The next stage of Winnipeg’s Bruce Oake Recovery Centre will be discussed at a community meeting on Tuesday, but it’s what is expected outside of the meeting that is raising eyebrows.
The Friends of Sturgeon Creek, a community group who have been against the centre since its inception, say they will be gathering outside Tuesday’s gathering to protest.
The news comes just one day after they announced they have hired a law firm to investigate the City of Winnipeg’s sale of the land to the Province. The sale allows the Province to lease the land, estimated at more than $1.4 million, to the Bruce Oake Foundation for $1 a year.
The group told Global News at the start of the year that the “shady land deal” was the result of “backroom dealings.”
They’re led, in part, by St. Charles Coun. Shawn Dobson, who has been vocal in his disapproval of the potential for a treatment centre opening up in his ward. He was the lone member of the city committee to vote against the sale in January.
The proposed recovery centre is a 50-bed treatment facility in memory of Bruce Oake, the son of veteran Canadian sportscaster Scott Oake.
Scott Oake was at a January hearing and spoke to the city about the resistance the recovery centre has received.
“This fear that there will be roving bands of drug addicts to terrorize the neighbourhood is ill-founded,” Oake said. “We’ve had long and frequent email exchanges with residents who were initially opposed to the project whom, once they got the facts in front of them, decided to be supports of the project.”
There are two community meetings scheduled for Tuesday that will examine conceptual development plans. Both are open to the public and at the Sturgeon Heights Community Centre. They will take place at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.