'My life will never be the same again': Mother of addict urging Cambridge City Council to move ahead with CTS site

Deborah Donner is urging Cambridge city council to move forward with its proposed consumption and treatment services site.

She shared her emotional story about addiction with council during Tuesday's meeting.

Donner's daughter, Nicole Eidt, 29, is currently serving a four year sentence for the death of her 20-month-old daughter, Amelia Runstedle.

Eidt has been an addict for more than 15 years.

"She has overdosed, I’m not sure how many times, she’s contracted hepatitis, worked in the sex trade, she's had multiple incarcerations, all due to her addiction disease," Donner told council.

In 2017, Eidt gave birth to Amelia. She stopped using drugs and enrolled in the methadone program.

"It was the happiest day," Donner recalled.

During Eidt's recovery, she got her driver's licence, completed her General Education Development (GED), was accepted into Conestoga College and got a part-time job.

But less than two years later, Eidt relapsed. On Feb. 21, 2019, Amelia had "a fatal accident."

Eidt had consumed drugs that morning, putting the drugs in a zipped pocket of her sweater. She got into bed, put on a movie for her daughter and fell asleep.

Amelia had gained access to the bag containing the drug while her mother slept; when Eidt awoke, the bag was wet and her daughter limp. Amelia died from carfentanil poisoning.

"My life and as well as many others will never be the same again," Donner said.

Donner is now pleading with Cambridge council to move forward with its proposed consumption and treatment services site, saying had one been available for her daughter, she might not "have been in an unsavoury place" with Donner's granddaughter.

"Just maybe, my precious Elmo, Cookie Monster, doll-loving angel, may still be alive," Donner said through tears.

The city is considering two possible locations for a CTS site, one on Easton Street and another on Oxford Street. Some people living nearby are not happy with the recommendations, concerned those locations are too close to residential properties. Others are against the idea of putting a site anywhere in the city, citing safety concerns. But Donner is urging council to keep moving forward.

"I don’t know if the locations of your sites are in the right place, but please vote yes for safety, and that your vote make a difference for all the families who have a person in their life with a horrendous illness."