Discarded Used Needles. (Photo by BlackburnNews)

Council in favour of syringe program updates

The municipality may soon be getting an improved needle and syringe program.

On Monday night, councillors voted unanimously in favour of Councillor Aaron Hall’s motion to look at ways to improve the Chatham-Kent Needle-Syringe Program.

The program is in place to give people a place to safely discard used needles and get access to new ones. However, Hall believed the program could use updates in several areas including having more places available to dispose of needles and making sure program partners are more adequately supplied.

“Businesses partnering with the program are facing challenges with the lack of adequate disposal supplies, putting a burden on their business and employees,” said Hall. “This point was illustrated really well I thought during a deputation last month by Delynne Marlatt who owns Shoppers Drug Mart in Wallaceburg… She’s facing issues with it and having to spend money out of her own pocket to properly dispose of the needles that get brought to her business.”

Hall is also hoping the report that comes back can look at increasing public education on the matter, including what people can do if they find used needles in the community.

Now that the motion has been approved, the report is expected back by June. Additionally, Hall’s motion requests that the report is done in collaboration with the proposed Municipal Drug Strategy which will be discussed during the upcoming 2020 budget deliberations.