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Kenney rejects Opposition attacks as Alberta halts new drug consumption sites

Last Updated Jun 3, 2019 at 7:40 pm MDT

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is rejecting Opposition accusations that he is putting vulnerable Albertans at risk by freezing funds for proposed new supervised consumption drug sites.

Kenney says his government is committed to helping people addicted to opioids and other drugs, and he is earmarking an extra $100 million over the next four years as part of a mental health and addictions strategy.

But Kenney says his government will follow through on a campaign promise to study the effects of supervised drug centres on surrounding communities.

Supervised consumption sites were created by the former NDP government and with locations in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge.

New sites in Red Deer and Medicine Hat, along with a mobile site in Calgary, are on hold pending a government review on the benefits of consumption sites compared with the potential for increased crime and related problems.

Drugs are not provided at supervised consumption sides, but people who use them have access to sterile equipment, along with health and social services support and treatment in case they overdose.