Penticton, Interior Health look for collaborative approach to discarded needles - InfoNews

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Penticton, Interior Health look for collaborative approach to discarded needles

The City of Penticton and Interior Health have met to discuss the issue of safety and discarded needles.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
June 21, 2019 - 11:16 AM

PENTICTON - The City of Penticton and Interior Health have agreed on the need for a collaborative approach to the issue of discarded needles on streets and in public places, but the city continues to seek more information on the issue from the health authority.

Officials met with each other yesterday, June 20, to discuss the issue of discarded needles and their safe disposal following a report earlier this week of a young girl stepping on a needle near the Skaha Lake park waterpark.

Mayor John Vassilaki said in a media release his goal was to have a frank discussion about the issue with the health authority, noting the concerns of residents regarding the issue.

“While we discussed and agreed on a number of points, including the recognition of the issue’s complexity, the need for a collaborative approach, and the importance of continuing needle disposal education, I believe there is still ground to cover when it comes to receiving clear data on needle usage, along with who, from Interior Health, is in the best position to address this problem,” he said in the release.

Chief administrative officer Donny van Dyk said the city would continue to work with Interior Health towards a collaborative solution, but barring that outcome staff would bring other options to council for consideration.

The city was told discarded needles do not spread disease once they have been left on the ground or exposed to the elements. Interior Health also agreed to appear before council at a public meeting to outline and help explain strategies and programs currently in place to address the problem of discarded needles.


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