Court denies appeal for opponents of York Street supervised drug site
LONDON, ONT. -- An Ontario court has dismissed the appeal on behalf of opponents of a supervised drug consumption site on York Street.
Some neighbours and business owners are not pleased with the decision, including Denise Krogman, who owns a car lot next door at 448 York St.
“The neighbourhood that has been fighting the injection site heard that the court will not hear our appeal which is the second appeal that we have filed and they threw out the first one as well,” she says.
Krogman is a part of a group called the Midtown Ratepayers Association that launched a petition to halt the move of the facility from 181 King Street to York Street.
Krogman has opposed the location since 2018.
But the new facility - if cleared for renovations - will more than triple the amount of clients it can host, opposed to its previous location on King Street that was meant to be temporary
Krogman argues her neighbourhood and business may be in jeopardy if the site is given the go-ahead.
“Our neighbourhood is highly populated with businesses and ladies who live alone and families and children. I’m not just speaking for two or three people, I am speaking for the majority of the neighbourhood.”
Brian Lester of the HIV-AIDS Connection says there is nothing to fear and welcomes input from the community.
“The intention for the site is that it will be well designed, it has gone through extensive planning. We would actually like to consult with our immediate neighbours about the kinds of things like fencing that would be up.”
Security will be monitoring the area at all hours of operation externally and internally and promises to notify London Police if any urban camping emerges.
Lester says that the medical officer of health and mayor Ed Holder stand behind the consumption site’s location, saying it has a lot of wrap around support.
“That permanent location also provides wrap around services that are just more challenging where the current site is,”says Holder.
The Ministry of Health still has to make a determination as to whether it will support service to operate under 446 York Street.
Krogman says that she will not be backing down despite the two appeals being dismissed
“There's plenty of buildings available that are worth sinking into the money into to have the people off the street and get the proper help they need. Because it's sad to let them back on the street after they use drugs,” she says.