The Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa was formed in response to an ongoing health crisis.
Ottawa has Ontario’s highest rate of new HIV infection among injection drug users. 11% of people who inject drugs in Ottawa are infected with HIV, while 60% have contracted hepatitis C. Someone dies of drug overdose every 10 days in our city — deaths that could be prevented with timely medical intervention.
Supervised consumption sites are public health facilities that offer a safe, hygienic place where people can use their own drugs under medical supervision.
Canada’s first supervised injection site, Insite, has been operating since 2003 in downtown Vancouver. The evidence from Insite – and from over 90 such sites around the world – proves that supervised consumption sites reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV, prevent overdose deaths, and improve access to addiction treatment programs. They have also been shown to encourage cleaner, safer streets by reducing public drug use and drug equipment litter.
Opening supervised drug consumption sites in Ottawa would:
Reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis-C by providing sterile equipment and safe disposal for used needles
Prevent deaths caused by overdose
Decrease public drug use and drug-equipment litter
Provide access to health and social services, such as first aid treatment and addiction recovery programs
Sign the petition to show your support for supervised drug consumption services in Ottawa.
The next meeting of our organizers group will be on Tuesday April 21 at 7:30pm, Bluebird Coffee on Dalhousie near St. Patrick (map).
CSCS is a grassroots group of community members who are passionate about creating a healthier Ottawa. We meet on the first Sunday of each month at Somerset West CHC, and the third Tuesday of each month at Bluebird Coffee. If you're interested in getting involved with our campaign to bring supervised injection to Ottawa, please join in!
There was rare harmony between our federal, provincial and local politicians last week as they gathered to announce the feds’ $62-million contribution to the Ottawa River Action Plan.
The infrastructure upgrade, which will reduce the filth flowing into the Ottawa River, is pretty uncontroversial. Who favours pollution?
And who doesn’t like to see our officials from different levels and parties play nice? Depends what they’re playing at.
Pierre Poilievre, the federal minister responsible for our region, later talked to Metro to tout the investment, but also to defend Bill C-2, The Respect For Communities Act, passed by the House of Commons last month, which raises new barriers to opening supervised injection sites for intravenous drug users.
The federal government would be irresponsible if it did not insist that recently tabled legislation regarding drug injection sites include provisions requiring community consultation, says a Conservative cabinet minister.
“This is clearly a matter of public health and public safety, and I think Canadians would expect the minister of health to listen carefully to the municipal and community leaders in a jurisdiction where an injection house is proposed,” Pierre Poilievre, the Minister of Employment and Social Development, said in an interview Wednesday.
The federal government has signalled when the city of Ottawa will be able to open a safe-injection site for intravenous drug users. It’s called never.
Little attention was paid when the House of Commons passed Bill C-2 in late March. Drug addicts are like prison inmates: They make poor lobbyists. The law is called the Respect For Communities Act, one of those Orwellian names — like the Safe Streets Act — cooked up by the short-pants in Mind Control.
The act is a response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in 2011 to uphold the existence of Vancouver’s Insite drug clinic because it delivered health benefits without substantial negative effects on the community.
But the new law makes future applications so burdensome, not to mention politically charged, it’s doubtful any would ever be approved.
“Should Bill C-2 become law, it will be extremely difficult to open a supervised injection anywhere in Canada, including in Ottawa,” said Lisa Wright, a PhD candidate and an organizer with the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites.
Join the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa for a screening of the documentary The House I Live In, which provides an in-depth examination of the effects of the American War on Drugs on the criminal legal system and the people who have been criminalized.
When: Thursday Feb. 5th at 7PM Where: University of Ottawa, FSS 1005
Following the film there will be a panel discussion to provide information about the criminalization of people who use drugs in Ottawa.
Help us spread the word about the need for safer consumption sites in Ottawa. We're looking for volunteers to join us on Saturday December 13 from 11am-2pm to canvass door-to-door in Vanier.
Following the success of our canvassing action in the Carlington neighbourhood last month, we're heading to Ottawa's east end to speak with residents about the benefits of harm reduction in our community. Meet up is at the Second Cup on Beechwood Ave. at Springfield Road at 11am.
Please confirm below if you're able to take part. We hope to see you there!
We're looking for volunteers to join us on Saturday November 15th and Sunday November 16th from 1-4pm to canvass the Carlington/Caldwell neighbourhood, speaking to residents about the benefits of supervised consumption sites.
CSCS Ottawa has had an exciting Fall 2014 so far. Election season offered an opportunity for us to have some great conversations with the municipal candidates and members of our community about the need and support for safer consumption here in Ottawa. While these discussions were encouraging, we know there's still work to be done talking with community members about Ottawa’s need for safer consumption sites.
If you're available to join in, please fill out the form below to let us know. We'll be meeting up at the Second Cup in Westgate Shopping Center at 1pm on both days.