By Lethbridge Herald on June 16, 2018.
Are some local residents intentionally trying to fan the flames of anger toward the ARCHES clean-needle distribution program by planting needles in the city’s public spaces?
On Thursday during an interview with CTV Lethbridge, Mayor Chris Spearman confirmed he has been told about incidents where it could be happening.
“I will be very disappointed if that indeed is happening,” he said.
Spearman said he has been getting reports from security in the downtown core who claim to have witnessed people dumping needles. The City is also getting reports of needles appearing in places they have not previously appeared in, such as remote residential parks.
“Certainly, that concerns me if people are inflaming the issue,” Spearman said. “We want to make sure needles are appropriately reported and returned so they can be examined, and we can make sure people aren’t inflaming the issue for political reasons.”
Sarah Villebrun, a spokesperson for the Lethbridge Needle Crisis Support Group on Facebook, said there has been speculation about faked images and complaints, and she has questioned some of the photos submitted to the Lethbridge Needle Support Group Facebook page.
At the same time, she said those needles should not be so readily available — clean or dirty.
“Clean needles or infected needles, it should not be on the street,” she said. “Staged or not.”
“People have no way of confirming if those photos are staged or not,” said Lyra Angus, one of the organizers for the Not Another Needle Rally at city hall on Friday. “But I’d like to think that people have better things to do with their day than go buy packs of needles and spread them all over town.
“I think most of us who are here, are here sincerely.”
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