On 28 October 2019, Lethbridge City Council appointed the following three people to the Lethbridge Housing Authority:
- Brad Kirk
- Sam Woodruff
- Doug Hamilton
The Lethbridge Housing Authority works to provide a sufficient amount of adequate, affordable, safe and secure affordable housing for persons who, because of financial, social, or other circumstances, require assistance to obtain or maintain accommodation.
At that same October meeting, city council approved the appointment of Blaine Hyggen, city councillor, to the Lethbridge Housing Authority.
The appointments of both Hamilton and Hyggen should be concerning, given their efforts to oppress—either implicitly of explicitly—at least one segment of the unhoused population in Lethbridge: those dealing with drug addiction.
Hyggen presented two resolutions at city council last summer to prevent ARCHES Lethbridge from distributing free, clean needles in the community, as well as to petition the provincial government to freeze funding to their supervised consumption site. He also called for a motion to hire a third party to audit ARCHES’ reported numbers on their supervised consumption services.
Hamilton, who owns a business on the same block as the supervised consumption site, has been vocally opposed to the site for quite some time. He has posted videos of himself on Facebook confronting people who use drugs on the shared block. He created a livestream on YouTube with four camera views around his property, one of which shows clients of the supervised consumption site as they wait at the site’s entrance. Last summer, a protest was held on his property in opposition to the consumption site.
On a related note, the chief administrative officer of the Lethbridge Housing Authority is Robin James, who also has been an opponent of the supervised consumption site and other harm reduction services (such as needle distribution), such as the following post.
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