Safe Consumption Site in Barrie one step closer with government applications submitted

With formal applications being sent to Health Canada and the province, plans are moving forward for Barrie's first safe consumption site.

The Simcoe County Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, in partnership with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, submitted federal and provincial applications for the site at 11 Innisfil Street.

One application was to Health Canada for exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the other to the provincial government for funding approval for the site.

Dr. Valerie Grdisa said the opioid crisis in the City of Barrie has grown throughout the pandemic, "highlighting the critical need for low barrier access to harm reduction and treatment services."

The health unit reported 58 opioid deaths in Barrie last year, more than double the year before.

After years of debate, Barrie city council endorsed the Innisfil Street (80 Bradford Street, Unit 940) site in May.

"The site offers a good balance between serving clients effectively and ensuring an acceptable fit within the surrounding community," a release stated Wednesday.