In recent years, the issue of drug consumption or 'safe' drug injection sites has proven highly controversial across Canada and — more recently — right here in Oshawa.
Against the backdrop of our country's opioid crisis, this is an issue of concern for residents, businesses, law enforcement and local health authorities as well as people who live, work, attend classes in or near our city's downtown core.
Earlier this Spring, by a close vote of 6 to 5, Oshawa City Council voted down a plan developed by local health, treatment and social services advocates to situate a consumption site at the Midtown Mall. The proposed site would have been the first of its kind to be established in Durham Region.
One one side, proponents feel that such a site could provide a safer, supervised means of helping individuals battling drug addition and/or mental health issues — and potentially move them closer to treatment and recovery.
In contrast, opponents believe that there’s no ’safe way’ to inject street drugs. They feel that the focus should be on treatment to get addicts off of dangerous drugs and away from illegal behaviour and related crimes.
Still others argue that a site could be permitted — if it was highly regulated and situated far away from children, schools and major residential or business areas.
Your view is important and will help me represent our community in Parliament.
Based on what you've read or heard do you support or oppose the establishment of a 'safe' drug injection site in Oshawa?