Whitehorse Daily Star

Safe consumption site will not open Tuesday

One of the signature projects of the agreement between the Yukon Liberal Party and the Yukon NDP has hit a speed bump.

By Tim Giilck on August 30, 2021

One of the signature projects of the agreement between the Yukon Liberal Party and the Yukon NDP has hit a speed bump.

The Liberals are being propped up as a minority government by the NDP in the form of a Confidence and Supply Agreement, which was reached in late April and runs for two years.

The safe consumption site is one of the main points of that pact, and a prized project of the NDP. It had been set to open tomorrow in a renovated government building on Sixth Avenue near Cook Street.

Late Friday afternoon, a delay in the site’s opening was the subject of a brief news release from the government.

No new date has been set for the facility to open.

“The supervised consumption site is a life-saving health service that will provide a safe and hygienic environment for people to use drugs under the supervision of qualified medical staff,” the statement said.

“The facility was originally scheduled to open on August 31 but has been briefly postponed to account for renovations, staff training and to finalize details,” the news release stated.

“The supervised consumption site is an element of the Confidence and Supply Agreement and supported by both the Yukon Liberal government and the Yukon NDP caucus. Both parties have agreed to extend the deadline for opening the supervised consumption site,” the statement added.

“Our government is committed to combatting the opioid crisis and supporting all Yukoners through a harm reduction approach,” said Health and Social Services Minister Trac-Anne McPhee.

“We continue to work with our partners to complete the Whitehorse Supervised Consumption Site and open this facility as soon as possible.

“We have lost far too many Yukoners to drug overdoses, and research shows these facilities save lives.”

“We’ve lost too many people to overdoses, and this is one thing we can do to save lives,” added NDP MLA Emily Tredger.

“We’ve seen in other places that supervised consumption sites make communities safer. It’s the first step towards tackling the devastating opioid crisis that is happening in our territory.

“I’m looking forward to the opening of the Yukon’s first site in downtown Whitehorse.”

Tim Kucharuk, the press secretary for the Yukon Party, was less enthusiastic over the delay.

“This timeline was agreed to in the Liberal-NDP coalition agreement, and it appears that this is just another broken promise from this agreement by the Liberals,” Kucharuk said.

“We have seen many of the timelines and benchmarks in this agreement not lived up to so far as many of them were unrealistic and the Liberals were desperate to sell the farm in order to stay in power.

“It will be up to the NDP to start standing up for themselves and the commitments in their agreement, instead of letting the Liberals walk all over them,” Kucharuk added.

“Additionally, we are concerned that, as with many commitments in the Liberal-NDP coalition agreement, there has not been any meaningful consultation with affected residents and businesses.”

 Two information sessions on the Whitehorse supervised consumption site will be held in the Whitehorse United Church (basement) at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Since 2016, the Yukon has had 44 opioid-related deaths; 33 included fentanyl.

Opioid-related visits to the emergency department of the Whitehorse General Hospital made up 67 per cent of all overdose visits between 2016 and 2020.

Comments (15)

Up 10 Down 1

Not pissed on on Sep 4, 2021 at 2:55 am

If my math checks out, somewhere between 5% and 10% of the Yukon don't even have a family doctor. Katherine Smart, a Yukoner and new president of the Canadian Medical Association admits this (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/katharine-smart-canadian-medical-association-president-1.6157071). Why the hell is money being spent on a supervised safe consumption site when there are people who can't refill a prescription without going to the emergency room to see a doctor? Mr. Facts has it nailed, we do live in a clown world.

Up 9 Down 0

Al on Sep 3, 2021 at 2:16 pm

I distinctly remember in an earlier article that the reason given that this site was chosen was because it would be closer to downtown where "the action is" (my quotes). Well now doesn't that fly in the face of the HCI initiative ? I mean now you are shifting a significant portion of your clientele away from downtown completely. Do you honestly think these people will walk all the way down to this site? If you believe that I have a bridge you can buy. Do you people ever work together ? or - do you just like to ruin neighbourhoods, people's lives and generally piss everyone off ?

Up 16 Down 1

drum on Sep 2, 2021 at 6:21 pm

Why are we having all the drunks and addicts downtown? We keep bringing them there in special housing units and shelters for their care and food as well as safe shooting up centres. They all get welfare cheques even if they do not belong here (taxpayers money). Great for tourism and regular law abiding citizens to have to try and go about their business getting abused and pushed around by this welfare group.

Up 21 Down 0

John on Sep 1, 2021 at 12:56 pm

Gee I have an idea - why not move the Safe House to the HCI. That way they won't have as far to go - just downstairs.

Up 27 Down 1

TMYK on Sep 1, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Notice how none of these buildings are right beside government offices? It's ok for them to be beside businesses, homes, daycares and schools but never beside the offices where the people who make these recommendations and decisions work.

Up 20 Down 1

bonanzajoe on Aug 31, 2021 at 9:42 pm

"Safe Consumption Site"? "Free Drug Site" is more like it.

Up 39 Down 5

Moose101 on Aug 31, 2021 at 6:38 am

This is not right ! I take my illegally obtained drugs there be it Chrystal meth, cocaine, heroine, fentanyl or whatever, they magically become legal. Well if the drug dealers are smart they should just park outside on the street. This will cost us taxpayers over 1 million a year at least to operate.

Up 45 Down 7

Guncache on Aug 30, 2021 at 10:03 pm

Well there's a big waste of my tax dollars. Typical Liberal and NDP

Up 18 Down 10

Joe on Aug 30, 2021 at 9:20 pm

Vote liberal! Vote Shamley! Trust me!

Up 28 Down 6

Urban decay and degeneracy in the time of the NGO… on Aug 30, 2021 at 8:09 pm

Welcome to California North… All those downtown condo owners will however be able to save huge on their entertainment expenses… Sex, violence, drugs, alcohol and the usual inebriates waxing poetic for their lofty patrons… Box seats even…

Up 36 Down 6

iBrian on Aug 30, 2021 at 6:24 pm

It doesn’t need to open, delay indefinitely.

Up 33 Down 6

My Two Cents on Aug 30, 2021 at 6:20 pm

I don't believe that supervised consumption sites necessarily make communities safer. Of course those people that consume at the site don't die at the site, many then go somewhere else to get more drugs then die after that. So the stats are not indicative of reality. I feel sad for those that live in the vicinity of this site in Whitehorse. 'Information' sessions after the decisions are made. Typical.

Up 10 Down 25

Y clown on Aug 30, 2021 at 5:25 pm

Why are you crying? Come to Surrey central BC - you see people shooting up no one cares. In Whitehorse you don't see that. Maybe you should go back to what province you come from. Everywhere you go in "Canada" you see people doing drugs.

Up 7 Down 27

Politico on Aug 30, 2021 at 4:56 pm

I lived down there 40 yrs ago and there were always drunks and druggies in the area, today is no different. If you really cared you would never have moved there in the first p[lace. Better to have the druggies in one place so they can be monitored rather than having your children find the bodies all over the place!

Up 94 Down 19

Mr Facts on Aug 30, 2021 at 3:01 pm

I have friends who have small kids who live a block from this site. They are terrified of what's going to happen to their quiet neighbourhood. What about property values? Was there any discussion with people who live near by? More people have died from overdoses then COVID in the Yukon. But let's enable people to shoot up so we can call an ambulance and rush them to the hospital. And the second they get out the first thing they will do is go get high again. Really saving lives over here folks. We live in a clown world.

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