Letter: Slow movement on supervised consumption site

In her column, defending the city’s lack of action on implementing a supervised consumption site in Red Deer, Mayor Veer only clarified her and council’s allegiances, which were already eminently clear to any casual observer.

The proposal to locate the supervised consumption site in the existing Turning Point harm reduction facilities, a location accessible and familiar to those who need the service, was rejected, she writes, “out of concern that it would be an intensification of use not suited to the commercial core of the downtown district.”

This decision has led to delays while council seeks a less accessible, less familiar location for the service, during which overdose deaths have continued apace.They wish to hide away the misery and social problems facilitated by the city’s subservience to business interests in parts of the city not designated the “commercial core.” Anyone familiar with the environs of Turning Point on Little Gaetz must be aware that it is generous at best to refer to it as part of the “commercial core.” The city’s efforts to widen the sidewalks, presumably so that they can call it part of the “commercial core,” have done nothing to change the fact that the area has little ongoing commercial activity. Council’s decision to reject Turning Point as a site for an SCS service, and their subsequent refusal to revisit this decision, amount to nothing more than a full-throated endorsement of gentrification, at the likely cost of human lives.

Timothy Arthur, Red Deer

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