Despite the misgivings of Councillor Joe Campbell, Timmins Council has approved spending $1,028,731.00 to establish a supervised drug injection site in the city.
Campbell says his research shows that a site does not reduce opioid use. He’s also concerned that it will attract more users to Timmins.
About 60% of the money will pay for staffing a 12-hour-a-day site. City CAO Dave Landers says the Timmins Drug Strategy group is looking into contributions that other agencies might make to the operation.
“For example, if nursing hours could be provided by one of the other agencies,” he outlines. “maybe the hospital, maybe one of the other ones, that would bring down the salary cost.”
The city expenditure is not coming from general tax revenues.
Landers says it’s money the city made from the federal government for hosting forest fire and flood evacuees.
“Those funds we would have earmarked for some sort of emergency management activity, whether it’s training or whatnot. This is the emergency in front of us and probably is consuming us.”
Per capita, Timmins has Canada’s worst rate of opioid overdose deaths.