New neighbourhood group opposing safe injection site at 446 York Street
Opponents of a supervised drug consumption site on York Street have launched a provocative new campaign called "School Zone Not a Drug Zone."
A group called the "Midtown Ratepayers Association" has launched a website at midtownratepayers.ca, including a petition and survey questions about 446 York Street as the location for the permanent harm reduction facility.
Denise Krogman, whose family owns a car lot next door to the site, is now president of the association.
“We as a community are just rallying around, protecting our safety, the school, the ladies that live around here alone.”
Krogman says the ratepayers association is made up of residents, businesses and property owners in the area.
The website calls a harm reduction facility at 446 York a "terrible idea" and claims "there is a strong correlation between drug injection sites and crime."
But the region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Chris Mackie, rejects those claims.
"The claim that there is a correlation between supervised sites and crime is inaccurate. It’s not a surprise people are worried about this. There is still a lot of stigma.”
Krogman stands behind the website, "We need to be blunt, because we need to draw attention to the fact we're not getting the respect we need as residents and businesses.”
In the summer the provincial government was unclear on its willingness to provide the funding necessary to operate the facility on York.
Krogman says the intended audience of the survey and petition is the provincial government.
“There hasn't been a lot of positive response from the decision-makers of London, so we hope to go to the provincial level and show them how many concerned citizens we have in our area.”
An appeal of city council’s decision to rezone 446 York for supervised drug consumption will be heard at a hearing in October.
Krogman's ratepayer association is not affiliated with the "Midtown Neighbourhood Association.”