Alliance Against Displacement called for an overdose prevention site to be opened in Maple Ridge, but no arrests made. (Contributed)

Call out for overdose prevention site in Maple Ridge

Tent set up Wednesday, then taken down

The Alliance Against Displacement and members of the community called on Fraser Health to open an overdose prevention site in Maple Ridge on Wednesday.

People showed up at the modular housing site on Royal Crescent, and held media conference to make their demands, followed by the setting up of a overdose prevention site tent.

They want Fraser Health to open such a site immediately to replace Anita Place Tent City, which they said operated as an overdose prevention site because people were always around to watch each other as drugs were consumed.

In a release Wednesday, the Alliance said that a recent fatal overdose was the result of tent city being closed.

Tent city, on 223rd Street, was evacuated March 1 because of fire safety concerns. Only verified residents were allowed back as per a Supreme Court order obtained by the city.

The overdose prevention site tent was later taken down, but the Alliance wants the province to select a permanent site by June 10.

Ridge Meadows RCMP said the incident ended peacefully and that no arrests were made, although numerous officers attended. Some remained on site until 6:30 p.m.

Sgt. Brenda Gresiuk said it’s up the various sides to work out their issues and police are just there to keep the peace.

“We live in a democratic society where you’re allowed to have protests. It’s our job to maintain that peace and to work towards a peaceful conclusion and resolution.”

Tasleem Juma of Fraser Health said the agency supports harm-reduction practices, such as overdose prevention services, Take Home Naloxone and needle distribution, as they improve the health and wellness of individuals.

She added that residents of the Royal Crescent temporary modular housing project and those at the Alouette Heights supportive housing complex can access overdose prevention services at both sites.

Others who use drugs can access overdose prevention services, including witnessed consumption, through outreach services provided by Rain City.

The Salvation Army’s Ridge Meadows Ministries shelter also provides overdose prevention services.

“We also continue to work with the City of Maple Ridge to connect people dispersed from Anita Place to our outreach services,” Juma said.

Laura Mathews, with BC Housing, said the agency recognizes the importance of overdose prevention sites for people with addictions, noting there is a safe consumption space for use by residents within the temporary modular homes on Royal Crescent. “These spaces are located inside the building, are monitored and only available to tenants, not the broader public,” Matthews said.

She added that BC Housing tries to reduce the impact on the neighbourhoods where it operates its supportive housing complexes. “Which is why we can’t allow this site to operate here,” Mathews said.

She added that the province has directed health authorities to open overdose prevention sites where there is a need, in consultation with local governments, health professionals, advocates and users.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: Why are mobile lab workers not getting hazard pay?

A Pitt Meadows essential service worker questions why she and coworkers are not being compensated

PHOTOS: Maple Ridge Cubs conduct porch-based food drive

A Scouting from Home effort sees kids collecting non-perishables for the Friends In Need Food Bank

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

LETTER: Hear your postie’s plea about dogs

When a canine bites, it’s seldom the animal but rather the owner at fault

Gifted tablet help connect patients with loved-ones

Amid COVID, Ridge Meadows Hospital continues to receive a variety of different kinds of donations

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

Most Read