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Mayor, council meeting with minister about downtown drug use

Campbell River council is heading south for a meeting about the city’s drug crisis.  

City Manager Elle Brovold says the mayor and council will travel to Victoria to meet personally with BC’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jennifer Whiteside later this week to talk about the problem, and potential solutions.  

Last week council gave the first two readings to a new bylaw which would prohibit public drug use. That follows a previous bylaw passed in January which was retracted after criticism from Island Health and a legal challenge from a Vancouver society.  

Brovold says the new bylaw is more focused. 

“This one is really limiting… controlled substance consumption in specific public areas where we would anticipate there would be families and children attending,” she said. “Those are places like the Community Centre and Spirit Square and those types of things, so it’s much more limited in scope.” 

Island Health and some local individuals have criticized the new bylaw, but several downtown businesses have spoken in support, including the owner of Home Hardware and the president of the Comfort Inn hotel.  

Dr. Reka Gustafson, Chief Medical Health Officer for Island Health, will make a presentation to council later this spring.  

The new bylaw will be publicly reviewed by council again in early June. 

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