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Calgary committee hears concerns about supervised consumption site – Calgary

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Social agencies and members of the public presented concerns about Calgary’s supervised consumption site to the community services committee on Wednesday.

Police and fire officials spoke about the increased social disorder and spike in crime in the area. Alberta Health Services officials talked about steps it is taking, such as increasing security patrols in the area.

Effect on residents

Residents living near the consumption site at the Sheldon M. Chumir Centre spoke of how they feel unsafe in the area.

“People like my daughter and granddaughters have to walk in fear as they go to work or school,” said Sherry Crawford in her presentation to the committee. “You imply that all lives matter yet you are deliberately choosing to prioritize addicts’ lives over those of my daughters and granddaughters.”

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READ MORE:
Calgary city council votes to study safety initiatives for downtown safe consumption site

Jessica McEachern, a peer support worker at the site, said the increased security in the area has a negative impact.

“It’s really disheartening as people that I see that have come and been using the site from the beginning to now… they feel they can’t trust us anymore because of the increased police presence around,” she said.

Resources and strategies

Ward 8 Coun. Evan Woolley said strategies, such as daily needle clean-ups and police patrols, are already being used to help address social disorder. He added that working to provide supports to the site will help the surrounding neighbourhood.

“Ensuring that we have the wraparound supports and that the wraparound supports are working, we will see better outcomes in terms of social disorder and crime in the community that we’re experiencing and having challenges with,” he said.


READ MORE:
Spike in crime around Calgary supervised consumption site leads to questions about resources

Calgary deputy police chief Ryan Ayliffe said officers have made a point of directing more resources at that area.

“That includes changing shifts, re-deploying officers from bikes, re-deploying beat officers,” Ayliffe said. “We have engaged in other investigative resources in the area to supplement some of our investigative tactics.”

Ayliffe said that police alone won’t be able to address issues in the area.

“There’s nothing an officer possesses in their tool belt that can allow them to work on these problems in isolation,” Ayliffe said. “We have to work with all the partners in the city and in the province and federally to resolve the root issues of these problems.”

Impact on future projects

Concerns surrounding the site have led an east Calgary community association to withdraw support for another proposed supervised consumption site.

HIV Community Link hopes to have a mobile supervised consumption site operating in neighbourhoods like Forest Lawn. The project has not yet been approved by Health Canada and specific locations have not been determined.


READ MORE:
Calgary supervised consumption site given 1-year extension by Health Canada

Troubled by the CPS report outlining significant increases in drug-related calls and violent crime in the area surrounding the Chumir site, the Forest Lawn Community Association said it would not support having a safe injection site in their neighbourhood.

“Given that the only information we have comes back with such a negative response, we just can’t take that risk,” association president William Carnegie said.

“Right now, I just don’t see anything going forward where we can support it.”

However, HIV Community Link believes its mobile site won’t experience the same sort of social disorder seen at the Chumir site.

“We’ll be a low-volume service that will be in a neighbourhood a few hours at a time rather than a large service that’s operating 24 hours a day,” executive director Leslie Hill said.

She added that the organization will have outreach teams to help ease any concerns community members have. Security teams could also be added as a precaution.

WATCH: People living near the Sheldon M. Chumir Centre supervised consumption site delivered impassioned pleas for change to a City of Calgary committee on Wednesday, as officials grapple with public safety issues surrounding the site. Blake Lough reports.







City administration is being asked to consider feedback in developing recommendations in response to the 12 items up for study from Woolley.

On Feb. 25, city council will get an update on actions taken to address social disorder and public safety.

The issue will head back to committee in the second quarter of the year.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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