Monday, November 15, 2021
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MLA Shannon Phillips blames UCP government for SCS closure

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Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips issuing a statement on the impending closure of the local Supervised Consumption Site (SCS).

The facility was opened during the tenure of the former NDP government.

ARCHES, the local organization which had been running the SCS, announced this week it will be shutting down services at the 1st Avenue South location at the end of this month.

Phillips, however is blaming the United Conservative government for the closure saying the UCP “is committed to sowing chaos in the health care system, especially during a pandemic.”

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The Lethbridge West MLA goes on to say supervised consumption services are part of a full response to the opioid crisis and unfortunately, this issue has been politicized by UCP operatives outside of Lethbridge.

“Our downtown businesses, residents will suffer the consequences. We will see more overdose deaths in our city, and more of our neighbours will suffer, and economic recovery will be made more difficult. The blame for this lies with a UCP government that is committed to sowing chaos in the health care system, especially during a pandemic,” states Phillips.

The UCP government cut off grant funding to ARCHES last month after an audit revealed more than 1.6 million dollars in unaccounted for public funds at the Lethbridge SCS.

“Several years ago, law enforcement, first responders, city officials and health care providers came to the province asking for a full range of health care services to address our overdose crisis,” says Phillips.“The province responded with a number of initiatives, including needle debris cleanup, counseling, intox and detox, housing and supervised consumption. These services have been welcomed by both the UCP and NDP MLAs who have represented our city.”

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Once the SCS is closed down by August 31st, ARCHES plans to be out of that facility by the end of September.

In the meantime, a mobile SCS will be operated by Alberta Health Services located outside the Lethbridge shelter.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of News Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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