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UCP to announce review panel for supervised consumption sites

Last Updated Aug 19, 2019 at 3:03 pm MDT

A shot of the Sheldon Chumir Health centre. The site of Calgary's only safe consumption area. (CityNews)

ALBERTA (660 NEWS) — Alberta’s UCP government is expected to announce the members of a committee that will review supervised drug consumption services Monday morning.

Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason Luan is holding a news conference in Calgary, where the appointees are expected to discuss the review.

Alberta has supervised drug consumption centres in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge, but the province is freezing proposed sites for Red Deer, Medicine Hat, and another site in Calgary.

In Calgary, the only supervised consumption site is at the Sheldon Chumir Health Centre. In February, Forest Lawn’s Community Association withdrew its support for a supervised consumption mobile vehicle.

READ MORE: Forest Lawn says ‘no thanks’ to safe consumption site

The United Conservative government has said it wants to review the impacts of the centres on surrounding communities.

“For over a decade, we’ve been told we just need to ensure addicts do drugs ‘safely,'” Premier Jason Kenney wrote on Facebook last year. “Enabling someone to commit slow-motion suicide — to throw their life away — is not compassion.”

Instead, Kenney suggests a plan to “crackdown on the criminals that are bringing poison into our communities. And we need to invest in actual treatment programs to get addicts off drugs — not spend money to help them consume drugs.”

WATCH: Funding for safety at consumption site

With files from The Canadian Press