Pubdate: Wed, 07 Dec 2016
Source: Daily Courier, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: Ed Hall
Page: A8


Editor: Interior Health is proposing the first Safe Injection Site 
outside of the Lower Mainland to be located in downtown Kelowna.

I would like to remind the citizens of Kelowna and our elected
officials of the many drawbacks to placing a Safe Injection Site for
the consumption of illegal drugs in downtown Kelowna.

There is abundant evidence that once a Safe Injection Site is located
in an area, consumption of these illegal substances increases. This
means that not only will more drugs be consumed, but more users will
be attracted to the downtown area which will bring more sellers of
illegal substances. With more drug transactions being conducted, there
will be an increase in property crime. As more illegal substance
business is conducted, there will be an inevitable increase in
organized crime and gang presence in our fair city.

Is this what the citizens of Kelowna want in our downtown?

Is this what the mayor and council want for our downtown?

The use and abuse of illegal substances has already destroyed the
ability to conduct normal business in the Leon Avenue area of
downtown. The location of a Safe Injection Site in this area will only
cause a spread of this blight to other areas of downtown.

As it is, many citizens will not venture downtown let alone go
anywhere near Leon Avenue.

I propose that a harm reduction Safe Injection Site be provided, but
in a remote setting where it can be combined with residential and
rehab services, so that the whole substance abuse and dependence issue
in individuals can be addressed in one setting.

If Interior Health and the City of Kelowna feel that the matter of
safe injection of illegal substances must be dealt with in a downtown
setting, then I propose that accommodation be made in the new police
services building for the safe administration and injection of illegal
substances. This will ensure the safety and security of clients of the
facility and allow our local police force to keep a close eye on the
illegal activity taking place in the vicinity of the injection site.
The distribution and consumption of illegal and addictive substances
is inconsistent wit a healthy, vibrant and flourishing downtown.

Ed Hall, Kelowna
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