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Rally held at Queen's Park to push province to end review of consumption treatment sites

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More than two dozen people boarded a bus in Barrie on Tuesday morning to join countless others at Queen's Park to call on the Ford government to ends its review of provincially-funded consumption treatment sites (CTS).

The halt and review measure was prompted by a fatal shooting outside a consumption and treatment site in Toronto nearly one year ago.

Since then, proposed sites, including the one on Innisfil Street in Barrie, have been in limbo, which advocates say is unacceptable.

"We got one that's set to open and supposed to be open at this building at 11 Innisfil, and that's been delayed at least two years, if not three," said Silas Randell, a representative with Barrie Homelessness and Housing Justice Network.

"I feel like it's really irresponsible to use a tragedy that tore apart the lives of a family in Toronto and pit that against a whole community who do drugs, instead of actively engaging in supporting the community as a whole," said Gilbert Centre Harm Reduction manager Sarah Tilley.

The rally at Queen's Park on Tuesday saw community groups from Timmins, Sudbury, Windsor and several other municipalities band together to push the province to take a step forward.

The proposed CTS on Innisfil Street in Barrie remains vacant while the approval process is 'on pause' during the province's review process.

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