Premier Christy Clark says she has no plans to visit the pop-up supervised injection sites operating in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
It comes after one of the site’s coordinators called on Clark to come and see first-hand the situation on the ground.
Clark says while she appreciates the work being done on the front lines, her focus is on pressuring Ottawa.
“The long-term solutions are that the federal government needs to make sure that our RCMP drug enforcement capacity… I mean we are underfunded, understaffed by 30% on drug enforcement. So we need help in controlling the spread of these drugs,” she said.
Premier urged to visit
Earlier today, site coordinator Sarah Blyth called on Clark to visit the drug injection tents in response to Clark’s comments yesterday that the pop-ups are a “Band-Aid solution,” and that “first of all you shouldn’t do drugs.”
Blyth says that’s easier said than done – and says the premier should come down and see for herself.
“There’s no more meetings necessary,” she says.
“There are lots of solutions including our pop-up tent as a band-aid measure because they are a band-aid measure. But we’re doing what we can do right now and until people stop dying on the street – 10 a day, 20 a day, 100 a day – then we’re down there.”
The first of the unsanctioned supervised injection sites appeared last month, and this week organizers opened a second location.
Blyth says volunteers are now preparing for an anticipated overdose spike on so-called “welfare Wednesday,” with social assistance cheques being disbursed tonight at midnight.