Richmond mayor says supervised consumption site debate over, addresses misinformation

Mayor Malcolm Brodie is making it clear the debate over a supervised drug consumption site in Richmond is over.

Brodie admits discussions around a potential site have led to heightened emotions, with more than 100 people protesting against it during a public hearing earlier in February.

Despite the protests, council passed the motion to look into a site, only to have Vancouver Coastal Health say it would not be moving forward with it.

In a statement to CityNews, the health authority previously said that “based on the latest Public Health data,” such a site “is not the most appropriate service for those at risk of overdose in Richmond.”

Instead, it said it would continue to work with the city to “assess how we can strengthen overdoses prevention services and keep people in the local community safe so they can access treatment.”

Now, Brodie says he’s putting a distinct end to the discussion but not without addressing misinformation brought forward during presentations from the public.

“In discussing this decision, it is important to note that the operators of the supervised consumption sites do not hand out drugs to people, nor do they encourage drug use by children or non-drug users,” he said.

Brodie says he supported the establishment of a site, which he emphasizes does help reduce overdose deaths.

“Twenty-six Richmond residents died from a drug overdose in 2023. Sadly, others will likely die this year. Keeping our community safe is paramount and council will always explore ways to do that.”

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