Gibson also said that he thought it was an “amazing move” to take the decision for the site from the politics of city council.
Well that’s just not right. Public policy should be discussed in a public forum. This issue is important to the people of Ottawa and their elected representatives. They should have a chance to debate it.
I’m in favour of a safe injection site for Ottawa for all the sound reasons that Ottawa Public Health has explained. I don’t doubt for a moment the good work and good intentions of OPH and the community health centre. They’re fine people trying to do their best. Both organizations are vital parts of Ottawa.
That said municipal government should represent the views of Ottawans. A safe injection site is very controversial and we should recognize that opponents of the project have valid arguments. A decision on the site should be able to stand the debate and scrutiny of the public and interested organizations. One might not agree with their arguments but their arguments should be heard in the forum of ideas.
Watson’s move sounds very much like a person in a difficult political spot who wants someone else to make the decision so the mayor doesn’t alienate a large number of voters.
That’s nothing to be “amazed” about. If a decision can’t stand up to debate at council and committee, it’s unsound.
A healthy democracy encourages debate, ideas and criticism. And that’s more important than one safe injection site.
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