November 11, 2017 7:32 pm

St. James residents discuss proposed addiction centre

Michael Draven / Global News

Hundreds of St. James residents descended on Heritage Victoria Community Club Saturday to speak out against a proposed addictions facility in their neighbourhood.

City Councillor Shawn Dobson lead the charge of Winnipeggers in his district wanting a new location for the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre, which is slated to be built at the site of the former Vimy Arena.

“The whole point of this rally is to get the word out,” Dobson said. “I don’t believe [the centre] should be in a residential area.”

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Dobson argues the facility would be better suited to a rural location or somewhere “industrial.”

READ MORE: St. James residents say community is becoming a popular place for crime

“There are a number of concerns,” Dobson said. “Safety and security is one of the reasons. Property values could drop.”

“It’s a very poor choice.”

The proposed centre, which would include 50 beds, would give long-term treatment to men suffering from drug addiction. It would be named after Bruce Oake, who died of a heroin overdose six years ago.

Dobson said Saturday that he will be urging residents in his district to write to the province and city with their concerns.

“This whole process has been through what I’m going to call a ‘backroom deal,'” Dobson said. “I didn’t hear about it and my residents didn’t hear about it.”

Council will vote on the issue in December.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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