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BCGEU condemns City of Vancouver’s decision to allow Yaletown OPS to close - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

July 25, 2023

BCGEU condemns City of Vancouver's decision to allow Yaletown OPS to close 

(Coast Salish Territories) – The City of Vancouver's decision last week to allow the lease at Thomus Donaghy Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) in Yaletown to expire in March 2024 will put lives at risk at a time when harm reduction services are needed more than ever. 

"We are in the midst of a drug-poisoning crisis. Shutting down one of the most-used overdose prevention sites in the city with no plans for an alternative is unacceptable to our members who work at this facility and the clients they serve," said Paul Finch, BCGEU treasurer. 

The BCGEU is calling on Mayor Ken Sim and the ABC majority to intervene and renew the lease until an alternative space in the downtown area is secured. 

In addition to overdose prevention visits averaging 100 per day, the Yaletown site also distributes food donations and water during heat waves. The loss of this site or an alternative would represent a significant gap in multiple supports that vulnerable people in the area depend on. 

"We urge the City of Vancouver to extend the lease in order to save lives while an alternative space, one that addresses the needs of the community accessing services as well as residents in the surrounding area, is found," said Finch. 

Hundreds of BCGEU members at Raincity Housing and Support Society and Lookout Housing and Health Society work at overdose prevention sites, including at Thomus Donaghy OPS. 


Media contact: [email protected].