The hospital (3942 50A Avenue) was selected by City Council as a potential site for supervised consumption services following approval of an amended land use bylaw that now allows this use on the hospital site.
Initially, City Council considered six potential sites, reducing it to one after hearing from citizens at last night’s public hearing. In addition, City Council will act as the development authority for all potential development permit applications at this site.
“Federal and provincial legislation dictates much of what happens as it relates to supervised consumption services in our community,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “The opioid crisis is a health crisis; however, the land use bylaw we approved today enabled us to have a substantive community discussion about the issue, specifically about where these provincial health services are potentially located. It also enabled City Council to hear from citizens and ensure we consider the needs of our entire community when making local decisions regarding this important issue.”
Supervised consumption services provide a place where people can use illicit drugs in a monitored hygienic environment, and are part of the federal and provincial strategies to reduce harm from opioids and other substances.
Approximately 30 citizens spoke during the public hearing on Tuesday night. City Council then recessed until today, Wednesday, December 20, 2017, when they considered and debated second and third reading of the amended bylaw.
The six sites initially considered included: the hospital (3942 50A Avenue), Turning Point (4611 50 Avenue) Safe Harbour (5256 and 5246 53 Avenue), and the three community health centres (300 Jordan Parkway, 2845 Bremner Avenue, and 4755 49 Street).
“This was a difficult issue for City Council and the community. In approving this bylaw, we aimed to respond to and balance the needs of vulnerable populations in our city with community safety and the health and wellbeing of all citizens,” said Mayor Veer. “This decision is about land use and determining where the services are delivered rather than who delivers the service, and we look forward to continued collaboration with the provincial and federal governments as we continue to navigate the opioid crisis in our province and central Alberta.”
There is no funding for supervised consumptions services being provided by The City of Red Deer as supervised consumption services is a federal and provincial initiative.
A report about potential mobile supervised consumption services will come back to City Council in January 2018.
The City of Red Deer
Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer