Drug activity and carelessly discarded needles are an issue in many areas of Vernon, including Linear Park and behind People Place. (Jennifer Smith/Morning Star file)

Chamber insists on community input for Vernon OD prevention site

“There isn’t sufficient community involvement in identifying a suitable location for a prevention site or if such a facility is even needed in the community,” Chamber president

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce fully supports the City of Vernon in its call for enhanced community engagement for a proposed overdose prevention site.

Interior Health is issuing a request for proposals for a contractor to deliver overdose prevention services in Vernon, including a fixed overdose prevention site.

See: Vernon politicians not all happy about OD prevention site

“We appreciate that a public health emergency has been declared in B.C. and that Interior Health and other organizations are taking steps to save lives. However, we share the City of Vernon’s concern that there isn’t sufficient community involvement in identifying a suitable location for a prevention site or if such a facility is even needed in the community,” said Diana Wilson, Greater Vernon Chamber president.

“Those contractors submitting bids to operate the overdose prevention site must identify the steps they will take to consult with local government and businesses and residents near the proposed site, but that engagement may be too late in the process, particularly in determining if a location for the facility meets the community’s needs. We would call on Interior Health to ensure the City of Vernon is part of the process evaluating bids to operate the overdose prevention site and that city council be asked to sanction the location of the facility prior to IH agreeing to the contractor’s proposal. If the city doesn’t support a specific location, then that site should be abandoned.

“Ideally, there would also be an opportunity for a representative from the community at large to be part of evaluating the bid applications,” said Wilson.

Interior Health officials told Vernon city council they are committed to working with all stakeholders so an overdose prevention site does not have a negative impact on the community.

See: Vernon overdose prevention site planning update

“If Interior Health and the Ministry of Health want to ensure the success of an overdose prevention site in Vernon while addressing concerns from the community, there needs to be a comprehensive strategy to interact with city council, businesses, local health care professionals and residents, and it needs to occur prior to selecting a facility contractor and not after the fact,” said Wilson.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BREAKING: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Boardwalk closures ahead for Vernon cyclists, pedestrians

Next phase of storm rehab project will see closures of up to 20 minutes

Missing woman last seen in Lumby

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP seek public’s help in locating 32-year-old woman

Vernon RCMP look to return stolen bike to owner

If you are missing your bike from Cenotaph park on July 5, call Vernon RCMP

Multi-sport performer named Lumby’s Athlete of the Year

Rory Campbell loves basketball, plays volleyball, soccer, hockey and ultimate frisbee

Vernon Mounties share video of cyclist hit by vehicle, assaulted

Police release short video clip of cyclist struck by SUV in March 2020, and photos of suspects

Drive-by shooting in Kamloops

This is the second drive-by shooting in the city in the last two weeks

Revelstoke RCMP searching Columbia River for possible body

Boats and aircrafts are searching the area

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Interior Health identifies more locations with COVID-19 exposure in Kelowna

Anyone who participated in events in the Kelowna downtown and waterfront area between June 25 and July 6 should monitor closely for symptoms

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Most Read