January 22nd, 2021

SCS caused more harm to the community

By Letter to the Editor on July 17, 2020.

This letter is a collaboration by a few people who have been concerned about the goings on of the SCS here in Lethbridge.

Little too late – they had two years to do something. And instead of building community connections and partnerships they were more worried about funding and to rake in money on behalf of individuals struggling with addictions.

After the first kid was pricked by a dirty uncapped needle (which many city councillors – all but two, Blaine Hyggen and Joe Mauro – didn’t even see the problem there) needles should have stayed on site. They continued to be distributed. More kids, professionals and random individuals have been pricked. The mayor advised if you’re not going to quit whining about it – leave. No. We stand together as a community for all residents.

This was not harm reduction; in fact, it created more harm to our community including to the service users who were completely enabled to stay addicted and encouraged to use illegal drugs.

Ask Doug Hamilton what kind of neighbours they’ve been. I mean over $100,000 in damage, all the additional security measures taken to keep the staff safe. To the assaults on him and his staff. Where was the outrage? To the young lady who recently died right outside their doors – where was the outrage?

Suddenly, ARCHES staff speaks out against dysfunction? Why? As if they didn’t already know the toxicity that place was. Hiring new grads with zero frontline experience. Great job.

Police and EMS calls increased to a disgraceful per cent. Caused extensive burnout to our frontline workers. ARCHES didn’t care. We do, though.

The statistics of external referrals – questionable.

The Housing First team statistics – questionable.

The number of participants attending the SCS – when funding is based on numbers, should those numbers not be audited?

But keep ticking statistic boxes for more money? Should be questioned at the very least.

Hiring a non-Indigenous woman to teach cultural programming – disrespectful to the Indigenous people.

Hiring a non-Indigenous man to oversee Indigenous Recovery programming and cultural programming – disrespectful to the Indigenous people.

Dysfunction at its finest and a shameful organization profiting off homelessness, addiction and mental health.

Where’s Stacey Bourque these days anyway? She’s sure been quiet.

Layne Whipple


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Dennis Bremner

Totally agree! When a Business is setup to profit from “Clients” it is a disincentive to encourage rehab. It is a business and a highly profitable one at that as can be seen by the gross mismanagement and the “assessment that the Director is somehow worth $340,000 a year”! This was setup as a money making scheme from the getgo and it has finally been outed for what it was and is!

The shuttling of “potential clients” to Lethbridge has been documented now in a formal report by Dr Turner. It will be extremely difficult to determine who was behind this sudden increase of Bourques Clientelle from afar and whether she had anything to do with people arriving in this city. However there is more than one rumour floating around a few roque “Moms Stop the Harm” people were arranging or suggesting moves from places that were not getting an SCS and assisting the arrival in Lethbridge.

So I would hope the Lethbridge Police, who wear the brunt of this issue are doing more than looking into the audit that has been turned over to them. There appears, if nothing else, to be an organized system for the Lethbridge SCS to acquire clients ASAP from afar with a little help from their friends. The more clients, the more Gov Subsidies and hence the magic of going from a small business to one receiving $14,000,000 in handouts.

The catastrophic ramp up to the “imaginary” largest facility on the planet was orchestrated, now all that is needed is the ability to find who orchestrated it. It won’t be easy and Spearman and Council will be no help because they have been in denial of the truth since they initiated this massive screw up.

I am still amazed that this Council and Mayor saw NOTHING wrong and even insulted Lethbridge Residents with “you don’t like it, leave” comments. The damage to this city is likely permanent because of a group of people, dully elected, but operating way above their pay grade!


Stacy Bourque and the entire ARCHES executive need to be vigorously investigated by the police. This whole affair stinks to high heaven.


My sympathy to the families who will be losing their loved ones to addiction.


A statement like that needs a few feel good stories to show that the SCS actually helped anyone kick their addiction. Maybe there are some, but I doubt there’d be very many. Lives saved I think, but only to continue using. I’ve also gone through the unreal experience of losing a family member to addiction. Very sad to say, but after years of doing everything you can do, sometimes losing them is about the only outcome that brings any kind of relief for them and their families.


Great letter Layne. We’ve had enough of the one legged chair enabling and actually encouraging continued drug use. Maybe now the powers to be will start providing services that actually invite the addicts to get clean and better their lives. As Chris Spearman says, “If they don’t like it, they can leave.” Take it or leave it. The U.S.A. and Canada are so upside down right now in so many areas.


ARCHES has caused our city so much upset and disruption its good to finally see them go. Let’s hope that accountability prevails and those responsible for stealing from the public go to jail. Anyone key employee of ARCHES will be hard pressed to find a job given how dishonest they’ve been. Addicts and pushers will continue to be a problem in our downtown core unless the food kitchen and homeless shelter is moved; that should be the next step to reclaim our town.