Pubdate: Wed, 16 Aug 2017
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Shawn Jeffords
Page: 6


Toronto's Board of Health or drug cartel?

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti asked that question in a tongue-in-cheek
statement released Monday where he slammed the board for allowing a
pop-up supervised injection site to operate in Moss Park over the weekend.

Drug cartels coordinate use of narcotics, establish territory and
"silence politicians," he said in a statement.

"If you thought that those descriptions only apply to drug cartels,
then you're in for a rude awakening," Mammoliti said.

The veteran city councillor, who has been a vocal opponent of the
city's move to open three supervised injection sites, says there will
be consequences for allowing the pop-up site to exist.

"Council is allowing this group to take over a park for an
unauthorized injection site and soft-stepping around even more bizarre
suggestions, like legalizing hardcore drugs such as heroin," he said.

On Monday, Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city's chief medical officer of
health, confirmed that the opening has been accelerated in response to
the opioid overdose crisis.

The move comes a little over a week after the city said it would speed
up the development of the three planned sites from their original
mid-fall scheduled opening. At that time, city staff were directed to
open the sites as soon as possible.

While the interim operation is not expected to be the same as the
fully-built sites, it will be located at the public health's building

Last summer, council gave the OK to safe injection sites operating at
The Works, located at Victoria and Dundas Sts.; the Queen West-Central
Toronto Community Health Centre in the Queen-Bathurst Sts. area; and
South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Queen St. and Carlaw Ave.

"There are lots of things that need to be taken care of," de Villa
said of the arrangements needed to start the interim sites. "We want
to make sure that we are providing these interim supervised injection
services in a manner that's safe for the clients and, of course, for
our staff."
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