The Alberta government taking three weeks in September to gather evidence about the social and economic impacts that Supervised Consumption Sites (SCS) have on communities.

Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addiction, Jason Luan, announcing the eight member expert panel Monday morning (Aug. 19). However, none of the members live farther south than Calgary.

Luan says its time for all Albertans to have a voice on the drug crisis. “As we committed in our platform, we are moving ahead with a review of supervised consumption sites. We’ve heard Albertans’ concerns about impacts on their homes, businesses and communities. We’ve chosen a panel of experts to listen to Albertans, review the evidence, and report back on their findings.”

One of those public sessions will take place in Lethbridge however an exact day and place haven’t been announced as of yet.

Albertans will also be able to submit feedback online.

The committee will analyze the evidence on the impact of existing and proposed sites and submit a report to government for consideration in future policy decisions for the SCS sites and the addiction care system.

The opposition NDP meanwhile says this panel is “rigged”, suggesting this has deadly implications for Alberta families.

Heather Sweet, NDP’s Critic for Mental Health and Addication was in Lethbridge Monday. She says as a matter of morality and a matter of faith, we as a society believe that every person deserves a shot at redemption and deserves to live. Every person. So let’s give them that chance. “We already have decades worth of study and evidence that harm reduction provides the best chance, including evidence released by Minister Luan’s own office this summer.”

Sweet says if the Lethbridge SCS closes there will be “death in the streets.”

The UCP government says details regarding dates and locations for these public sessions are being finalized and will be available online.