November 25th, 2020

LOPS Thursday SACPA topic


By Jensen, Randy on November 4, 2020.

LETHBRIDGE HERALD

Thursday’s Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs online session will discuss the highly polarizing Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society.

Lethbridge was once home to the busiest supervised consumption site in North America, operated by ARCHES. On Aug. 31, the site was permanently closed after the province pulled funding for ARCHES. As the number of overdose deaths in Lethbridge continued to climb at record-breaking rates, SACPA said in a news release, harm reductionists and people who use drugs were left wondering where to go.

In September, a handful of former ARCHES employees and clients formed the Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society (LOPS) with the mission to keep neighbours, friends and loved ones alive. LOPS launched a GoFundMe fundraiser, and within 24 hours saw over $10,000 in donations.

With this support, LOPS purchased a tent, furniture, space heater and harm-reduction supplies. LOPS then set up in a local park and began to provide services.

As the first unsanctioned overdose prevention site to operate in Alberta, the process has not been without significant challenges. LOPS continues to tackle these challenges and they are committed to doing what it takes to keep Lethbridge citizens safe as the overdose crisis, COVID-19 pandemic, and a looming HIV outbreak threaten lives, SACPA noted in its release.

Thursday’s speaker will be Kaley Ann Boudoin, who has worked with various harm-reduction groups across Alberta since 2015. In September, she was one of the founding organizers of the LOPS and volunteers as the Community Engagement Lead with the society.

Thursday’s session will begin at 10 a.m. on YouTube Live link: https://youtu.be/Gwh3VHuU4Gc. In order to ask questions of the speaker in the chat feature of YouTube, you must have a YouTube account and be signed in.

For further information, visit the SACPA website: http://www.sacpa.ca.

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pursuit diver

The LOPS continues on from spreading lies to the public, just as they did at the Lethbridge SCS when those employees worked there. One of the many examples : they coninued to say that they a high numbers of users everyday, the highest in February 2020 at 800 safe consumption rooms per day, yet when AHS started monitoring, March 2020 only showed 130 people using the rooms per day.
They are still under investigation for the missing $1.6 million in just 2 years. They are spread lies about the people protesting, calling them white supremacists and ‘yellow vests’, when they are only angry citizens that live within blocks of the tent being set up and are tired of all the crime and ‘bio-hazards’ the tent attracts! They are citizens that had hope that they could reclaim their neighbourhoods and parks! They are mad as hell that this illegal tent has been allowed to remain operationing in their neighbourhood.
They send in this person that can sell muskeg lands as beach front property to try sell you on this illegal tent that breaks laws everytime it sets up and ignores concerns of citizens and businesses.
Just like the SCS, they ignore laws and bend over and ‘moon’ devasted businesses in the community that suffered tremendously from the impact of the SCS.
They will tell you it is needed and give you stats that are inflated and old and tell you how great they are and how abused they have been, with clever clips of video that tell only part of the story, because they have become masters in misleading the public!
Facts;

  1. BC and Alberta saw a ‘short term’ spike in fatal overdoses in the summer due to COVID restrictions and illegal drug supplies not making it to the streets.
  2. The numbers dropped back down in September, just after the SCS closed for misappropriation of funds and there is consideration for charges for inflating the number of users, that gave Lethbridge an infamous reputation worldwide.
  3. More addicts started seeking help after the closure of the 24/7 nightclub they called a safe consumption site that attracted people to come and party, becoming addicts.
  4. Downtown Lethbridge in October saw fewer numbers of high people wandering the streets all night since there was no 24/7 ‘nightclub’ anymore.
  5. Some of their own staff have had assault charges placed against them, but you don’t see they in their videos!

This is not needed, and many of us support the genuine services such as Streets Alive, Food Banks and the Soup Kitchen (3 meals per day) and the Sage Clan does an excellent job as well and should be commended.
There was a clear message sent to governments that the citizens do not want safe consumption sites here and want money put into more responsible areas to deal with the matterm such as mental health and drug treatment programs that work.
There are several in the US that I have found and spoke with one of the people who started their program that was so effective, it spawned several other treatment programs. It began as a prison diversion program, won several awards, with no safe consumption sites and I say again, no safe consumption sites.
The programs that are needed with these sites, cost millions, as we have seen on Lethbridge, with social services and housing programs, along with D.O.T. and let’s not forget we had to lease the Lethbridge Seniors Center as a second shelter during extreme COVID conditions and lease the motel on Mayor Magrath Drive for isolation for the addicts. The costs were all for about 150 people who are the addicts/homeless that the SCS were 800!
There are still more charges that should be pending in this matter, and this illegal tent, that allows criminal acts, is not required in this city. We have a legal mobile safe consumption unit that is dequate and located in the best place to meet the needs of the addicts!
This illega tent is staffed with people without proper medical degrees or addiction counselling degrees to operate it and I have the same connections to refer people for treatment as they do, while the legal consumption unit has direct communication with treatment programs.
This tent endangers the addicts by portraying they can save them! They are not needed anymore and the low numbers we now see prove it. Without it, move people will choose to get off the streets, get treatment, etc.
When the SCS was closing, many of the people on the streets were talking more about changing their lifestyles, open to discussion!
The biggest example that shows the complete failure of these sites, steady increases in all areas including fatal ovedoses, is right next door in BC.
Enabling addicts doesn’t work and this tent is not need or wanted!!!!!

ewingbt

They let anyone speak there . . . even law breakers who set up illegal tents in our parks so commit criminal acts!
We are doomed in society as we let actions like these become the norm! We have sunk into the abyss!
I hope that many of the business owners that lost their livelihoods go there and let their words be heard!

ewingbt

And the lies continue . . . the snake oil sales tactics and disinformation continued to be spewed by the criminals who operate the illegal tent.
By their own self admission, they admitted to SACPA audience that they were allowing illegal drug use in their tent.
SACPA said they reached out to protesters . . . funny that no one I have talked, including myself were ever approached!
What is next . . . someone who is going to apply for a permit/licence to operate an abortion clinic, pops up a tent in Galt Gardens and starts performing abortions, because they say there is a need, while they fill out the paperwork for the application?
This site is not needed and they are not wanted!
Police say they see no drug use occurring in the tent, yet the LOPS states in news interviews and at this forum, that they are allowing drug use!
Police, Council and many of the public fail to respond to the lies or to the fact they are committing crimes and endangering the addicts and not providing a sanitary area, or effective counselling referrals due to the fact they do not have the proper connections to treatment and counselling services.
Insite, the safe injection site that opened in Vancouver DTES 17 years ago, created a massive homeless population, with almost half coming from out of province due the all of the social and housing services provided.
Since it opened, the number of fatal overdoses continued to rise, just like in Lethbridge, after the SCS opened, the number of addicts, homeless, just like in Lethbridge, and crime/prostitution/human trafficking rose, just like in Lethbridge.
To date all the negative impacts including deaths continue to rise in BC, yet they say it works????
The greater Vancouver DTES is about 20,000 people and in just that area, $360 million is pumped into over 300 social services and housing programs annually . . .. billions have been pumped into this area alone since 2003, when the first injection site was opened in the Vancouver DTES called Insite!
People die in the alleys, just like Lethbridge and in Lethbridge people continued to shoot up drugs all over downtown . . . the SCS never stopped that and I have thousands of pictures to prove that!
How we allow criminals to stand up before us and sell their snake oil, when lives are at risks is beyond my comprehension as to where society is now at!
This is an illegal site that is not wanted or needed! Arrest them all and shut it down!



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