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Kingston moves ahead with sleeping cabins project, allocates funds for conversion therapy survivors

Kingston city council will be moving forward with public consultation for the sleeping cabins project, and awarded funds to conversion therapy survivors. Megan King/Global News

It was a busy night in the Kingston city council chambers Tuesday night, with a number of important issues on the docket.

The sleeping cabins project is moving closer to finding a year-long location, with the cabins currently situated at the Centre 70 Arena.

Read more: Kingston council to discuss long-term sleeping cabin locations

Council approved a staff-led public consultation session to begin in the fall, for the Rideau Park Marina and Rodden Park site in the city’s east end.

The marina was offered as a potential location for the next three years at a cost of $1 per year, along with donations.

Council’s approval vote also included funding for the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour site for this season, which runs through to the end of April.

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“The site in the east end, the Rideau Marina, would definitely be one that would be much cheaper from the city’s perspective,” CAO Lanie Hurdle said in Tuesday night’s meeting, “in terms of investment that would be required.”

Kingston council also allocated funding to aid survivors of conversion therapy.

Council awarded the contract to CT Survivors Connect, a group that helps conversion therapy survivors cope with their trauma.

The funding will provide up to $20,000 per year for three years, and was approved by council in September 2021.

“Conversion therapy is dangerous. It leads to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness and suicide,” said Coun. Bridget Doherty.

“Arriving at this stage has been a journey for all of us.

Read more: LGBTQ2 members say they experienced conversion therapy at Kingston, Ont. church

In Tuesday night’s meeting, council also voted to make the long-standing student transit pilot program permanent.

The project allowed high school students to ride Kingston Transit for free.

To help support the program, the Limestone District School Board and Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board will provide a combined $60,000 per year.

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