CSCS supports Pivot Legal Society's report on Bill C-10

The Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites is a group of community members who advocate for the opening of supervised sites in Ottawa for people who use drugs. We strongly support the work of Pivot and the findings of their report, Throwing Away the Keys.

Mandatory minimum sentences are harmful to low income people with problematic substance use issues in Ottawa and across the country.

The consequences of longer and more frequent imprisonment are a threat to the health and well-being of people with drug addictions. Loss of housing, reduced employment opportunities, and separation from the support of family and friends only serves to push people to the margins of our society. These destabilizing effects are severe challenges to overcoming addiction.

By criminalizing people who use drugs, we create barriers to accessing health and social services for those who need them most. This has contributed to conditions in Ottawa where 1 in 10 injection drug users are infected with HIV, and 6 in 10 have hepatitis C.

In order to address this crisis in our community, we must stop treating it as a matter for the police and the courts, and start treating it as the urgent health care issue that it truly is. If our solution is simply to put more people in prison for longer, then the results will be more problematic drug use, more people infected with HIV and hep C, and more overdose deaths.

Supervised drug consumption sites such as Insite in Vancouver have proven to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, prevent deaths caused by overdose, and decrease public drug use and drug litter. These sites provide access to health and social services, such as first aid treatment and referral to addiction treatment programs.

Simply put, supervised consumption sites save lives.

We hope public officials in all levels of government will recognize the harms that are being caused by failing to support supervised consumption sites, and we encourage everyone to put pressure on federal, provincial, and local governments to let him know that criminalization is not the answer.

Sign the petition in support of supervised consumption sites in Ottawa.