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LETTER: Reader urges SCS opponents to 'open your eyes' on Barrie proposal

'The fact is, the drug use is already here, and it's on our streets, and we have a problem,' says letter-writer
2020-04-13 Harm reduction
Several harm reduction tools on display during a public drop-in session. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday files

BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to a story titled 'Health officials submit provincial, federal applications for 'life-saving' SCS' published Oct. 12.

It is no secret that the safe injection site proposal within Barrie has elicited strong emotions from its business owners and residents alike. It seems that people are either vehemently opposed to the site, or they vigorously agree with having it.

There are many objections to why people do not want to safe injection site here in Barrie, such as thinking that opening a safe injection site will encourage drug use, bring drug use into the community, or "dirty up" your neighborhood.

The fact is, the drug use is already here, and it's on our streets, and we have a problem.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (2021) reported that in 2020 Simcoe-Muskoka had a crude rate of 22.2 per 100,000, which is above average compared to the provincial rates.

It is already contributing to unsafe places for our children to play.

A safe injection site will take some people off the street and out of the public eye for those concerned about such a thing.

It means that our friends, family and loved ones may get access to support that they might otherwise never have access to, but most importantly, it means that our friends, family, and community members may live to fight another day.

I urge you to open your eyes. Conduct your own research. I have included a few sites below to help understand how safe injection sites work. As well as some research-based information about crime and safe injection sites and how they function.

In addition, I recommend reviewing the community Insite link, which provides answers to many of the myths and questions around the safe injection sites.

Most of all, I urge you to stop looking the other way and support some of our most vulnerable community members in achieving the most basic human right – the right to live.

Brandy Laurier