Controversial issue of a safe consumption site in Barrie remains in limbo
Published Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:47PM EDT
It's been nearly two months since the words 'safe consumption site' (SCS) have been uttered in Barrie Council chambers.
The highly controversial issue was front and centre at Monday evening's meeting, dividing both residents and elected officials.
"I think if you want to help people, build treatment centres. Don't give them a drug hotel where they shoot up and do drugs," said resident Neil Little.
"I am fundamentally dead against having an injection site in Barrie," said Councillor Mike McCann. "This can drastically change neighbourhoods and even change the culture of our city."
But Mayor Jeff Lehman continues to sit on the other side of that fence. "I've made no secret of my view that we need a supervised consumption site in Barrie."
Last night Councillor McCann rescinded a motion he put forward in June to pay $50,000 to hire an independent consultant to investigate the recommended location for the SCS at 90 Mulcaster Street.
"There were no consultants that were able to get the information that we needed, very thorough information by October. This is a huge deal," McCann explained.
Council will instead rely on an upcoming report by the committee behind the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy. It is in the process of forming an advisory committee to look at more options for locations in the city's downtown core.
Councillors also voted to eliminate the October deadline to give the committee the time necessary to return with a new report, leaving the issue open-ended for the time being.