Three city councillors opposed to change in proposed CTS site
Three Windsor city councillors are opposed to a change in the proposed location for the Consumption and Treatment Services site in downtown Windsor.
As AM800 news reported on Thursday, current ward 3 councillor, Renaldo Agostino, plans to table a notice of motion to rescind its support for the proposed site at 101 Wyandotte Street East.
Ward 2 councillor, Fabio Costante, ward 9 councillor, Kieran McKenzie, and ward 10 councillor, Jim Morrison, met on Friday to discuss their thoughts on the proposed motion.
All three councillors explained that they will all be opposing the motion on Monday afternoon.
The CTS or what the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is calling the SafePoint consumption service, is expected to open at that location in March.
The lease for the building has already been signed, and renovations to the inside of the building is complete as well.
McKenzie says a site such as this one can have many impacts on the community.
"Not only is it important for the people in our community who are suffering from addiction, but there's also a number of other community impacts that a facility like this can serve to mitigate. Certainly from a public health perspective, there's those positive impacts, but we also have community safety, which a facility like this can help to improve."
McKenzie says opioid addictions impact everyone in the community.
"These issues impact every single individual in our community, I don't think there's a single one of us in Windsor and Essex County that doesn't either have some form of direct experience, whether it's with a family member, or even as an individual, or an acquaintance that has been impacted by the opioid addiction and addiction issues in our community."
The proposed location for the Consumption and Treatment Services site in Windsor, located at 101 Wyandotte Street East. Jan. 27, 2023 (Photo Credit: Courtesy of AM800's Meagan Delaurier)
Morrison says he's never seen a decision that was made by a previous council be brought back up to reconsideration.
"So, I'm deeply disturbed by what's happening here right now with this notice of motion coming forward on Monday night. We have a new council and it opens the door for reconsideration of things that we did in the previous council. And I cannot remember one time during my four years on council where we have come back and reconsidered a decision made by council after a lot of hard work."
Morrison explained how he's seen site's such as this one work in other cities.
"I've gone to other sites, I've seen it work in other cities and this is something that we need. So, by doing this notice of motion, we are just delaying things. And my deeper concern is not only are we delaying things because of this location, there are people that actually don't want this site to exist anywhere."
Morrison says he's bothered that people will die from opioid overdoses because others are worried about a location for the site.
"People are dying and in 2021, 86 people died in Windsor from opioid overdoses. And I've seen where it can save lives, and this really bothers me that we're going to allow that to happen, to let people die, just because of a location."
Costante was recently elected chair of the health unit board of directors.
He says during their first meeting, they discussed and approved the budget for 2023, which included the CTS site.
"And as part of the meeting, we approved our 2023 budget. And included in that budget was operating costs for the CTS site. And the Board unanimously approved the budget and frankly there was no discussions specifically on the cost of the CTS site, both from an operating or capital perspective."
McKenzie says those wanting to speak on the topic can register to be a late delegate during the council meeting.
Windsor city council meets at 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30.