, 2021. One hundred martial artists from around the world, will be breaking a board for an event called "Break for a Breakthrough." The idea is for martial artists to unite and re-engage with the arts because they may have drifted away or lost enthusiasm as a result of the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Break for a Breakthrough: Canadian hosts international martial arts demonstration

EDMONTON — Whether he’s breaking a wooden board, a clay tile, cement… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Ediburgh, left, look on as Manitoba Beaver peaks out of his box at a July 14, 1970 ceremony in which Hudson's Bay Company observed an old tradition. The death of Prince Philip has reminded a small French village in Manitoban about how a royal visit half a century ago made the community the centre of frog racing in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Prince Philip’s frog-jumping legacy in a Manitoba French community

WINNIPEG — The death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has reminded… Continue reading

The Yukon provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. Yukon residents will head to the polls on Monday for Canada's fourth election held during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Yukon residents set to vote in fourth election held in Canada during pandemic

WHITEHORSE — Yukon residents will head to the polls on Monday for… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday, March 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals set to debate universal basic income, pharmacare, OAS hike

OTTAWA — Grassroots Liberals have taken up Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s call… Continue reading

Most Read