Saturday, September 18, 2021
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UCP government announces supervised consumption review panel

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The Alberta government taking three weeks in September to gather evidence about the social and economic impacts that Supervised Consumption Sites (SCS) have on communities.

Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addiction, Jason Luan, announcing the eight member expert panel Monday morning (Aug. 19). However, none of the members live farther south than Calgary.

Luan says its time for all Albertans to have a voice on the drug crisis. “As we committed in our platform, we are moving ahead with a review of supervised consumption sites. We’ve heard Albertans’ concerns about impacts on their homes, businesses and communities. We’ve chosen a panel of experts to listen to Albertans, review the evidence, and report back on their findings.”

One of those public sessions will take place in Lethbridge however an exact day and place haven’t been announced as of yet.

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Albertans will also be able to submit feedback online.

The committee will analyze the evidence on the impact of existing and proposed sites and submit a report to government for consideration in future policy decisions for the SCS sites and the addiction care system.

The opposition NDP meanwhile says this panel is “rigged”, suggesting this has deadly implications for Alberta families.

Heather Sweet, NDP’s Critic for Mental Health and Addication was in Lethbridge Monday. She says as a matter of morality and a matter of faith, we as a society believe that every person deserves a shot at redemption and deserves to live. Every person. So let’s give them that chance. “We already have decades worth of study and evidence that harm reduction provides the best chance, including evidence released by Minister Luan’s own office this summer.”

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Sweet says if the Lethbridge SCS closes there will be “death in the streets.”

The UCP government says details regarding dates and locations for these public sessions are being finalized and will be available online.

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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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