January 19th, 2022

SCS is staffed by health-care professionals

By Letter to the Editor on January 29, 2020.

On Jan. 23, My Lethbridge Now published the following comment by Lethbridge City Councillor Blaine Hyggen >in regards to the Supervised Consumption Services site:

“Hyggen would like the local Supervised Consumption Site looked at by Alberta Health Services, saying he feels that is the way it should be run. ‘That’s the way I believe would suit it best that it is a health concern and so I believe that those who are professionals in the health field should be operating a facility like this.'”

We, as health-care professionals, found Mr. Hyggen’s comment insulting and extremely disrespectful. As a city councillor, Mr. Hyggen should be aware that Supervised Consumption Services in his community is operated, staffed and supported 24/7, 365, by health-care professionals.

We are registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, registered social workers, primary-care paramedics, addiction counsellors, mental-health therapists, harm-reduction specialists, and so much more. We are the same professionals that existed prior to Supervised Consumption Services, and the same professionals you have seen elsewhere in the community.

We’re asking for respect from our city councillor, Blaine Hyggen. Comments like the one Mr. Hyggen made discredits our reputation as service providers and the countless hours of clinical care provided by our compassionate, hard-working and skilled team.

We strive to improve continuously and adapt service delivery as we work collaboratively with valued community partners towards a healthier community. We, as always, offer a warm invitation to Mr. Hyggen to tour our facility, meet directly with our incredible team, and most importantly, hear the powerful stories of the clients we serve.

We look forward to Mr. Hyggen’s response.

Lindsay Stella, RN, BN; Aidan Jensen-Holubowich, RN, BN; Marsha DeLong, LPN, Orthopedic Technician; Madisyn Unger, RN, BN; Sophi Butler, RN, BN; Hayley Schandor, BHsc, Addiction Counsellor; Courtenay Papp, PCP; Ashley Mckenzie, BSW, RSW, MSW; Jerry Firth, MSW, RSW, CPRC; Drake McCheyne, BSN, RN; Lisa Florendine, RN; and Jennifer O’Connor, RN, BN.


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SCS, Staffed by an extensive complement of professionals, but how is it funded and what is their link to Alberta Health Services?

Kim Siever

Thanks to all of you for speaking out on this. I agree with your assessments of his comments.


Good luck to the Letter writers in their quest. Unfortunately, Councillor Hyggen and his posse remain stubbornly unencumbered by the truth of things, as they gather all the knowledge they need from a Higher Source (that is, the Roast & Toast).


fes – 🙂 🙂

Citi Zen

I certainly hope these “health care professionals ” aren’t being subsidized by the public purse. Perhaps they can’t get a real job helping folks who actually want help?

John P Nightingale

Not helpful. Cynical yes. Unfounded yes. Easy to insult hiding behind a nom de plume.


citi (and nothing zen whatsoever about your post here) – why do you place health care professionals in quotations? a real job?! you insult yourself most here, as your comment is lacking in understanding and class.

Older School

I quote “We strive to improve continuously and adapt service delivery as we work collaboratively with valued community partners towards a healthier community.”

Really? Strange thing is Vancouver DTES strives for the same things, and has been “striving” for over 28 years and not achieved it yet, so can we presume you “professionals” will strive that long trying to stop the crime that comes along with the “open invite” that has been issued to our once beautiful city?

We will see this summer how your striving works out. No city in Canada has ever reached 2% addicts based on Population, but Lethbridge will by November. Even the DTES is 1% of population.

So you can “strive” all you wish, but all you are doing is providing a safe place where drug addicts can “remain drug addicts”. If you truly consider yourselves professionals then why not start representing yourself as professionals, here is a list of things you can do for Lethbridge residents, you know, those people being robbed by your clients:

1) Get Bourgue to break out the numbers of Indigenous using the SCS vs her total number of addicts and when I say SCS I mean Drug Addicts, not “other services” and use that number continuously in reference to the addicts in Lethbridge. So two numbers be furnished, total number of addicts and total number of indigenous. Why? why are you asking whiteman?
2) Start questioning the reason YOU white women and white men are treating Indigenous Youth and ask your self why after Chief after Chief proclaimed “Never again will the white man govern our youth” that suddenly YOU ARE DOING IT AGAIN!
3) As health Care professionals demand that the Quarterly reports on “Drug addicts Alcoholics and other Associated addictions be broken down into three separate categories so that the Population at large can clearly see how UNSUCCESSFUL you are at rehabing these people. Have the addiction “professionals” that make huge salaries marketing this failure tell the population of Canada that less than 1/5 of 1% are successfully rehabilitated and remain clean after 2 years. And, while you are at it ask your fellow “Professionals” why they stop monitoring addicts after 2 years when accuracy is critical to determine success?
4) Then “as professionals” I would like you to explain how Lethbridge specifically will survive the created “come to Lethbridge” by “political Professionals” and how Lethbridge as a small City will survive 2% addicts and try to give examples of ANY community that survived 2% addicts because as “professionals” you are well prepared for this, correct?
5) You also might want to comment on our previously “out of here Police Chief” who decided he could not jail 300 addicts was a brilliant piece of strategic police work when the number is edging closer to 1500 now
5) As professionals you might also want to comment on how Mr Spearman was absolutely 100% positive that it would not affect downtown businesses and Manning was 100% sure it would not affect the downtown. LethbridgeNewsNow article of our “professionals” , look it up in their archives.
6) As professionals you also might want to discuss how you are so successful that you are now the biggest employer in downtown Lethbridge and probably about the second largest in all of Lethbridge and how that demonstrates your success!
7) Spearman changes the number as quickly as he changes his underwear but his last formal proclamation was 1300 addicts in Lethbridge, and at an average of 25 new ones monthly as declared by Bourgue, we are at 1500 on our way to 2000. So lets do some “Math for you professionals”. 650ish visits per day with Bourgue stating many come more than once. So lets use 400 unique users shooting up only. Where are the other 1100 ? Why not tell the Lethbridge residents that the reason we have over 90 drug houses (Spearman Quote) is because the majority ARE NOT using your services and are using Lethbridge as their source of income? After all if you use Bourgues numbers, 1500 visits for drug use only ” an additional 500 for repeaters, would mean Bourgue/Manning would be getting 2000 visits a DAY MINIMUM if you were treating all the addicts. So what you “Professionals” are saying is you are treating 400 out of 1500 and the city is suffering the consequences of your 400 being treated and that somehow is worth the problems we now have?
Because you “professionals” are obviously worldly and have been around addicts as long as I have you know of course 2000 addicts by November 2020 will mean 2000×2 hits a day is 4000hit@ $20 a hit is $80,000 a day x 30 days is $2,400,000 a month which brings organized crime this summer. So please when you get a moment tell us again how you are striving to make this a better community? So before you respond “thats not our fault!” So before you do, let me say, yes it is, between you “professionals, the political professionals, and the judicial professionals” you have orchestrated the “come to Lethbridge where you can carry and use and not be arrested, and if you are, we have “Catch and Release here,” so don’t worry, you will be back robbing residents in 20 minutes after you appear in front of the “catch and release judicial system”. So you professionals are fulfilling your part, save the user over and over and over again, so he can rob and mug, rob and mug again, so he can be released and re-released and released again. In this case, it takes 3 to tango and what a dance it is! I have watched this gong show for 50 years now 30 of it first hand and its always the same. “We’re professionals” and I have no doubt you are, but professionals can be clueless too, as clearly illustrated by the advice given and the poster child city of Van DTES.
I could give you more things to do, but you will not do these 7 so I would be wasting my time.