CALGARY -- Protesters marched to the Sheldon Chumir Centre Friday to draw attention to the growing opioid crisis.

The province plans to shut the supervised consumption site down, and set up two new ones around the city, although it hasn't said where.

At the same time, overdose deaths spiked 153 per cent over January and February of last year.

Provincial data shows that most of the deaths took place in Calgary and Edmonton, but advocates said the Sheldon Chumir site is the best location because it's attached to a medical facility, which helps prevent overdose deaths.

2020 was Alberta's deadliest year for drug-related deaths, with 1316 reported.

opioid, crisis, march, sheldon, chumir

The province said it's shutting down the Sheldon Chumir site because it led to a spike in crime in the area.

Marcher Bella Neill said, "Unless it's downtown, I don't think it's going to be the right place, (because) downtown is central."

"That's where it should be," she added. "And if Jason Kenney thinks it should be anywhere outside of that, then I feel like that's not a good choice."

With files from Chad Tweten