As of March 31, Aids Vancouver Island in Courtenay will no longer offer its Overdose Prevention Service (OPS) at 355 6th St. An awareness march over the impending closure is being held Tuesday. File photo

Opponents of decision to discontinue Overdose Prevention Service in Courtenay to march Tuesday

An awareness march over the impending closure of the Overdose Prevention Service (OPS) at the Courtenay office of AIDS Vancouver Island is being held Tuesday, March 10 at 2 p.m. Marchers will gather at the Connect Warming Centre at 685 Cliffe Ave. and walk to Island Health offices at 355 11th St. in Courtenay.

Participants are invited to make signs regarding the March 31 closure. Members of the community will speak about their experiences of having their lives saved by OPS.

“Funding has been pulled from Island Health with no clear statement from the Health Authority that a supervised injection site will open elsewhere,” a news release states. “This puts lives at risk and affects all members of our community.”

The OPS will no longer be available in Courtenay because AVI lost its contract. Island Health has said it continues to “define options for the provision of those services” after March 31.

READ: AVI Courtenay to close Overdose Prevention Service March 31

Organizers of Tuesday’s march say the location of the supervised site at 6th Street is optimally located, and that staff at AVI have developed a strong relationship with those who use their services.

“Not only does an OPS site save lives in the event of an overdose, it also is a key part to a referral pathway. The OPS site acts as a space where people can get referrals to other substance use support such as treatment and detox, intensive care management services, and treatment for HIV or Hep C services.”

Along with saving lives, advocates say OPS reduces public drug use and reduces the number of improperly discarded needles.

“Island Health needs to provide a clear answer as to where and when a supervised safe injection site will open,” the news release states.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Courtenay Hero Wall gives thanks to frontline workers

People wanting to thank frontline workers in the Comox Valley can add… Continue reading

Comox Valley Transition Society available for women who need help throughout pandemic

“We anticipate more women than usual will access our resources, but we do have plans in place.”

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Comox Valley Regional District approves emergency funding to address community COVID-19 issues

The Comox Valley Regional District’s board of directors has approved $148,279 in… Continue reading

Search for missing man comes to sad conclusion

The man reported missing to the Campbell River RCMP on March 30… Continue reading

‘We don’t need this right now’: B.C. man breaks up road rage incident

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road in Saanich on Vancouver Island

Comox Valley grocers going extra mile during coronavirus

We have had numerous requests to post a fluid article directing consumers… Continue reading

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

Migrant worker advocates blame feds, employers for COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. garden store

Migrant farm worker group calls on government for adequate health and safety requirements

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Most Read