Barrie Council has decided to forgo a consultant’s examination of a potential safe consumption site, said to be removing road blocks for those behind the SCS application.
Matt Turner, Harm Reduction Coordinator for the Gilbert Centre, is one of those behind the application for the SCS, and he was pleased by some decisions made at Monday’s council meeting. “In a way, it’s good news. They’re not stopping the work we’re doing. They’re not impeding the work we’re doing, and they’re allowing us to continue, which is positive. It’s good to see they’re recognizing we’re the ones to provide the information they’re looking for, and not go to an outside source.”
Council on Monday voted to undo a motion that would see $50,000 spent on an independent consultant to examine the efficacy of safe consumption sites, citing lack of funds and time. A similar study is currently being conducted by the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy.
“The decision from last night allows us to continue the conversation with the community that we were planning on doing this summer anyways.” continued Turner. “It is positive that council has decided to allow us to continue to do the work we were doing beforehand.” Council voted to prompt the SCS applicants to hold public consultations on all proposed sites, and not just the preferred site at 90 Mulcaster.
The hotly debated SCS application is being submitted by The Gilbert Centre, with assistance from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe Branch.