Barrie City Council has put off a decision on a supervised consumption site application, after a series of deputations brought some conflicts to light.
Nine deputations were given during Monday’s meeting, in response to last week’s preliminary approval of the SCS application, the majority of which specifically spoke against the location. It was brought to light that the proposed location of 90 Mulcaster is about 150m away from Berczy Park, which contravenes a provincial guideline that a supervised consumption site is not within 200m of a school, park, or daycare.
The City has voted to give those behind the SCS application, the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS) two weeks to not only address location concerns, but also look at any other viable locations within the city, with council suggesting the downtown bus terminal be considered.
Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman was among the minority who voted against this deferral, and made his disagreement with the majority known. “I think that does an enormous disservice, not only to the six months of work by the public health unit, the CMHA, Busby Centre and the Gilbert Centre, but also to our public.” said Lehman at Monday’s meeting. “because instead of having a discussion around whether it’s a good site or not a good site, now we have simply passed direction that says come up with something else.”
Lehman adds he felt Monday’s vote was ill advised “The reality is, we’re not even giving SMOS a chance to come and talk about their process. We’re just deciding tonight on the basis of nine deputations. And I hear those concerns, but it is a process that only allows people to come forward and criticize.”
The Supervised Consumption Site application will be before council in two weeks’ time.