Kitchener-Waterloo

Cambridge councillors will visit 3 cities with safe injection sites in coming weeks

Two Cambridge councillors plan to visit safe injection sites in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver to gather information for a city council presentation at the end of February as that city grapples with the dilemma of randomly discarded used needles.

Councillors will put together a report to be presented to Cambridge City Council and regional council

In the coming weeks, two Cambridge councillors will be visiting three cities that have safe injection sites to gather information and feedback that will then be presented to council at the end of February.

Councillors Frank Monteiro and Mike Mann will be travelling to Toronto Wednesday afternoon before heading to Ottawa next week and Vancouver in February.

"What we're doing is going to different places who have [safe injection sites] and see how it's working for them," Monteiro told CBC News.

Councillors will be touring a safe injection site in Toronto Wednesday where they will be speaking to staff and individuals who use the safe injection site to get their feedback.

Monteiro and Mann will also question people who live nearby  to gather feedback on what having a safe injection site in their neighbourhood is like.

On Thursday, councillors will also hear response from Toronto businesses and Toronto Police on safe injection sites before they return to Cambridge on Friday.

Kitchener and south Cambridge have been identified as possible locations for supervised injection sites, mainly because there were more incidents of opioid related overdose in those areas of Waterloo region. (Fraser Health)

Informed decision

Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig said that Monteiro and Mann's visits to other cities is part of the region's public health initiative of possibly opening a safe injection site in the region.

"It's very important that to get out in front of it," he said. "The people of Cambridge need to have a sense of security about what's going on and what are the implications of safe injection sites."

Monteiro and Mann will putting together a final report after their visit in Vancouver, said Craig.

The report will be presented to Cambridge City Council and be sent to regional council at the end of February, where public health will also present a report.

"As we go along in this, we will see that the report will in fact give us the information to make an informed decision," Craig said.

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