Interior Health proceeding with mobile safe consumption site

Interior Health appears to be moving forward with its plans to put a safe consumption site on wheels.

At Monday's meeting, Councillor Luke Stack updated his colleagues on a meeting he was at, that saw IH update local partners and stakeholders on the plans.

He says the plan going forward hasn't changed since January, when the health authority applied to Health Canada for permission to operate it, in that it would be equipped with naloxone, and have the ability to move around town.

Stack says that while IH realizes this makes some people in the community uncomfortable, there are lives at stake.

"They're really trying to be as sensitive as they possibly can to the community, whereas at the same time, they're trying to save lives. So it's a very delicate balance," he said.

"I guess my final message is they're moving forward, and we'll probably see this facility on the road in the next week or so."

No official confirmation has come down on exactly where the unit would be parked, but back in January, the health authority described both Rutland and the downtown core as the city's two hot spots.

Stack says if anyone thinks the fentanyl outbreak has been contained, they're sadly mistaken.

"The fentanyl crisis continues to take its dastardly toll, and people are dying at a very fast rate, so this continues to be a major health crisis," he said.

"They reminded me that actually, the public emergency was initiated almost a full year ago, when they said this was a serious, serious matter. And here, a whole year's gone by, and unfortunately it.hasn't abated."

The mobile unit would replace the overdose prevention site that's been operating out of the old healthy unit on Ellis Street, and is being retrofitted inside an old motor home.