Supporters of supervised injection sites rally on Parliament Hill

This Sunday March 23rd at 1pm, supporters of the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa will rally on Parliament Hill to amplify the growing demand for a supervised injection site in our nation’s capital.

Supervised injection sites are a medical intervention proven to reduce public drug use, avert the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV, and prevent overdose fatalities. These sites have vocal support from experts across the Canadian health care community, including the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Nurses Association.

Drug overdose occurs daily in the city of Ottawa, claiming at least two lives each month. Among people who inject drugs, HIV infection rates in Ottawa are the highest in the province, while hepatitis C rates are the highest in the country. These figures are appalling considering that there is a cost-effective, humane alternative already practiced in Canada and around the world. Vancouver's Insite has been saving lives and improving the health of its clients for over a decade, and has received unanimous support from the Supreme Court of Canada.

While public health agencies in both Toronto and Montreal have openly endorsed supervised injection sites, Ottawa Public Health remains shamefully silent. We call on Ottawa Public Health to reflect the opinion of the national medical community and support a local supervised injection site. Instead of remaining idle in the face of suffering, this agency must show leadership for community health.

Ottawa Public Health, step forward and join the call for evidence-based action - a supervised injection site!