Downtown Inc., Invest North Bay’s new downtown revitalization committee, will be tackling the issue of methadone clinics in the downtown core as part of its agenda. Members were in front of city council this week to introduce themselves when Councillor Mark King brought the issue up. At least three methadone clinics are in the downtown area, and that includes an addiction treatment centre and two pharmacies that dispense methadone.
Co-chairman of Downtown Inc., Shawn Chorney says the locations and challenges related to methadone clinics have been flagged as an issue for the new committee to deal with. Chorney wouldn’t go into specifics however, adding they aren’t in a position yet to publicly comment on it. He finished by saying they want to do some research, and look into what other communities are doing to find safe and healthy alternatives.
King, who sits on the Downtown Waterfront Advisory Committee, was asked about this issue. He says it’s something he brought up to the committee at its meeting last week. King says there was some ongoing discussion about what could happen with the clinics, and that he’s had talks with staff about finding out ways to deal with this issue in the downtown core. King says he’s had some ideas about the issue for a while now, and added there could be some opportunities to deal with it but couldn’t go into specifics because of the other agencies that would be involved.
He says right now a number of Northern Ontario mayors in the larger cities are dealing with the same issue, and somehow they have to get a handle on it. King says it may not be widely accepted to discuss moving these buildings that do provide essential services for people, but they’re going to have to figure out how to control it somehow.