Loading articles...

Protestors set up rogue supervised injection site in Maple Ridge

Last Updated Jun 13, 2019 at 3:14 pm PDT

A temporary supervised injection site set up as a protest in Maple Ridge. (Source: Twitter, @stopdisplacemnt)

MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS 1130) — Protestors set up an ‘unsanctioned’ supervised injection site in Maple Ridge Wednesday evening, but the site has since been closed.

A group of activists had set up a tent in the yard of the Royal Crescent Modular Housing at 22548 Royal Cres., in hopes Fraser Health would open a permanent supervised injection site.

Caitlin Shane, a lawyer with Pivot Legal Society, said the move comes after Anita Place Tent City was mostly shut down earlier this year, including an overdose prevention site.

“People in the community, people who use drugs and their allies have set up a tent on a piece of land and are providing overdose prevention services to people who need them,” she says.

RELATED: Hundreds protest in dueling rallies over Maple Ridge modular housing

She says police initially showed up to shut the site down, but the action was delayed.

“Police initially came in quite energetically and were saying that they were going to arrest everyone for mischief, and we successfully stood them down and explained to them that there was risk of violating the Charter in shutting down a life-saving health facility in the absence of other facilities like it in the community,” she says.

“There are section 7. Charter rights at stake. This is a life-saving service that people need, and to shut it down, we worry would violate those rights.”

Residents of the tent city and activists have repeatedly clashed with Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden since over the tent city, and since another unsanctioned injection site was closed at the camp. A man died of an overdose in April after the site was removed.

– With files from Marcella Bernardo