Decision on Drug Rehabilitation Centre Deferred

The Medical building on King Street East opposite the High School is empty and its owners are proposing to use it as a drug rehabilitation centre.  This would include clients being accommodated overnight.  Current zoning allows it to be used for medical purposes but not overnight stays although current zoning bylaws do not explicitly mention rehabilitation centres so the situation is not clear. (A legal opinion/ interpretation said they were not allowed). However, zoning bylaws are currently being reviewed so this may change. The review started in 2011 with a contract to Meridian Planning Consultants Inc but in Monday’s Council meeting, Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin said that this should have taken 6 to 12 months. Because of their experience with the Town’s bylaws, staff recommended that Meridian be given a sole-source contact for $30K to consider the zoning of rehabilitation locations as well as emergency centres.

Medical Centre
Medical Centre

There are mixed messages as to whether nearby residents and the school object to the idea of a drug rehabilitation centre in that location. No negative specifics were mentioned in the staff report presented at the Council meeting (see link below) or by councillors although Nicole Beatty was clear that she supports such a facility but not necessarily in this location.

When asked about the long delay (11 years) in completing the bylaw review, Planning manager Rob Franklin said that work had been done from 2011 through part of 2013 but was then paused because the Official Plan was not yet approved due to appeals to the OMB.  Once it was approved, further delays were caused by a heavy work load in the planning department (not helped by under-staffing) – plus the Covid-19 situation.  However, Suzanne said that Meridian – for whatever reason – had not met the terms of their contract so an RFP should be issued.  Her motion was defeated 5-2 (Emily Chorley supported her).

Staff proposed an option to create an Interim Control By-law (ICBL) which would delay a decision for a year so that a review could be done (see staff report in Link for details).  When asked how long was needed for a review, Rob was unable to provide a definitive answer but given the suggested use of the ICBL, Nicole Beatty suggested that a year seemed an acceptable time so moved that Meridian be given the contract and that results should come to Council by September 1, 2020.  Her motion passed 6-1.

There’s no word on whether the building owners will wait that long.

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Wally Keeler
30 July 2020 9:30 am

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/micaelaburrow/2020/07/28/redfield-says-more-abovebase-suicides-than-covid-deaths-n2573278

“We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID. So this is why I keep coming back for the overall social being of individuals, is let’s all work together and find out how we can find common ground to get these schools open in a way that people are comfortable and their safe.”

Rob
Reply to  Wally Keeler
30 July 2020 12:00 pm

Wally – you and I made this point months ago while blowhards demanded “proof” in the form of body counts…

Sandpiper
Reply to  Wally Keeler
31 July 2020 8:27 am

I think we also have to start treating perpetual social Drug users in the same manor we do
Drinkers Its self inflicted , Public intoxication, disorderly conduct in many cases Where is MADD in all of this
The private Rehabs are also a Choice and a personal choice in many cases they are also expensive I believe the police and courts need to enforce some sort of rehab treatment rather than the less successful catch and release program , If mental capacity and suicides are what your worried about as a result of Drug use or not being able to support ones lifestyle then possibly link that rehab to mandatory psychic treatment and housing geared to that .But locate them to the appropriate area and containment

MiriamM
30 July 2020 8:49 am

Would anyone know if there is research or a place to ask about the legal use of addictive opioids, like percocet as a pain killer, on senior people with dementia? Looking for evidence that it is not a good idea and there is a change of thought among medical practitioners. Seems to me further numbing of the brain so that pain can not be felt is probably not a good idea for people with compromised brain function from dementia.

Keith Oliver
29 July 2020 6:51 pm

Kyles’ comments below (July 29 at 2:54 pm) represent a lack of information about addicts and rehab centres and perpetuate a fear that has no basis in fact and contributes to our inability to deal effectively with “the drug problem”. I lived and worked in Washington DC for eight years and did volunteer work lobbying government for better environmental regulations. One of the group was a young and upcoming lawyer. I also found out she was a drug addict. Maybe it was because I was a Canadian, maybe it was because I was planning to return to Canada, in any event she opened up to me. I was amazed at how many professionals she knew who were addicts; that the drug trade in Washington was fueled by middle-class Whites who drove in from the suburbs to find their poison. Drugs disable people, they don’t empower them. People using the services of a rehab centre want to be there, want to be free of the dreadful scourge that affects every waking moment of their life. Having a centre across from the school might be a reminder to the students that the clients were once like them, felt free to experiment, felt… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by Keith Oliver
Kyle
Reply to  Keith Oliver
29 July 2020 10:12 pm

Of course people who go to a Rehab Center want to be there. The reality is most addicts trying to quit will have an average of six failed attempts before they can be able to remain substance free.

Informed
Reply to  Kyle
30 July 2020 7:04 am

This may be true but i can empathize more if i picture one of my kids needing the service.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Kyle
30 July 2020 12:52 pm

Kyle … Is knowing the difficulty of getting off drugs, as told by those who are experiencing that struggle in real time, not even more reason for young people to be exposed to those who populate addiction rehab centres?

Kyle
Reply to  Keith Oliver
30 July 2020 1:15 pm

A percentage of failures will be desperate to obtain their substances and will do anything for the money to satisfy their need. Steal, cheat, intimidate etc., whatever it takes. Hundreds of potential victims across the street.
Not all will be “corporate” addicts with the means to finance their habit as you were exposed to.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Kyle
30 July 2020 1:59 pm

Kyle … As I pointed out in my Washington experience middle class suburban Whites constitute a high percentage of the Washington drug trade. As to those frustrated by not being able to achieve immediate success I’m sure those running the centre will know what to do, what drugs to administer to reduce and control the desire to keep using the problem drugs. Ones such as Naloxone, Methadone. In addition and with the experience gained across Canada at safe-injection sites there must be many protocols to keep clients on track.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
30 July 2020 6:26 pm

Keith, what is the importance of your comment that the problem affects “middle class suburban Whites”?
Can you provide stats on the efficacy of “many protocols to keep clients on track”? If not your suppositions are irrelevant and do nothing to advance the discussion.

Last edited 13 days ago by Ken Strauss
Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
31 July 2020 1:37 pm

Ken
Let me help you with this. Read my original comment about my experience in Washington which revealed that drug addiction is pervasive among all classes, not just criminals or low-life types as so many incorrectly assume. As to providing “stats” I am not an expert, simply one who has had several real-life experiences which drew me closer to the truth. This continued just yesterday when a young friend, home from university for the summer, told me how prevalent drug use is among classmates.
What ever we’re doing to dissuade the young to stay away from drugs isn’t working. In that regard I hope my experience will be of interest to others.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
31 July 2020 3:13 pm

I didn’t realize that whether drugs were used by “all classes” was an issue. Your question seems both irrelevant and it implies that an “upper class” problem should be treated differently from a “lower class” problem.

To reinforce your comment that we’re not doing enough to dissuade the young, I was in university more that a half-century ago at what is usually termed an Ivy League School. Students were mostly upper or middle class with a sprinkling of lower class due to affirmative action. Drugs — tobacco, marijuana, peyote, alcohol — were ubiquitous in the dorms. Little other than the details has changed in 50 years.

Last edited 12 days ago by Ken Strauss
Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
31 July 2020 6:18 pm

Ken
First “the details” are important, they’re a hell of alot more adictive, more deadly than ever before especially among the young.
Second, and let me help you with this, I made no distinction betwween classes. My point is that dispite the existing popular misconception, we are ALL in this drug epidemic together.
That said and in reference to your belief that the numbers have remained the same over the years, we have grossly failed the young in effectively reducing their use of drugs, just as we have other important issues such as environmental degredation.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
31 July 2020 9:41 pm

Most drugs are illegal with significant penalties for mere possession. Deaths due to fentanyl are publicized on almost every newscast. Many students have lost a classmate due to drugs so they know that they at not invincible. What more can be done? Keith, how do you suggest that we convince the young to reduce their drug usage?

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
31 July 2020 10:58 pm

Ken
I described one idea that I believe would get the attention of the young in the last paragraph of the piece I wrote here describing my Washington experience. It’s about having one-on-encounters with real addicts and hearing their stories … real stories about how drugs came to control them.
I have another story about what desperation drove a prominent doctor in Annapolis, Maryland, to do to himself when I was living there, but it’s too gruesome to tell here. If anyone wants to hear it call me and leave a message at 905-377-0107.
You and I Ken grew up in that post-war fairy land of prosperity and opportunity. Today young people are cynical and disalusioned about their future, uncertain as to whether they will have a descent job, be able to own a home. They grow up with parents telling them how wonderful they are and then they have to face the real world.
Through it all I believe they want to hear the truth, be treated with respect, have their fears taken seriously. Only wrinkle about hearing the truth from addicts is whether or not their parents would allow it.

Last edited 11 days ago by Keith Oliver
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
1 August 2020 9:13 am

You and I Ken grew up in that post-war fairy land of prosperity and opportunity. Today young people are cynical and disalusioned about their future”

They have no reason to be disillusioned.
1950 – 56% of world was literate;
2015 – 86.02%. And that was in our lifetime.

1950 – 1.6 billion lived in extreme poverty; 923.58 million did not.
2015 – 733.48 million lived in extreme poverty; 6.62 billion did not.

That’s a damned good accomplishment for a single lifetime of humanity.

1800 (and all previous ages) 57% of newborns survived their 5th birthday; 1960 it was 81.5%; 2016 it was 95.95%, a hundredfold lower than 200 years ago. At the same time, global life expectancy doubled over the past 100 years despite two world wars and a great depression. 

There are numerous measurements of a wide variety of aspects of human evolution and virtually all measure our success as a species. Our World In Data should be a necessary site to visit.

Our grandchildren will be colonizing Mars. Then, later the stars.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Wally Keeler
1 August 2020 10:52 am

Wally Thank you for these statistics. The problem as I see it is two fold. First that young people know little about History and the progress that has been made and based on that the progress that can be made. They have no idea what the Vietnam War was all about, how it started and ended Remember John Foster Dulles and the Domino Theory? Despite this history we had George Bush his Coalition of the Willing and the disaster that is Iraq and now the Middle East today. It is scandalous that schools consider History a subject of secondary importance. My second point is that we do so little to really listen to the young and their concerns. I believe that the over supply of bad news and the fact that social media and the way they use it provides an escape from the real world, does much to limit their knowledge and reinforce their fears. On top of this we see teens as imature adults that have to be tolerated until they just grow up. In my experience they are very real in their own right and need to be listened too. Enough of the “there, there, you’ll get… Read more »

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
1 August 2020 12:58 pm

In my experience they are very real in their own right and need to be listened too.

And that attitude leads to thinking that Greta should be tolerated among adults.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
1 August 2020 6:33 pm

“Remember John Foster Dulles and the Domino Theory?” It’s my understanding that Eisenhower coined the domino theory. It was not without some accuracy. After the commies took over South Vietnam resulting in 800,000 boat people fleeing for their lives, and then subsequent fall of Laos to the commies, then Cambodia with the Khymer Rouge. I was senior editor of the Loyalist College newspaper when the student council asked me to obtain a parade permit and rally permit for the park in Belleville for the great anti-Viet Nam demonstration. I obtained them. Student Council asked me if I wanted to be one of the speakers. I cautioned that they might want to know what I will say before they do that. What!? I wanted American youth home where they could generate wealth rather than squandering their lives pussy footing with the commies. The purpose of war is victory, and the USA wasn’t into victory. I excoriated the commies as genocidal and it turned out that they were. The student Council couldn’t stomach criticism of the commies so I was cancelled. I was too independent from the leftist narrative. “It is scandalous that schools consider History a subject of secondary importance.” But… Read more »

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Wally Keeler
1 August 2020 7:40 pm

“It is scandalous that schools consider History a subject of secondary importance.”

Of course it is. However to study history in the context of who made what inventions and how human beings benefited other human beings is unacceptable to progressives. To do so would be antithetical to the narrative that all have contributed equally.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 August 2020 9:33 pm

Ken
Then you would agree with Karl Marx who famously said … “Men make their own history but not as they please; they make it under circumstances they are not aware of, circumstances which have been transmitted from the past.”
In any case we’re once again getting off track, so I’ll close for now.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 August 2020 6:32 am

Ken
What you’re talking about is punishment. What I’m promoting is prevention. Punishment has not been a part of reducing smoking rates, while education has. If you rely on punishment all that’s left to do is pickup the pieces and that is what we all should be trying to prevent.

Informed
Reply to  Keith Oliver
30 July 2020 7:02 am

Great comments and information. Unfortunately the drugs of choice and sometimes not by choice have changed significantly. Heroin laced with fentanyl and carfentanil. Percocets and oxycontin to name a few. Realistically there is no ideal spot for a drug rehabilitation centre. Its sad that there is such a demand. I think society will also have to identify and address the cause of addiction to begin with or demand for these drug rahabs is only going to increase.

Ted Quinn
29 July 2020 11:12 am

This building has been a white elephant since it’s inception.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Ted Quinn
29 July 2020 11:59 am

Thank the DRs that built it
They have been and are now running your Hospital
Think about that for a while

Deborah O'Connor
Reply to  Sandpiper
30 July 2020 11:51 pm

The MD who built the medical building no longer lives or works here. Not running the hospital either – bean counters do that.

Donna
29 July 2020 9:13 am

Across for the high school where our most precious youth go to school. Let’s think this all the way through. Go to a drug rehab center and see that across the street is where the occupant smoke and catch up with friends.
Open space in the center of this building on the second floor. Rehab center with a space to free fall? No space for outdoor just chilling no backyard.

Sandpiper
29 July 2020 8:30 am

Thank God for Susan she seems to be the only one to bring up these unanswered and controversial issues and for the rest of council to not have brought forth all the calls they have received over this and suggest there were No negative specifics in the staff report is just wrong I know dozens of people that have called and written about this .
Also I would like to know ordered and forgot to get this report and how many other or who else has received $30,000.– for just the Consideration of the very old and outdated Zoning Bylaws in this town , To have not submitted the report in 11 yrs Some one at the top is a sleep at the helm and this certainly leave any property owner in limbo for a very long time

Lyle
Reply to  Sandpiper
29 July 2020 10:45 am

Be careful with with your comments, the next thing we will read about is that council is hiring a consultant company to study why it’s taken 11 Years , maybe there should be a search conducted to find all these reports ( must be a warehouse wilfully of them so far

JimT
28 July 2020 4:20 pm

Let’s keep in mind that a drug rehab is where people go to get away from drugs, not to encounter them.

Sam
Reply to  JimT
28 July 2020 9:04 pm

To Jim T
Hopefully Yes.

Kyle
Reply to  JimT
29 July 2020 2:54 pm

Any ‘Rehab” has less than 100% success rate. So unsuccessful persons will be right out front of a High school? This whole thing sounds like another scam trying to land in Cobourg.

cornbread
Reply to  Kyle
29 July 2020 3:47 pm

Like I said a week or two ago…how about out by Warkworth…perhaps there is some unused space at the penal institute that could be used for rehab purposes.

cornbread
Reply to  cornbread
31 July 2020 7:49 am

Hey Kyle, I guess probably the drug dealers are giving us the “thumbs down” here as they don’t want to go out-of-town to ply their trade.
Get the rehab away from the town…plain & simple