By Letter to the Editor on February 12, 2020.
In response to the letter to the editor regarding the health-care workers providing services for the SCS, which noted, “We strive to improve continuously and adopt service delivery towards a healthier community…” and “… most importantly, hear the powerful stories of the clients we serve.”
As a practising registered nurse in the community for the last 30 years, I am thrilled to have heard the announcing of the potential closure of this site. Here is my “powerful story.”
Since the opening of the SCS, the crime rate in Lethbridge is escalating drastically. Utilizing Statistics Canada, Lethbridge is now ranked the 15th most dangerous place nationally, which is increased from 19th last year.
My sons have found bullets in the meighbouring school yard. Children have been lured by strangers, and sustained needle-prick injuries from used needles in school grounds and parks. Criminals have broken into residences and businesses. There has been theft of property, car thefts, assaults with weapons. Drug paraphernalia has been found outside of health-care facilities housing seniors, the vulnerable sector. Children and seniors are being subjected to drug users “high” on the streets. Three drug houses have been busted in my neighbourhood. Three. I do not understand how you view this as a “healthier community.”
Since when has it become morally or ethically acceptable for citizens to be exposed to this unacceptable behaviour, and be victimized by drug-related crimes that we are enabling with an ironically “supervised consumption site” which provides “party packs” of needles to promote the use of illegal street drugs?
It was noted in 2019 the provincial government committed to $140 million towards the drug crisis. Let’s not forget about the cost of health-care dollars to staff the SCS, purchase of needles, the cost of multiple quantities of naloxone, and emergency services. $140 million would be much better utilized for health-care initiatives and increasing hospital beds, health-care services, specialized services, and “party packs” of insulin needles for diabetics who cannot afford their supplies, thus working “collaboratively with valued community partners towards a healthier community.”
Senior citizens of this community have contributed throughout their lives towards a vibrant city. Closing the SCS will promote a “healthier community” and a sense of well-being for many citizens.
In the meantime, welcome to Lethbridge, the city of darkness.