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Dec 1, 2016

Chamber speaks out against safe injection site

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce supports the position of the Downtown Kelowna Association in its opposition to a supervised consumption site being located on Leon, at the proposed 477 Leon Avenue location or anywhere else in that area.

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce represents almost 1400 members throughout the greater Kelowna area. President Tom Dyas states “We have heard loud and clear from our members located downtown that the number of individuals congregating, damaging property and driving off customers is already intolerable. We do not believe that the addition of the safe consumption site will improve public safety or promote a healthy business environment on Leon Avenue.”

It has been the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and DKA’s priority for years to make the Leon area safer for our members and the public, and to revitalize that area for development. The DKA is seriously concerned that a supervised consumption site at that location will undermine public safety in the Leon area and will present a roadblock to revitalization. We think that they are right.

The IHA hasn’t yet made a final decision as to whether they intend to submit an application to the provincial government for a safe consumption site. Before the IHA will make its decision, they will be conducting further consultation with various stakeholder groups, to seek feedback on potential locations and service models. One of their avenues to receive feedback is a survey. They are asking you as a property or business owner to fill out their survey on the Interior Health website by December 15, 2016.

This will be your chance to give your opinion and thoughts on whether a supervised consumption site in downtown Kelowna is beneficial or not.

If you are not familiar with the supervised consumption site, IHA states that it is a health service that provides a clean environment where people can inject pre-obtained drugs under the supervision of trained health-care staff who can respond promptly in the event of an overdose.

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce acts as a single powerful voice for their 1400 members and their 25,000 plus employees to promote local business interests. The Chamber provides a cohesive business network for its members to expand their business contacts, value-added benefits, programs, and services aimed at improving the bottom line of Chamber members. Their mission is to foster a positive business environment by providing members with leadership, advocacy and services of value.