Public Hearing scheduled to discuss safe consumption sites bylaw

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John City Council will seek public feedback on a possible bylaw change that would allow safe-injection sites in the City.

B.C has been dealing with an overdose crisis the past few years, with it becoming a severe issue in the last few months, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Fort St. John, it is also a known issue.

In a previous story from earlier in the month, the overdose death stats were in the mid 100’s; May had 171 and June had 175.

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While the City is working to amend the bylaw, the City itself will not be building a safe consumption site. If Northern Health decides to operate a safe consumption site in the community, Council and the public will still be allowed to provide feedback and final approval of the location.

Supervised Consumption Facility means a use that is a federally regulated and within a medically supervised building where drug users can inject or inhale pre-obtained illegal drugs. For the purposes of this Bylaw, this use includes overdose prevention services sites.

A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for August 24th, 2020, at 6 pm in City Hall Council Chambers.

***CORRECTION – a previous version of the story incorrectly suggested the City was providing a space for a safe injection facility. That is not correct. The bylaw will only allow the local health authority to operate a facility if they choose too.

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