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Application process for supervised consumption site in Barrie underway

A file photo of an injection kit.
A file photo of an injection kit. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The application process for a supervised consumption site, or SCS, in Barrie is underway.

According to a news release issued by the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS), in the coming months, a series of public consultations will be conducted to determine how to develop a SCS in downtown Barrie. SMOS is hoping to submit the application by the summer.

SMOS says an online survey for the general public in Barrie will be available between the end of February and the end of March. A second survey for people who use drugs will also be made available. According to the release, a public open house will be held at Barrie City Hall on March 20.

“Community consultations will obtain valuable feedback from the public and stakeholders about developing a supervised consumption site,” the release reads. “They will generate knowledge about the geographic area where a site would be best located.”

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According to SMOS, the consultations will also provide the public with information about the concept of harm reduction and demonstrate concern and respect for people who use drugs.

READ MORE: Overdose prevention site application in Barrie unclear as Ontario halts 3 sites to conduct review

Once SMOS has processed the results of the public consultations, a public report will be released.

In December, SMOS, along with the Gilbert Centre, Canadian Mental Health Association – Simcoe Branch and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit joined together as co-applicants for a site in the city.

In April 2018, the Gilbert Centre and the Canadian Mental Health Association – Simcoe Branch applied to the province for a temporary overdose prevention site in the city, however, the application was no longer valid after the provincial election and new guidelines for applications were released.

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READ MORE: Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy releases plan to address growing opioid overdose crisis

While the federal and provincial programs have different names, SMOS says both offer a safe place where people can use drugs under supervision and those who are ready can begin treatment.

And, according to the release, the new application will seek both federal and provincial approval.

Watch: Simcoe County mothers devastated by opioid crisis