Recent concerns about the growing opioid crisis are coming to light at the Vancouver Park Board meeting Monday night.
Commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung says concerns were raised when community centres were being used as warming shelters.
She says a needle found at the Creekside Community Centre brought the issue to the forefront.
Kirby-Yung says the board dropped the ball and was not prepared.
“It’s a reality I think that a lot of folks are grappling with now, with the increasing opioid crisis in our city. And first and foremost, you know, the park board is in the business of recreation and we have a lot of people that come to take yoga and swimming and gym classes and unfortunately these issues are spilling over into all sorts of public spaces and that’s something we all have to look at and to try to do deal with.”
She’ll be bringing an inquiry to the park board meeting to have sharp disposable containers installed at all VPB community centres.
“I believe that staff have already taken initiative to order them, so I think that bringing that conversation to the forefront is doing its job because we shone the light on the face that we weren’t prepared.”
She says so far the Roundhouse, Creekside and Ray-Cam community centres already have them.
“Lack of clarity”
Commissioner Catherine Evans says there has been a lack of clarity when it comes to using the centres as warming shelters.
She will bring a motion forward to make sure community centre associations understand protocols when they need to be open overnight.
“Essentially just to be a little bit more transparent about how it works, so the people are all on the same page with us doing this, because it’s kind of an important thing to be able to bring people in from out the cold that would be, are very vulnerable to freezing.”
She also wants to see the right ratio of staff to the number of people using the centre.