The Insite decision and the case for supervised consumption facilities in Ottawa

Professor Suzanne Bouclin of the Ottawa University Faculty of Law and Priyanka Vittal, a law student & CSCS volunteer, have co-authored a paper on the 2011 Supreme Court decision in favour of Insite remaining open, and what the decision means for the possibility of similar sites opening in Ottawa. The article is available in the December issue of the Canadian Journal of Poverty Law, and offers a valuable analysis of the legal aspects of this issue.

On September 29, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled to allow a safer supervised consumption facility (SCF) to remain open under a section 56 exemption of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The decision has lent additional legitimacy to SCFs as a necessary health care service that is part of a comprehensive and holistic drug and addiction strategy. In part one of this comment, we describe the context in which Insite emerged in Vancouver, British Columbia. In part two, we discuss the legal mobilization that led to the Supreme Court decision and the framework under which Insite currently operates. In part three, we explore the decision’s implications for another jurisdiction – Ottawa, Ontario.

Read the full article here (PDF)