Brantford Mayor Chris Friel (the second to do so) entertained an interview-via-Twitter with Allison Leonard, a Laurier Brantford journalism student. The topic of the day? The Victoria Park Clinic in downtown Brantford.
The mayor’s point on profit-making on the backs of addicts is well taken.
The private sector has stepped up to provide these addiction services — obviously because there is profit in the methadone business. The fact they’ve taken to it so readily does beg the question of WHY public-sector or not-for-profit corporations aren’t doing this pharmaceutical service.
I don’t think, however, that a different owner would change the friction this clinic causes. I also don’t think that friction would be any less grating if the clinic was moved to a different part of the city— the neighbours wouldn’t like it regardless of where it was located.
The city has to be intelligent if it’s going to step into this fray— regulating this based on clientele could very well be seen as discriminatory and you can’t change zoning in Ontario to chase away classes of people you don’t like. Rather than holding a stick, it needs to extend a carrot and work with the people willing and able to offer this service.
As to location, the clinic should be located where it can be accessed by its clientele— meaning, where many of them live, spend their time and can reach via all forms of transit (including by foot). Money has spoken and led to a downtown location— the company that owns this runs the medical centre in the Garden Avenue / 403 area, so I have a feeling if they thought they could do their business there it would already have moved.