Richmond city council votes to explore supervised consumption site

Richmond city council voted in favour of exploring options for a supervised consumption site at a Monday night meeting.

The motion, which aims to prevent more toxic drug deaths in B.C., passed with a vote of 8-1.

Currently, the province is eight years into a public health emergency, with the BC Coroner’s Service saying more than 13,700 people have died since a toxic drug crisis was declared in April 2016.

The proposed location of the site would be near the Richmond General Hospital, and it would be staffed with nurses who are ready to respond in the event of an overdose.

Trevor Trablotney, who lost his brother Curtis to toxic drugs in 2022, was one of multiple speakers at the meeting and has been lobbying for this for a long time.

“It’s a terrible thing, it’s really hard. I could have been playing video games with my brother last night instead of sitting there at city council making sure this motion was passed,” Trablotney said after the meeting.

“I just want to make sure that nobody else is going through this and that they have options that my family didn’t have.”

Last year, 2,511 people lost their lives to the toxic unregulated drug supply, which is the highest number ever reported, according to the BC Coroner’s Service. Just one of those deaths occurred at a supervised consumption site.

In the meeting, Trablotney told councillors he can’t guarantee his brother would have used a site like this because “he’s not here, and I can’t get him to.”

“People are dying because they’re doing drugs that are killing them and we don’t have a spot where they can do them where they’re monitored by a nurse or a practitioner who’s able to make sure they maintain safety. It’s a no-brainer, why don’t we have it?”

He says it meant a lot to him to see the motion pass and hopes the proposed site can offer more support for individuals and families in need of support.

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