Monday, January 30, 2023

Lethbridge City Councillor wants provincial funding frozen while government reviews supervised consumption site

A Lethbridge City Councillor is once again asking his colleagues to vote on a resolution that would prohibit needles from leaving the supervised consumption site.

The motion by Blaine Hyggen is expected to be brought forward at Monday’s meeting.

Hyggen, who brought forward a similar motion just over a year ago, says it’s a matter of safety.

He says it’s important to keep individuals who are injecting, inside the supervised consumption site so they can be helped if they overdose. Hyggen says prohibiting needle distribution would also address the issue of drug debris around the community.

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The previous resolution was narrowly defeated 5 to 4.

Hyggen’s motion also proposes council ask the province to stop funding the supervised consumption site until the UCP government finishes its review on the facility.

He says he’s “in favour of harm reduction as one of the four pillars that we need to look at” but doesn’t believe the supervised consumption site is being operated as efficiently as it could be. He adds “it’s not helping those individuals from pulling them out of that vicious circle they’re in of committing crime to support their drug habit .”

Hyggen says he’s confident the government review will provide good information to hopefully improve the situation here in Lethbridge.

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