Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, Manitoba –
In the wake of debate regarding the dismantling of bus shelters in Winnipeg, Mayoral Candidate Rick Shone is calling for the city to adopt Supervised Consumption Sites as part of a wider strategy to keep transit riders safe.
A recent vote by Winnipeg’s Infrastructure and Public Works Committee agreed to dismantle several bus shelters due to complaints of open drug use. “Dismantling these shelters is taking us backwards,” said Shone.
“And while this discussion might spark debate among my fellow candidates, the city paid to build this transit infrastructure for the benefit of transit users, and now we are paying to take it down.”
“The problem isn’t bus shelters, it’s the product of providing insufficient and unsafe places for users and the under-housed to go, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. What we need is a proactive policy that protects the safety of transit riders while helping people access the frontline services they need.”
Supervised Consumption Sites are just the first step in a wider strategy to combat drug use and addiction in Winnipeg. “We are in the midst of a drug epidemic and it’s only getting worse.” Shone added, “I have decided to let the scientific data guide me on the matter and what this boils down to is an issue of public health, harm reduction and public safety.”
“Supervised Consumption Sites result in less outdoor drug use and increase safety in our communities.”
“The evidence is clear, Supervised Consumption Sites save lives, reduce the likelihood of overdose slowing the deadly spread of communicable diseases. These sites increase access to health services for a vulnerable population, connecting these individuals with health services and information on addiction treatment.”