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On-site consultations for planned supervised consumption location in Winnipeg

On-site consultations for planned supervised consumption location in Winnipeg
On-site consultations for planned supervised consumption location in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is moving forward with its plan to open the province’s first supervised drug consumption site in downtown Winnipeg.

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is moving forward with its plan to open the province’s first supervised drug consumption site in downtown Winnipeg.

The government will be working with the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre, which already has an addiction clinic, and talks will begin soon to find an exact location.

“We have looked at other jurisdictions. It is clear that there will be an impact if you open a supervised consumption site in terms of the next few blocks around it,” Prime Minister Wab Kinew said on Monday.

“So we have to select the location with that in mind. That means it probably can’t be near a school or daycare. Are there other areas where we can maybe put a community plan around it with foot patrol and law enforcement cooperation?”

Manitoba is the only province east of New Brunswick without a safe consumption site. The NDP government pledged $2.5 million for such a facility in its spring budget, with the goal of having it operational by 2025.

According to Kinew, the facility will not increase the supply of medicine, but will provide medical supervision and treatment options.

“We want someone to have a conversation with us about, ‘Are you ready for treatment, are you ready for detox?’” Kinew said.

The Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre currently operates one of the province’s Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine, or RAAM, clinics. They are walk-in clinics for people seeking help with risky substance use and offer services including medication recommendations to help ease withdrawal symptoms.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2024.

The Canadian Press