The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce would like to thank Interior Health for pausing the request for proposal process on an overdose prevention site in the community.
The chamber had recently requested that IH consult with businesses and commercial property owners regarding where an overdose prevention site is located, and that the chamber and representation from the business community participate in the evaluation of proposals. The chamber also urged IH to include the City of Vernon in the process.
“The fact that IH has deferred the request for proposal process to allow for consultation with stakeholders is positive and we appreciate IH understanding that the concerns of business owners must be considered,” said Diana Wilson, Greater Vernon Chamber president.
“While putting the request for proposals process on hold is a good first step, the roll out of a consultation process that has a broad range of stakeholder representation from the local community, including businesses, is important to the realization of this program. There must be an avenue where business and property owners have direct communication with IH.
“We are also still firm in the belief that the chamber and the City of Vernon should be full participants in evaluating bids from contractors to operate an overdose prevention site. Only by having a broad-based, inclusive process will an overdose prevention site be successful,” said Wilson.