Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan issues the following release calling on the Province to address community concerns surrounding the Calgary Safeworks Safe Consumption Site (“SCS”):
Khan stated, “Alberta Liberals support the Four Pillars drug strategy: prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement. We understand the importance of safe consumption sites. They save lives. But, there can be unintended consequences that must also be addressed.
“We share the concerns of community residents about public safety around the Calgary Safeworks. Crime rates have spiked dramatically in the area, according to Calgary Police. There has been a staggering 276 per cent increase in drug-related calls to officers. That cannot continue.
“Alberta Liberals are calling on the NDP Government to step up. They must listen to community residents. They must not download these problems and solution costs onto the City of Calgary and local residents. Health Canada’s continued approval of this site is conditional on addressing issues of crime and needle debris in the area.
“Let’s start with immediate action. We need both short-term and long-term strategies.
“I am calling on the NDP government to immediately provide increased funding to the City of Calgary for more police resources to deal with increased crime in the area. The government should help fund a more robust needle cleanup program.
“Alberta Liberals are also suggesting long-term strategies. We need to open additional safe consumption sites in Calgary to relieve the pressure on Safeworks. The City of Calgary has only one safe consumption site. The City of Edmonton has four safe consumption sites. Additional sites would better serve more clients and mitigate the issues of a concentrated single location. We also must open more addiction treatment beds. We need to improve mental health treatment.
“We do not want to lose Calgary Safeworks. We must continue to support their life-saving work. We must also be sensitive to the concerns of people who live in the surrounding community.”
Khan will attend the SCS Community meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. - Room 20 - Kahanoff Conference Centre, 105 - 12th Avenue S.E. He will be available for media interviews.