By Jean L. Fair
The Spectator Editorial on October 15, 2022 says, “Inner city wards already has an above average number of services and shelters, so the needed CTS capacity should be in some other part of the city. The problem with that is that the population that needs the service isn’t someplace else, and it doesn’t make much sense to open a CTS site where drug users won’t use it.” The City of Hamilton’s current web site shows opioid overdose data. (https://hamilton.ca/people-programs/public-health/alcohol-drugs-gambling/hamilton-opioid-information-system) One cannot zoom in to make out any of the street names, so a knowledgeable Ward 3 resident marked the western border of Ward 3 on a separate map. (Insert map) The bulk of the opioid deaths are significantly west of the Ward 3 border. We agree with the editors that the CTS sites belong where the need and incidence of opioid deaths are greatest. That puts it squarely into Ward 2. Unfortunately, both the CTS under construction and the proposed CTS location are in Ward 3, marked with an ‘x’.)
Other statistics concur with the above link about where the opioid deaths have occurred. Data from Hamilton Paramed Services, extracted August 13, 2021, show that, in the period 2017-2021, there were 1,014 ‘incidents’ in Ward 2, and only 643 in Ward 3. Teviah Moro’s updated March 2, 2020 article about downtown overdoses shows that, for the period between Jan 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018, Ward 2 had 38.6% of the opioid-related calls, versus 25.8% in Ward 3.
Ward 3 is gravely concerned that the projected concentration of both CTSs and the shelters will make Ward 3 more like E Hastings St in Vancouver. Crime does increase around these sites.