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Future of Cambridge CTS site uncertain with newly elected council at the helm

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The future of the consumption treatment services site (CTS) in the City of Cambridge could be in jeopardy with a new mayor and new councillors at the helm.

Adam Cooper, a newly elected Ward 6 councillor for the City of Cambridge, said it is time to readdress what is happening at the CTS site on Main Street.

It’s been a year since council voted to endorse bringing the consumption and treatment services site to 150 Main Street.

“It is a very divisive one within our community and I had high hopes that once we had put it to bed it would stay there,” said Donna Reid, Ward 1 Councilor for the City of Cambridge.

The AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Waterloo and Kitchener is spearheading the site’s application, and once it’s complete, it will be in the hands of the province for approval.

Reid said CTS sites like Kitchener’s have proven to save lives since it opened its doors three years ago.

According to the site’s online data dashboard, they have had more than 22,000 client visits with 819 overdoses reversed and no deaths on site.

“You can’t ignore those kinds of statistics, and we need to be saving the lives of our vulnerable people in Cambridge,” said Reid.

Reid said she was prepared to step up and fight to keep the CTS site as she has been a supporter of the treatment facility since the beginning.

Re-elected councillor Scott Hamilton also supports the CTS site and stressed that it is essential that council remember this is not a political issue, but a health issue.

“If we look to what every single health expert we’ve consulted has said, they’ve recommended a site is beneficial for Cambridge it will help clean up the cores and most importantly it will help save lives,” said Hamilton.

Despite the evidence of the success of CTS in Kitchener and other communities, Cooper said it has no place in the city.

“A greater focus on not enabling what is already killing them. We need more focus on a push towards abstinence in house, on-demand detox rehab facilities,” said Cooper.

It's unclear how much support Cooper will have at council.

Former mayor Kathryn McGarry was vocal in her support of a CTS site, but she was ousted by two-term councillor Jan Liggett who voted against the site at 150 Main Street.

In previous discussions on bringing the CTS site to Cambridge, mayoral elect Jan Liggett was open in her opposition.

The new Cambridge city council will meet for the first time in November, but it is unclear if or when this issue will come up.

CTV News Kitchener reached out to mayor-elect Liggett but did not receive a reply.

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