Pubdate: Tue, 11 Jan 2005
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Gordon Kent


EDMONTON - Edmonton should consider creating a safe injection site for drug 
addicts if a pilot project in Vancouver is successful, deputy police chief 
Mike Bradshaw says.

"If the community sees fit down the road to support a project like that, 
that would probably be a benefit," he said Monday following a presentation 
to council's community services committee.

"But we would want to see a proper assessment done before we came out and 
supported it ... the whole issue of addictions is really a health issue, 
not a police issue."

The idea is strongly opposed by Coun. Mike Nickel, who insists tax money 
shouldn't be spent helping illegal activities.

"I'm not without compassion, but there's also got to be a sense of fair 
play and equity here. I and others follow the rules ... some people decide 
to do something else, that's their choice," he said.

"We will become a magnet for every person that's out there that wants to do 
drugs and find a shack to do it in. ... I just can't see why my tax dollars 
are going to a safe house for people who want to shoot up heroin."

Mayor Stephen Mandel said an injection site could be one method of dealing 
with the local drug issue, depending on Vancouver's experience.

He couldn't say where an injection site might be located, because users are 
spread throughout the city.

Coun. Janice Melnychuk, a member of the drug task force established by 
former mayor Bill Smith, said the group has received money from other 
levels of government to work on a strategy.

Their next meeting is Jan. 21.
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