Leslieville 'safe injection site' tries to bribe children with chocolate to pick up hypodermic needles

A poster at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre in East-end Toronto read: 'Got Sharps? Want Chocolate? For every full sharps container you return to COUNTERfit, we’ll give you a chocolate bar.'

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East-end Toronto’s South Riverdale Community Health Centre simply can’t stay out of the news – for all the wrong reasons.

While this place may sound like a venue for basketball courts and swimming pools, it’s actually the venue for a so-called safe injection site and a so-called safe supply program. The facility attracts drug addicts – and, of course, drug dealers, the latter group being especially problematic to the community.

How problematic, you ask? Well, you may recall that it was outside this facility where a gunfight erupted on July 7 between duelling drug dealers. This gunplay resulted in the murder of Karolina Heubner-Makurat, a mother of two. Karolina was merely strolling along Queen Street in broad daylight en route to a lunch appointment when some thugs decided to settle a dispute with bullets. Despicable…

Now, you would think that at the very least, the egregious murder of Karolina Huebner-Makurat should’ve resulted in this safe injection site being shut down – at least temporarily – at least until an investigation of this facility could be completed. But no. It’s business as usual at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre. In fact, the other day, the Mensa Club members who run this safe injection site came up with so-called marketing that was so ludicrous that we first did some research to ensure we were not being subjected to a sick prank.

Here's the skinny: a few days ago, passerby Ginny Roth spotted a poster that had been posted at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre that made her do a double take. It read: “Got Sharps? Want Chocolate? For every full sharps container you return to COUNTERfit, we’ll give you a chocolate bar.”

This prompted Ginny to opine on social media: “ If you live in Leslieville and you're concerned about your kids picking up needles that surround the drug consumption site, you don't have to worry. In fact, if your kids collect enough they can trade them in for chocolate!“

On so many levels, this is both astonishing and disturbing. For starters, how many parents want their children gathering up used hypodermic needles? And the quid pro quo here is a… chocolate bar?

It turns out that this perverse reimagining of an Easter egg hunt is the bailiwick of an organization called COUNTERfit. No seriously, that’s its name: COUNTERfit.

COUNTERfit is a harm reduction program for women, but it doesn’t seem to mind causing potential serious harm to children.

By the way, the very fact that this program existed – albeit temporarily – speaks volumes about the environment that surrounds the South Riverdale Community Health Centre. Imagine that: there are enough discarded sharpies nearby that COUNTERfit can come up with a whiz-bang promotion to enlist kids to scoop up these potentially harmful needles in order to score a Snickers bar.

Indeed, this grotesque state of affairs even drew the attention of Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, who had this to say on Twitter: “This is an actual sign from a drug consumption site in Toronto. What is happening in Canada?”

So it was that my cameraman Mauricio and I visited the South Riverdale Community Health Centre on Tuesday. We brought along a bagful of needles. We wanted to put this program to the test: namely, what sort of chocolate bar would we receive for our merchandise – a low-end Mars bar or a top-shelf Laura Secord treat?

Alas, the staff literally slammed the doors on us. And if you can imagine the entitlement of the thugs who patronize this community centre, Mauricio had his cell phone stolen right out of his hands by some deranged reprobate.

And get this: just three hours prior to our arrival at the South Riverdale Community Crack Centre, Toronto Police released an update on the murder of Karolina Huebner-Makurat. Namely, two new suspects are now under arrest.

The first is 20-year-old Ahmed Mustafa Ibrahim. He has been charged with manslaughter, robbery, and – I know this info might shock you – failing to comply with the terms of his probation.

The other suspect arrested is very surprising indeed. That would be 23-year-old Khalila Zara Mohammed. She has been charged with accessory after the fact and obstruction of justice in relation to the shooting. But get this: Ms. Mohammed is actually an employee at the safe injection site! What’s more, according to True North, she was featured in a glowing CBC News report last year in which she advocated for MORE drug consumption sites in order to reduce stigma. You can’t make this up, folks.

Bottom line: it is time to shut down or at the very least relocate this so-called safe injection site. This is hardly a harm reduction program, folks. Quite the opposite.

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