Coun­cil could or­der plebiscite vote

The Compass - - NEWS - FROM A1 ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

For the first few years, the op­er­a­tion will ac­com­mo­date four- tosix res­i­dents be­fore con­sid­er­ing a po­ten­tial ex­pan­sion. Clarke em­pha­sized the tran­si­tion house will be un­like any­thing else cur­rently ex­ist­ing in New­found­land and Labrador.

Op­po­si­tion

Re­ac­tion to the pro­posal was mixed. While just about ev­ery­one in the room seemed will­ing to ac­knowl­edge there is a sub­stance abuse prob­lem in the com­mu­nity, some ex­pressed reser­va­tions about hav­ing the fa­cil­ity in the cen­tre of Vic­to­ria. The build­ing is lo­cated on Route 70, a short dis­tance from the main turnoff by the Irv­ing gas sta­tion.

“It’s in the heart of a res­i­den­tial area. None of you guys are wak­ing up across the road from this,” said a man who lives di­rectly across from the build­ing.

“I don’t want to have to wake up ev­ery morn­ing and ex­plain to my son and my daugh­ter what they are. I don’t want them see­ing that ev­ery­day,” added a woman who lives close to the build­ing.

Coun. Jen­nifer Baker dis­cussed the im­por­tance of treat­ing ad­dicts as hu­man be­ings in­stead of peo­ple for the pub­lic to shun. She also sug­gested some fears were mis­di­rected.

“These peo­ple want to change their lives. These peo­ple are do­ing some­thing about it,” she said. “Two houses down the road, you’ve got some man or woman sell­ing drugs, push­ing it to our chil­dren. Send­ing their chil­dren to school to push it on our chil­dren. These are the peo­ple that we should be wor­ried about.”

U- Turn ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jeff Bourne, who lives in Vic­to­ria and over­came his own ad­dic­tions is­sues be­fore start­ing up the cen­tre, sug­gested ad­dicts do not get a fair shake.

“Ad­dic­tion is clas­si­fied as a dis­ease. If we were go­ing to open up a place for cancer pa­tients, or some other dis­ease, you’d get a pat on the back,” he said. “Peo­ple in the grip of ad­dic­tion, they’ve had enough peo­ple kick them in the face. Every­body is af­ter turn­ing their back on them … It’d be an hon­our for me to bring this back to the town of Vic­to­ria, where the vi­sion started … I know the peo­ple in here are com­mu­nity peo­ple, and they’re lovely peo­ple.”

Mayor Barry Dooley said the town is presently con­sid­er­ing whether to vote on the pro­posal or hold a plebiscite vote for the en­tire com­mu­nity. The next Vic­to­ria coun­cil meet­ing is Dec. 13.

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