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Safe consumption site not moving to Calgary Drop-In Centre: Ellis

Click to play video: 'Province announces overdose prevention site at Calgary Drop-In Centre halted'
Province announces overdose prevention site at Calgary Drop-In Centre halted
WATCH: After multiple public consultations surrounding a proposed overdose prevention site at the Calgary Drop In Centre (DI) the provincial government has announced the project will not be moving forward. As Tracy Nagai reports, the DI is hopeful another solution can be found in the future. – Sep 2, 2022

The planned safe consumption site at the Calgary Drop-In Centre has been quashed according to UCP MLA for Calgary-West, Mike Ellis.

In a tweet Friday morning, Ellis said over the past year the provincial government along with those at DI have been working closely to establish a small-scale overdose prevention service to prevent deadly overdoses from occurring in and around the DI. However, after speaking with the community of East Village, surrounding communities and stakeholders, the plan will not go ahead.

Read more: East Village residents want plans for Calgary Drop-In Centre’s overdose prevention services paused

“Instead, Alberta’s government will be supporting the Calgary Drop-in Centre to establish a medical detox and a dynamic outreach and overdose response in the community,” Ellis said.

“Alberta’s government will continue to work with the City of Calgary, local residents, business owners, and community stakeholders to establish a more suitable overdose prevention model within Calgary than what currently exists.”

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A specific date when the current supervised consumption site at the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre will close is unconfirmed.

Global News has reached out for further comment from Ellis, but at the time this article was published hadn’t heard back.

NDP seeks immediate answers from UCP

The NDP Mental Health and Addictions critic Lori Sigurdson had some stern words for the UCP decision to not go through with the new location for the overdose prevention site.

“The UCP has blundered their way through the deadliest years on record for drug poisonings in Alberta,” Sigurdson said in a news release.

“Today, their abandonment of their own plans to move supervised consumption services from the Sheldon Chumir Centre to the Drop-In Centre shows Associate Minister Mike Ellis still has no coherent plan to address this lethal public health crisis.

“This sudden reversal leaves both frontline health care workers and the broader community in the dark about what the path forward is.”

The Edmonton-Riverview MLA added not having a permanent dedicated space for safe consumption has already “put intense pressure on Calgary first responders and emergency rooms.”

“Ellis must answer questions today about how he intends to save lives, protect communities, and relieve the intense pressure he has put on Calgary’s emergency responders.”

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More to come…

Click to play video: 'Calgary Drop-In Centre explores new opioid recovery services'
Calgary Drop-In Centre explores new opioid recovery services

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