Two municipal buildings in Nanaimo, including City Hall, closed on Thursday due to safety concerns over a pop-up injection site.
City councillor Gord Fuller – who helped set up the unsanctioned site Monday – says this makes no sense.
“We’re right next to a bluff that people have been using drugs on and camping on – homeless people – for years now. The only difference is they might actually be able to see it.”
Fuller says while he understands the city manager must ensure employee’s safety, the overdose prevention site is saving lives.
“The area is known for drug use and the homeless within ten feet of where we are set up. And why the safety issue now?”
Fuller who helped set up the pop-up overdose prevention site in front of City Hall on Boxing Day says it will remain until Island Health puts one up.
A statement from the city says the buildings will re-open on Friday with additional security.
Labour Union speaking out
CUPE LOCAL 401 President, Blaine Gurrie, says they brought the issue to the attention of the Health and Safety Committee.
He says they have concerns with the site.
“Our objection is not to the safe injection site model as a whole, as CUPE is a supporter of Vancouver’s Insite, but the way it was implemented,” reads part of her statement.
Gurrie says they cannot support the way it was brought to the City Hall parking lot, adding they have concerns about the health and safety of local residents and employees.