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Saskatoon chief highlights need for funding to ensure proper drug rehabilitation

Dozens of people came out for a barbecue put on by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) at the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) wellness centre in Fairhaven, but with no shortage of public challenges at the centre, STC Chief Mark Arcand is pushing to improve care for those addicted to drugs at the centre.

With the centre at capacity at 106 people, Arcand says currently he’s hoping for more funding to support the road to drug and alcohol rehabilitation for those housed there.

He supports Tuesday’s letter from the Board of Police Commissioners to the province, which asked as for more funding to address those with complex needs and those facing homelessness.

Thirty per cent to 40 per cent of residents at the shelter are addicted, according to Arcand. In some cases, addicts are causing issues for the centre as a whole.

“We’re turning people away because they are committing acts of violence here. They’re getting pushed away because they’re disrupting the facility. They’re threatening staff, being very aggressive,” Arcand told CTV News.

Arcand wants proper funding to have an offsite medically-supervised rehabilitation program so complete wellness services can be provided to help residents get off drugs and have successful outcomes.

“When we look at operations, and we talk about people with complex needs, that number is going to grow because we need proper medical staff in place to deal with people in psychosis. We don’t have that here. At the end of the day we need that proper investment to really make sure that we’re helping people. Where do they go? Where are they transported?”

Today’s barbeque was one of seven outreach events supported by SIGA across the province, which aims to bring community groups together.

“It’s a very difficult time in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the world with all the events that are happening, whether it’s homelessness, the price of food. Families can come out and have a meal with us,” Pat Cook, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, SIGA told CTV News.

Staff from Dakota Dunes Casino and SIGA were among those on hand to help serve the meal. Community organizations and emergency services like police and fire personel also came out for the event. Top Stories

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