On Friday the Ontario government announced it will fund three of the four safe consumption sites in Ottawa. The one left off the list was the city’s own public health organization, Ottawa Public Health.
While it is unclear why the organization’s location at 179 Clarence St. was left off of the list, spokesperson for OPH Donna Casey says that while the organization is disappointed, they will continue to operate the site in the short term.
“OPH will continue to be a leader on the harm reduction landscape,” said Casey in an email to Global News.
“As public health professionals, and as advocates for compassion in our communities, we will continue to work alongside community partners to ensure as many services as possible are still available to those who need them, when and where they need them.”
According to OPH, the current operating budget for the site is $1.2 million with the funding scheduled to end on March 31.
The facility has had 14,731 visits between Sept. 2017 and March 2019.
READ MORE: Safe injection site coming to Kingston
The facilities that did receive funding are privately run organizations in the downtown and Somerset West areas:
- Ottawa Inner City Health, Inc. (King Edward Avenue)
- Sandy Hill Community Health Centre (Nelson Street)
- Somerset West Community Health Centre (Eccles Street)
In total, the government announced funding for 15 sites across the province and each location received the funding based on those with the “greatest need.”
“These sites will serve as part of the government’s plan to increase mental health and addiction services and supports,” wrote the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in a release.