I have been working with the CKMS Radio Waterloo newsroom for the last 6 months or so on a show called the Waterloo Region Weekly Round-up. That show takes a bit of a deeper look at local council meetings and discussions, especially on issues around housing, policing, and poverty. I have really enjoyed sharing these issues with listeners. Many of the episodes are on topics that I am also very interested in, especially those on housing and development.
The work can be tedious at times as it involves listening to hours and hours of council meetings and reading through hundreds of pages of staff reports. But, as I said, I often find the information interesting and I am happy to offer one way for residents to more easily access this information.
Recently, I focused on the issue of Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) as Cambridge council was discussing whether the city should move forward on community consultation for two candidate locations for a CTS site in Cambridge. The discussion ended up occurring over 2 different meetings as so many delegates registered to speak to the issue. In fact, my coverage of the discussion extends over 2 episodes because there is a lot to cover.
I did want to say though, that this episode (WRWR ep. 10) has been the most challenging episode to produce to date. I do my best to present what's happening in these discussions without sharing many of my own opinions on any given issue. That proved particularly challenging with this episode as I had to listen to many delegations say thinks about people who use drugs that I found to be inappropriate, not compassionate, and often misinformed. I often found myself thinking "I don't want to listen anymore." Yet, I included quotations from them as I think it is important for us to fully understand these discussions. I was very thankful for those delegations that spoke in support of harm reduction strategies in general, and for a CTS site specifically.
If, like me, you feel that Consumption and Treatment Services are a compassionate and necessary support for people who use drugs, this may be a hard episode to listen to. Perhaps it will help to know that eventually council does vote in support of continuing with community consultation.