New law could kill any hope for safe-injection site in Ottawa

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.

The House I Live In

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.

RSVP on Facebook

The House I Live In

2nd annual holiday breakfast for people who use drugs

On Dec 19 from 9:30am-noon, DUAL and CSCS Ottawa will be serving our second annual holiday breakfast for people who use drugs in our community.

We are in need of volunteers, food, decorations, gifts and dishware for this awesome event, so please get in touch with Catherine or Jordon if you're able to help out.

Take action! Volunteer opportunity December 13

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!

Take action! Volunteer opportunity, Nov. 15 & 16

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.

We hope to see you there!

Vote for safer consumption sites

Vote for safer consumption sites in Ottawa

On October 27, cast your ballot for harm reduction in Ottawa by voting for a candidate who supports supervised injection.

CSCS has contacted all of the candidates for city councillor in the 2014 Ottawa municipal elections to find out where they stand on safer consumptions sites. As we receive responses, we'll update this page to indicate which candidates are in support of our campaign, or at least open to a discussion of the issue. If you have information on a candidate not listed below, please contact us.

The next few years will be a critical time for establishing supervised injection services in Ottawa - let's make sure that we have councillors who trust evidence over ideology when it comes to community health.

Residents rally for changes to national drug policy

As the debate over a safe-injection site in Ottawa rages at the municipal level, the battle for drug policy reform was brought to the federal government’s front door recently when demonstrators from across Canada gathered at Parliament Hill on Sept. 30.

The first annual FED UP! rally was organized by Donna May, founder of Jac’s Voice, a foundation devoted to spreading awareness about addiction and mental illness, named after May’s daughter, who died  two years ago from a disease related to her addiction. 

National Rally for Canadian Drug Policy Reform 9/30 2014

9/30 National Rally for Canadian Drug Policy Reform

Are you FED UP with Canadian drug policy? Join us Sept. 30th and make your voice heard!

Each year, September 30th is remembered and celebrated as the anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada's 2011 decision that blocked the federal government's attempt to close Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection site.

This major victory for harm reduction called attention to the need for drug policy reform in Canada, one that is based on science, evidence, and humanity.

Join with people from across the country who support the need for drug policy reform as we make our voices heard on Parliament Hill on Tuesday, September 30th from 11am to 1pm.

It's time to take action against policies that cause harm to thousands of people across Canada. We will not sit idle any longer. We can do better.

For more information visit ruFEDUPca.com, like the campaign on Facebook, and follow @rufedupca on Twitter.

We'll see you there!

Drug overdose deaths can be curbed with compassion

Lives can be saved by reducing the stigma around drug overdose and making an overdose-reversing drug more readily available, according to people at a rally in downtown Ottawa Friday.

The rally, held before Sunday’s International Overdose Awareness Day, commemorated 32 people killed by drug overdoses in Ottawa over the last year by laying out 32 pairs of shoes on the Human Rights Monument.

Combatting overdose in the capital

The man’s face was purple. The whites of his eyes stared out, the pupils rolled back into his head. He was sweating profusely, his tongue hanging from his mouth.

When Sean LeBlanc opened the door to the rooming house hallway last summer, it was clear to the former addict what was happening.

“It was an opiate overdose,” he said. “I’d seen it before.”

LeBlanc sprang into action. He grabbed a naloxone kit — a device similar to an EpiPen — and injected the life-saving antidote into his friend’s shoulder.

It took less than 15 seconds for LeBlanc to empty the tiny vial and remove the retractable safety needle.

“Thanks to the naloxone training I could bring him back.”

He’s one of 93 people who have gone through Ottawa Public Health’s Peer Overdose Prevention Program (POPP) — one of the free harm reduction strategies available in the capital. It launched two years ago to coincide with the annual International Overdose Awareness Day, marked in Ottawa Friday at the Human Rights Monument at 11:30 a.m.

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