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Interior Health speaking to Vernon council about overdose prevention site

Stations can be seen at an overdose-prevention site in Toronto. Interior Health is expected to present to Vernon city council on the topic this week.
Stations can be seen at an overdose-prevention site in Toronto. Interior Health is expected to present to Vernon city council on the topic this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Whether or not Interior Health is still planning to go ahead with a drug overdose prevention site in Vernon could become clearer this week.

On Monday, more than a year after the health authority pressed pause on its plans for an overdose prevention site in Vernon, Interior Health is scheduled to present to Vernon city council on the topic.

READ MORE: Grieving parent advocates for Vernon supervised injection site

Interior Health began moving forward on the project last year but quickly put the process on hold.

At the end of March 2019, the health authority issued a request for proposals inviting outside groups to bid to operate an overdose prevention site in Vernon.

However, it canceled that bidding process in early April, saying more consultation was needed but the overdose prevention site would still go ahead.

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READ MORE: Overdose prevention site proposal in Vernon put on hold pending further consultation

During that initial process, there was controversy over where the overdose prevention site would be located.

Last fall, Interior Health spokesperson Colleen McEwan said, at that time, that planning for a Vernon overdose prevention site was ongoing and the health authority was taking its time to get the project right.

READ MORE: Vernon is getting an overdose prevention site — Should city council get to OK the location?

McEwan, the director of clinical operations for mental health, substance use and allied health, along with a medical health officer, is scheduled to present to council on Monday.