FRASER HEALTH: Health Contact Centre coming to Begbie

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The Fraser Health Authority has selected the Lower Mainland Purpose Society as the non-profit operator of a proposed Health Contact Centre at 40 Begbie Street in Downtown New Westminster. As proposed, this centre will include an overdose prevention site and other harm reduction services. Given that you are an important stakeholder in the City, staff want to ensure that we share this information with you.

The Health Contact Centre will provide a clean, consistent, safe and welcoming environment in which individuals can consume their own drugs witnessed by people who care about their safety and security. The primary aim of the centre is to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with substance use in the community; increase access to witnessed consumption; offer harm reduction supplies and education; provide take home naloxone kits and training; and facilitate drug checking to help ensure a safer drug supply.

As a Health Contact Centre is not permitted use under the current zoning, the Lower Mainland Purpose Society has applied for a Temporary Use Permit. If the permit is approved by City Council, based on the interim development review process, the society could operate the centre for a three-year period subject to any conditions which Council may require. The society could also apply to renew the permit for an additional three-year period.

There will be a virtual information session held on February 17, 2021 that you and your members are welcome to attend. City staff will summarize all the feedback received in a report to Council for its consideration prior to the adoption of the permit.

City staff have also launched a page on the City’s new Be Heard New West public engagement site that includes project information, project updates, an opportunity to ask questions, a comment form and frequently asked questions and responses. The details of the virtual information session February 17 are available on this site.

 Regards,

Lynn Roxburgh MCIP, RPP  |  Senior Policy Planner | T 604.515.3805  |  C 604.345.2978  |  E lroxburgh@newwestcity.ca