Skip to main content

Timmins council debates merits, impact of safe consumption site in the city

Share

Timmins’ temporary safe consumption site is set to close at the end of the month and this week, city council debated its importance in tackling the city’s addiction issues.

Some councillors suggested there has been more social disorder with Safe Health Site Timmins around, while others say it’s a critical tool to save lives.

One city councillor moved to revoke the city’s support for making the site permanent.

“We really didn’t understand how much of an effect it would have,” said Coun. Bill Gvozdanovic.

Gvozdanovic said issues like public intoxication and violence worsened with the opening of the site.

But that’s a minority opinion, as others highlighted that it’s saving lives and improving the city.

“All the things that this place has done for the better, it’s going to undo and they’re going to go back downtown,” said Coun. Cory Robin

“This is fact,” added Coun. Andrew Marks.

Timmins’ temporary safe consumption site is set to close at the end of the month and this week, city council debated its importance in tackling the city’s addiction issues. (File)

“I don’t like living in a community that requires one, but I do.”

Mayor Michelle Boileau said she was concerned about the impact of closing the site.

“Without knowing what door they’ll be able to go through, I’m concerned about what their well-being and what the fate of our residents will be,” Boileau said.

First funded by the city, now the local hospital, the site is awaiting a provincial review of safe consumption sites, putting the fate of these facilities in limbo.

The Timmins and District Hospital is also applying for provincial funding to develop an all-in-one complex for mental health and addiction services.

One councillor said that would be the perfect location for a permanent safe consumption site.

Provincial responsibility

“This belongs at a full-service treatment facility, where the person who comes in and accesses the service, and gets a potential referral, just needs to walk down the hall,” said Coun. Steve Black.

Some councillors said the province has a duty to fund safe consumption sites and efforts to deal with the resulting social disorder from their clients.

“This shouldn’t be in my lap,” Marks said.

“I shouldn’t have to deal with this.”

“The provincial government and federal government are failing this issue,” Black said.

This as the city aims to improve safety through its security and outreach projects.

“It’ll be interesting, once we’ve seen a full cycle through the year, to determine whether there has been an impact,” Boileau said.

Black said the future of the city depends on getting this right.

“This is the No. 1 issue we face as a community,” he said.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

BREAKING

BREAKING World Court orders Israel to halt assault on Gaza's Rafah

Judges at the top United Nations court ordered Israel on Friday to halt its military assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, in a landmark emergency ruling on South Africa's case accusing Israel of genocide.

Stay Connected