Regional council is set to consider 150 Duke Street West for a proposed Consumption and Treatment Services site as a staff report released this week has recommended that location.
If the Region of Waterloo approves the site on Tuesday, it will then be proposed to the City of Kitchener. If the City supports the location, an application will be sent to Health Canada and the provincial government.
Regional Councillor Elizabeth Clarke says a 45-page long report that has been released ahead of the meeting details the pros and cons of all proposed sites in Kitchener and Cambridge.
"The report is based on the in-person consultations, as well as the online surveys. The report summarizes all of that information, which lets us know why staff have gone to the recommendation that they've gone to."
She says the region recieved lots of good feedback from the community on how the CTS or SIS sites will operate.
"So we did get some really good feedback that will help us plan what our site will look like, especially in terms of things like what the community consultations around how the site is operated will continue to look like, including things like what the police presence will be and how we will work with the police. We were able to get some useful feedback from the community on how they want to be involved and how they want to ensure that the site becomes an asset to their neighborhood and not -- as some feared it would be, harmful."
She says it could take anywhere from six months to two years for safe consumption sites to get up and running.
Clarke adds a site in Cambridge is completely off the table, for now.
"Staff will continue to work with council in Cambridge, to try and find a site that will meet the federal and provincial criteria for the CTS (Consumption and Treatment Service), and will also be satisfactory to the community Cambridge."
The latest numbers from Waterloo Regional Police show there have been 20 suspected overdose related deaths in the first three months of 2019.