A resident stumbled upon needles left in a secluded area near Parksville’s recycling depot. (PQB News file photo)

A resident stumbled upon needles left in a secluded area near Parksville’s recycling depot. (PQB News file photo)

Parksville council to meet with Island Health official to talk hypodermic needle regulation

Mayne: Needles being distributed ‘with no accountability’ and discarded without consequence

Parksville city council members will meet with an Island Health official to discuss hypodermic needle regulation within the city.

A letter from Island Health, dated Dec. 21, 2020, and addressed to the chief administrative officer of Parksville, Keeva Kehler, was received and discussed during the latest open council meeting on Feb. 1.

The letter, written by James Hanson (vice-president, clinical operations, central/north), responded to a letter Mayor Ed Mayne wrote in October 2020 when Island Health rejected council’s proposed bylaw to regulate needle distribution in the city.

Mayne wrote “many discarded needles being found in our community are unused” and that “needles are being distributed with no accountability and users discard them without consequence.” He considered the reason the deputy minister gave for rejecting the distribution of retractable syringes was in direct conflict with providing free needles to the public in the first place.

Hanson’s letter stated that Island Health acknowledges the commendations provided by the Medical Health Officer in October 2019, and by the ministry during the fall of 2020, do not align with Parksville’s proposed bylaw.

READ MORE: Mayor responds after ministry rejects proposed Parksville bylaw to regulate needle distribution

“The use of retractable hypodermic sharps in the harm reduction context is not possible as this type of sharp is not part of the provincial harm reduction supply from the Provincial Health Services Authority for a variety of reasons, including their unsuitability for harm reduction supplies, their lack of support among user groups and their high cost,” Hanson wrote.

After the letter was formally received by city council, Mayne made a motion for city staff arrange a meeting with Hanson to address hypodermic needles in Parksville’s parks and public spaces.

Coun. Doug O’Brien said: “We’ve exchanged a lot of correspondence and so forth, but I think we need to explain our own perspective, face-to-face, to the health officials, and likewise to themselves. I think this has been lacking and it’s time for us to get to the table with them and that’s when we can maybe come to some collaboration or solution to this problem.”

While Mayne said he wasn’t “holding his breath” on how far the meeting would go, he agreed with O’Brien in that at least “we have a shot at having them understand what we’re saying.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

City CouncilIsland HealthParksville

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Some frustrated Parksville Qualicum Beach residents now tossing recyclables in garbage

Option is driving to collection centres in Nanaimo and Courtenay

Kyle Patrick McGuire was give a nine-month non-custodial sentencing to be followed by two years of probation on Wednesday, March 3, at the Nanaimo Law Courts. (PQB News file photo)
Bowser man sentenced to house arrest after guilty plea to child pornography offence

Nine-month non-custodial sentence to be followed by two years probation

The Regional District of Nanaimo faces challenges with garbage bin replacement requests. (Michael Briones photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo faces challenges to meet requests for garbage bin replacements

Waste manager says RDN will have a surplus of 100-litre carts

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ in Metchosin

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read