Ward Three Councillor Nrinder Nann has responded to a complaint launched with the Integrity Commissioner against her regarding the council vote to endorse a supervised injection site on Barton Street East near Lottridge Street. She started by objecting to the description “safe injection site,” writing that the sites provide “wrap-around services,” that “are proven to save and transform lives.” The Canadian Council on Substance abuse refers to the sites as “supervised injection facilities” as does the city of Vancouver, who also offer counselling and referral to health and social supports at the facilities.
The councillor charged that opponents of the site have picked up persons suffering from overdose and dropped them off at the doorstep “of those who see the need for the services in the area.”
The complaint to the integrity commissioner alleges that area residents were not properly consulted. Nann rejected that claim, saying she has relayed “critical feedback “from opponents directly to the applicant, the AIDS network and that she added language to the motion endorsing the site, “tying the endorsement to a caveat of a robust community engagement process.”
The statement did not address the opponents’ allegation that council procedure was manipulated to put the endorsement of the site to a council vote in February. Delegations supporting the site showed up to council, even though the agenda did not contain any action item about the site. Opponents of the site only heard about the possibility of a vote at the last minute. After the delegations were heard, Mayor Andrea Horwath introduced a walk-on motion endorsing the site, which received council approval.
In their application to the Integrity Commissioner, the residents say they do not oppose an injection site, but are opposed to its location, which is near St. Ann’s School and some other agencies serving the community.
The full test of the councillor’s statement can be accessed here. https://twitter.com/NrinderWard3/status/1634156900009889792
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