The alarm bells are ringing louder and louder when it comes to the issue of methamphetamine addiction in our city. Unfortunately, politics is getting in the way of investing in the solutions our city needs. The police and the families of those impacted agree that we need to try innovative ideas to tackle meth addiction in our city, which is why I support creating a safe injection site.
As I campaign door to door, I hear concerns about the healthcare and security costs associated with drugs in our communities. After a recent mayoral debate, Brian Bowman was asked whether he would go it alone to create a safe injection site in Winnipeg. I was encouraged that he didn't rule it out, because we can't let politics get in the way of saving lives.
My own idea for a safe injection site downtown has been reported by CBC, but I think it is important to clarify that we need drug rehab solutions — period. Whether it is a safe injection site downtown or elsewhere is not as important as agreeing that we need one in the first place. I believe both other levels of government will work with us, but we may have to do most of the heavy lifting.
Based on my own campaigning, I know Winnipeggers are ready to try something new to combat drugs in our city. I hear about destruction of property, trespassing and theft related to addicts, which can be reduced if we are controlling where addicts go. Recently, the Health Sciences Centre requested additional security specifically to handle meth addicts. Aside from security, there is the human cost when lives could be saved through controlled addiction treatment.
We need new ideas to combat addiction and the related crimes across the ward. Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry cannot afford the status quo if we want to address the meth crisis facing our communities. I will put forward progressive solutions to this problem, and I will not accept business as usual.