Interior Health has committed to appear before Penticton city council during a public meeting to explain strategies and programs to address the problem of improperly discarded needles.
Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki, along with city staff, met with officials on Thursday from Interior Health for the purpose of discussing discarded needles in the community and how their safe disposal can be better managed.
“My goal this morning was to have an open and frank discussion with Interior Health officials on the challenging issue of improperly disposed needles that are causing great concern to the residents of Penticton,” said Vassilaki. “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.”
According to the city, key information that was provided included the clarification that discarded needles do not spread disease once they have been left on the ground or exposed to the elements.
“Today’s meeting was useful in providing an opportunity to share our perspectives,” said city CAO Donny van Dyk. “City staff will continue to work with Interior Health to determine how a collaborative solution can be found. If a collaborative solution can not be arrived at, staff will bring other options to council for their consideration.”
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