Monday, November 15, 2021
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Lethbridge bylaw officials looking into SCS tent set up in two downtown locations

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UPDATE: The City of Lethbridge has confirmed a fine was issued to the organizer of a group that’s been operating an unsanctioned drug injection site in local parks.

The make-shift SCS went up in Galt Gardens Friday night and moved to a spot in the Civic Centre field downtown on Saturday.

It’s being run by a new group called the Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society.

On Monday night, the organizer of the group was given a ticket for “failing to be able to provide an approved permit” in relation to the tent being used.

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The fine associated with that bylaw offence is $300.

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Lethbridge’s Bylaw Enforcement Officer says he’ll be investigating an unsanctioned supervised drug injection site to see if there’s anything that can be done from the City’s standpoint.

The make-shift SCS went up in Galt Gardens Friday night and moved to a spot in the Civic Centre field downtown on Saturday (Sept. 25-26).

Dave Henley told City Council’s Community Issues Committee on Monday that it’s a complicated issue. “Lethbridge Police attended on two nights and they observed absolutely no criminal activity occurring. They’ve seen a tent erected. We need to understand the root of what that problem is. Is the problem the activity associated or is it simply the tent?”

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Henley says the only part of this supervised consumption site that can be addressed by the City is organizers setting up the tent without a permit.

Mayor Chris Spearman told our radio station he was first notified of the pop-up SCS tent on Saturday morning. He says setting up a tent or holding an event in a City of Lethbridge park does require a permit.

Alberta’s UCP government, however says this unsanctioned make-shift drug injection site is illegal and has asked both the City of Lethbridge and Lethbridge Police to “enforce the law.” Alberta Health Services has been providing supervised drug consumption services at a mobile overdose prevention site outside the shelter since the ARCHES-run SCS shut its doors a few weeks ago.

As for drug activity, Henley told Councillors that is a police matter. “Whether they (Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society) can provide that service, whether they can provide it legally, whether they can allow supervised drug injection, that’s not what the bylaw is dealing with. What the bylaw can deal with is whether that tent is there and if that tent is there without a permit then you can take some action.”

A small group of citizens upset about the pop-up tent SCS protested out in front of City Hall on Monday afternoon.

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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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