Cambridge city council is considering whether or not to set up a consumption and treatment services (CTS) site in the city.
Discussions have been delayed for months and the proposed site has divided the community.
“I have always been in favour of a CTS site,” Coun. Donna Reid said.
“It’s useless, it’s a waste,” Cambridge resident Patricia Thomas said.
Council is set to make a final decision on whether or not to bring a CTS site to the city. A report presented to councillors outlines six different zoning options that would allow the city to choose a location.
- A temporary use bylaw
- Permitting a CTS site anywhere in the city except in core areas and a 500-metre buffer area around the core
- Putting a site only in the core and buffer areas
- Only having the site in buffer areas
- Allowing the site anywhere in Cambridge
- Prohibiting a site from setting up anywhere in the city
The report suggests the fifth option is preferred.
“So that gives councillors most control over where the CTS may be sited,” Reid said.
However, residents like Thomas don’t want the site at all, calling it a Band-Aid solution to addiction.
“Money has to go into funding for mental health to expedite and fast track to get people into addiction treatment,” she said.
Reid said the CTS site is needed to help save lives.
“A CTS is not a magic bullet, it’s not an answer to everything,” Reid said. “It’s just one of the tools to harm reduction that we need to be involved in. You can’t save someone from addiction if they’re dead.”
If council votes to allow the site, a separate team will prepare a list of possible locations.