Support grows for Ottawa safe injection site
Support for a safe injection site in Ottawa is growing, particularly among younger people, a new poll shows.
The Forum Research poll shows 58 per cent of those surveyed on July 22 said they approved of a safe injection site for intravenous drug users in downtown Ottawa, up four percentage points from when the same question was asked in May.
Support was highest among those aged 18-34 (58 per cent), those with postgraduate degrees (68 per cent), and those who lived with marijuana dispensaries in their neighbourhoods (67 per cent).
Least supportive were those who voted Progressive Conservative in the last provincial election, with just 29 per cent saying they approved of a safe injection site. NDP voters were the most supportive at 81 per cent, followed by Greens at 77 per cent and Liberals at 68 per cent.
Gender made little difference in support, with 59 per cent of women and 57 per cent of men saying they approved.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has said he opposes safe injection sites, but the Forum Research poll shows that voters who backed Watson in the last election are 63 per cent in favour of a site. People who didn’t vote for Watson are also more likely to oppose a safe injection site, with 52 per cent of them giving a thumbs down.
Overall, 58 per cent approved, 36 per cent did not approve and five per cent had no opinion. When the same question asked in May, 54 per cent were in support, 37 were opposed and nine per cent had no opinion.
The survey sampled 862 randomly chosen Ottawa voters and is considered accurate to within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
By Blair Crawford
Source: Ottawa Citizen