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Safe injection site showdown between the Region and City of Cambridge

Registered nurse Sammy Mullally holds a tray of supplies to be used by a drug addict at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck.

Regional officials have revealed their picks for the best locations to set up supervised injection sites.

Despite the wishes of Cambridge City council, there are two candidate sites in downtown Galt – 149 Ainslie Street North, and 150 Main Street.

There’s one candidate site in downtown Kitchener, at 115 Water Street – while another candidate site is still to be determined.

In April Cambridge City Council passed a by-law that would allow them to prevent a supervised safe injection site in any of Cambridge’s core urban areas.

Regional Chair Ken Seiling says the research shows supervised injections sites cut down on deaths, but he adds whether communities want those sites is another question.

Grace Bermingham is the Region’s Manager of Information Planning and Harm Reduction. She says there’s a rising number of people dying of overdoses.

She adds these sites are being prioritized as one possible way to make a difference.

Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig says the endorsement by the Region does not change anything for the City of Cambridge, “Right now we are not supporting going ahead with either of the two sites that have been suggested in the core areas of Cambridge.” Said Craig.

He adds, “At this point regardless of the position of the Region of Waterloo, the interim control by-law allows us to prevent any of the sites going in to core areas of Cambridge.” Said Craig.

Regional Council will vote tomorrow to go ahead with phase 2B that will see more in depth public consultations on the proposed sites.