Langley City must act on methadone dispensaries

This is a Langley City problem and the City needs to take leadership and proactive action.

Editor: The recent article in The Times (June 5) regarding the number of methadone dispensing pharmacies is a concern — particularly the lack of action by City council. I recognize council has formed a committee and referred a bylaw back to staff, but this could result in many more months of inaction.

We are dealing with a legalized narcotic, the use of which is to aid addicted individuals to rebuild their lives. But it is a narcotic and where there is supply, there will be demand, so it is not likely any of these pharmacies will close due to attrition.

A tour of the downtown area shows that businesses are moving out. Why is this? And why is the City not doing more to encourage and support local business?

Envision moved due to a problem with homeless individuals setting up in the area. The City asked Envision to clean up, and also asked St. Joseph’s Church to do so.

This is not a business problem or a church problem — it is a City problem and the City needs to take leadership and proactive action. Our downtown core is sadly reminiscent of Whalley in previous years.

I suggest council and staff review City of Surrey By-law 15039, which regulates the dispensing of methadone. It may not be a cure, but at least it would be a start. Council needs to take a more assertive role in protecting the City. And it needs to do so quickly.

Kory Swaele,