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Two northern Ont. safe consumption sites face closure


Demonstrators held a rally outside of the office of Timmins MPP and Ministry of Mines George Pirie in an effort to save Safe Health Site Timmins (SHST) – the group is calling for emergency action by the Ontario Government to keep safe consumption sites in the region open.

Christina Kioke and others concerned citizens participated in a rally outside Timmins MPP George Pirie's office on Thursday to call for funding for safe consumption sites in the region. (Sergio Arangio/CTV News Northern Ontario)

Both SHST and The Spot, Sudbury’s safe consumption site will close this long weekend unless provincial funding is offered or other funding can be secured.

The province has been silent on whether it will resume funding safe consumption sites – it paused support for any such facilities, while it conducts a review, after a shooting near a Toronto site last year.

“It’s ridiculous, right. We’re a few days away from a site closing down from the province not really living up to its responsibility, from a local MPP who’s not talking to his constituents, ignoring the needs,” said Jason Sereda of DIY Community Health Timmins.

“It’s scary to see what might happen to our community if people aren’t able to access this lifesaving service.”

Christina Kioke is a concerned community member would participated in the rally.

“I do have people in my life who do use safe consumption sites and I do see the value that goes into it, and behind the work that I do, as well,” she said.

“It gives people that opportunity to reach out for help and support and have those connections so that they aren’t alone and when they are ready to make that decision to tackle the substance issues that they are dealing with, the people will be there waiting for them. We need to be able to meet people where they’re at.”

Sereda told CTV News that the community is invested in keeping SHST open and that local agencies are discussing how they can continue to pay for its operations, if the province does not step up with permanent funding. Top Stories

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