Skip to main content

Supervised drug consumption site in Winnipeg announced in budget


Plans for a future supervised drug consumption site in Winnipeg are becoming clearer following the release of the Manitoba budget.

The NDP government has set aside $2.5 million for a site in the North Main Street area of Winnipeg.

“We have a very interesting proposal brought forward by an Indigenous-led consortium on a supervised consumption site,” said Premier Wab Kinew. “We're looking at that.”

The site won’t be operating until 2025, the premier said, noting proper consultation with the community is required.

“How do you ensure the impacts on public safety and the immediate neighbourhood are going to be addressed? These things take time,” he said.

Nicole Richard, a Winnipeg resident who knows the area well, said a lot of people in the north Main Street area are struggling with addiction.

“I think it would be one hundred per cent beneficial,” she said.

Not everyone is convinced a safe consumption site is the right solution.

James Audy, a recovering addict and former drug dealer, believes the area will be a magnet for crime.

“It’s a place where a lot of drug dealers would go, a place where people, a lot of people would get hurt, their stuff stolen,” he said.

Harm reduction advocates have long been calling for a site, and welcomed the announcement.

“It would reduce infectious transmissions due to the sharing or the using of a tainted needle,” said Jason Whitford with End Homelessness Winnipeg.

“I’ve been waiting for this change for a long time, so I’m very pleased,” said Arlene Last-Kolb with Moms Stop The Harm.

However, they said there wasn’t enough in the budget to address the prevention of toxic drug deaths by providing a safe supply.

The budget set aside money to cover new initiatives for drug testing in Winnipeg and northern Manitoba. The government will also be spending $1.5 million to expand treatment options, and is spending $500,000 for 24/7 sobering centres in Brandon and Thompson. Top Stories

Stay Connected