‘This Is a Life or Death Facility and It Needs to Operate’

published on July 27, 2023 by Michelle Gamage in The Tyee

On Monday Vancouver Coun. Peter Meiszner took to Twitter to announce the City of Vancouver wouldn’t be renewing the lease of the Thomus Donaghy Overdose Prevention Site.

This overdose prevention site, or OPS, is located in Vancouver’s City Centre neighbourhood at Helmcken and Seymour, just one block from the busy Granville strip. This neighbourhood has the second-highest overdose rate in the city after the Downtown Eastside according to Vancouver Coastal Health. The site is named after Thomus Donaghy, an overdose prevention worker who was killed on the job in 2020.

So far this year in Vancouver there have been 328 toxic drug overdose deaths, or an average of 56 fatalities each month, according to the BC Coroners Service.

Meiszner directed his tweet to his “#Yaletown neighbours” and said he’d been working “since elected” to make “operators take accountability for the negative impacts on our community.”

He also said harm reduction “must come with appropriate wraparound services.”…

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