‘No’ to safe injection site on Leon: Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is standing in solidarity with the Downtown Kelowna Association in opposing a supervised consumption site on Leon Avenue.

Interior Health identified a building owned by the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society as a possible location for a safe injection site on Nov. 24.

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Shortly after the announcement, the Kelowna business association sent out a press release announcing its opposition to the proposal.

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The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce represents almost 1,400 members throughout the greater Kelowna area.

“We have heard loud and clear from our members located downtown that the number of individuals congregating, damaging property and driving off customers is already intolerable. We do not believe that the addition of the safe consumption site will improve public safety or promote a healthy business environment on Leon Avenue,” Chamber president Tom Dyas said in a press release.

The release goes on to say:

It has been the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and DKA’s priority for years to make the Leon area safer for our members and the public, and to revitalize that area for development. The DKA is seriously concerned that a supervised consumption site at that location will undermine public safety in the Leon area and will present a roadblock to revitalization. We think that they are right.

Interior Health is still determining if it will submit an application to the government asking permission for a supervised consumption site.

It is still in the consultation phase, and businesses and individuals are being encouraged to fill out an online survey on the Interior Health website.

Surveys must be completed by Dec. 15.

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