About 100 residents packed a southwest Calgary community centre on Wednesday night to voice their concerns about a proposed addiction rehab centre, which if created, would be located across the street from a school.
The controversy was stirred up when the owner of a Windsor Park infill launched a rezoning application to covert his home into a private treatment facility.
Vedran Cankovic is a recovering addict himself. He spent time in a facility like the one he would like to build, and believes that is one of the reasons he was able to get clean seven years ago.
He has put an application before the city to have his property re-zoned so he can turn his home into a drug and alcohol addiction treatment centre.
Cankovic spent time in a facility like the one he would like to build, and believes that is one of the reasons he was able to get clean seven years ago.
“People welcomed me with open arms. They didn’t shut me down because of a stigma.”
However, not all of Cankovic’s neighbours support his plan.
Earlier this week, an anonymous letter was distributed to Cankovic’s neighbours warning of potential negative impacts from an addiction facility. The letter, titled “PROTECT OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD!” said:
“We believe (this facility) will significantly DEVALUE PROPERTIES in our area as well as invite POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS INDIVIDUALS into our quiet, family-friendly neighbourhood.”
An anonymous letter was distributed to neighbours of a recovering addict after he applied to have his home converted to an addiction recovery centre. Jill Croteau
An anonymous letter was distributed to neighbours of a recovering addict after he applied to have his home converted to an addiction recovery centre.
It goes on to say the facility would be directly opposite the Windsor Park School and park.
One neighbor told Global News the biggest concerns for him are the vast number of unknowns.
“What we’re really concerned about – what the sign said: alcohol and drug treatment centre – it’s kind of a residential area as you can see. There’s kids playing behind me in the park and it’s right across the street,” Michael Hearn said.
He said they would like to learn more about the plans so they can make an informed decision as a neighbourhood.
WATCH: A recovering addict is hoping to turn his south Calgary home into an addiction recovery centre. However, not all his neighbours support his plan. Jill Croteau has the details.
Cankovic said he understands people are afraid, but believes we cannot ignore that addiction is all around us.
“We live among people who suffer in silence, that are scared to say: ‘I’m addicted.’
“It could be the soccer mom addicted to prescription drugs. Addiction doesn’t discriminate.”
With files from Jill Croteau