CTS site pamphlet controversy, school closures, growing encampment: Top stories of the week

‘Damaging and demoralizing’: Cambridge mayor reacts to CTS pamphlet mailout

A Cambridge MPP is accused of sending residents misinformation about a proposed consumption and treatment services site. City leaders and health care officials are speaking out about a pamphlet that was mailed out earlier this week by MPP Belinda Karahalios.

In it, she said the consumption and treatment services site in Cambridge would offer “taxpayer-funded opioids and stimulants.”

The pamphlet also showed images of needles and said: “This so-called safe supply of drugs for distribution would work in tandem with a drug consumption site in our community.”

It then asked people to share their opinions on the city’s plan for the consumption and treatment services site through an online survey.

Mayor Kathryn McGarry said the pamphlet is “weaponizing harm reduction” by creating fear and stigmatization in the community.

‘It’s not fair’: Kitchener mom kicked out of store for breastfeeding

A Kitchener mother is speaking out after she says she was told by a retail employee that she couldn’t nurse her baby in the store. Allisha Derbyshire said in the 14 months she’s been openly breastfeeding her twin daughters, she’s never experienced pushback, until last week.

“I was shocked,” she said.

On Saturday, Derbyshire was in a women’s clothing store at a Hamilton shopping mall, when one of her daughters started to get fussy. She found a chair in the store to nurse her screaming daughter, but a worker, who Derbyshire said identified herself as the manager, told her she wasn’t allowed.

Parents question Wednesday school closures in Waterloo Region

Bus and school cancellations in Waterloo Region and surrounding areas on Wednesday left many parents scrambling and some with lingering questions. While the area started the day under a special weather statement for freezing rain, the potential ice storm was milder than many were expecting.

“Waking up this morning, there is very little ice, mostly rain,” said parent Emily Ahrens. “We would’ve made it to school and would’ve been OK.”

Pre-pandemic school board protocol would have likely seen buses canceled while schools stayed open – the pandemic changed that. Now, the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) says even though many pandemic policies have been dropped, they still do not have the staff at schools to keep them open on days where buses are cancelled.

“They could’ve been at school, even just playing indoors,” said mother Sharon Daniel. “It’s hard when parents are still working from home, for us to try to take care of children and do our jobs.”

WRDSB chooses new name for former Sir John A Macdonald Secondary School

The Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) has chosen a new name for the former Sir John A Macdonald Secondary School.

It will now be called Laurel Heights Secondary School.

The renaming process began last June after the school board decided it should no longer be named after Macdonald due to his role in founding Canada’s residential school system. Name recommendations were opened to the public in January and the school board received more than 120 suggestions.

(Dan Lauckner/CTV Kitchener)

Homeless encampment slowly growing in north Kitchener

A homeless encampment is slow growing in North Kitchener. Fourteen tents housing nearly 20 people make up the makeshift community at the corner of Weber and Victoria Streets.

The vacant lot is owned by the Region of Waterloo. The region told CTV News in a statement “no conversations have been had about the donation of the land to community members or community organizations.”

But encampment residents say there were told otherwise.

“They decided this property would be basically donated to us until further notice,” said one resident. “Which is really nice, but that [notice] could come any day, so you’re always kind of on edge.”

(Dave Pettitt/CTV Kitchener)

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