September 19, 2018 9:12 am

London mayoral hopeful says he supports supervised consumption facilities

An injection kit at London's temporary overdose prevention site, picture on Feb 12th, 2017.

Liny Lamberink / 980 CFPL
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As the local health unit gets ready to table its business case for supervised consumption facilities in London, a mayoral candidate says he supports a permanent location.

Ed Holder made his stance known during a mayoral debate on Monday and said it again on London Live on 980 CFPL Tuesday.

READ MORE: Here’s what people who use drugs in London have to say to Doug Ford about supervised consumption


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“Number one, they save lives. Number two, they stop the spread of HIV and hep C, and you know, London has the second-highest HIV rate in all of Ontario. The third thing is, it saves money,” said Holder.

Holder joins fellow candidate and current city councillor Tanya Park in backing the idea of a permanent site.

Paul Cheng and Paul Paolatto have differing views. Cheng supports a permanent site so long as it occupies the same location as the current temporary overdose prevention site on King Street.

Paolatto would like to see a mobile location that could access all areas of the city, but Holder doesn’t think that’s the way to go.

READ MORE: Mobile supervised consumption service receives 26,000 visits in Kelowna

“Can one presume that those who require the use of a mobile facility will be able to know, recall, or deal with the fact that by virtue of its transitory nature a vehicle is going to be here at some point on some day at some time?” said Holder

“That’s a lot for somebody to remember, when really what they need to do is go to a place where they can safely deal with this issue,” he said.

WATCH: Federal government can show Ontario that supervised consumption sites ‘save lives’: Petitpas-Taylor

On Tuesday, the Middlesex London Health Unit announced it plans to introduce a business case for supervised consumption facilities at this week’s meeting of the board of health.

It includes research data as well as information on what led to the opening of London’s temporary site and the applications for two permanent and one mobile site.

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