The petition drive is on - get involved!

A year ago, we launched a petition calling on the provincial government to support the creation of supervised drug consumption sites in Ottawa. Since then, hundreds of people have signed their support for this life-saving health care initiative.

Now we're preparing to submit our petition to the Ontario Legislature. Before we do, we're asking you to help strengthen our call with a final push to gather as many signatures as possible.

Download and print our petition and take it to work, school, or to visit your friends & neighbours. At the end of the week, get in touch with us and we'll arrange to receive the signatures you've collected.

Or volunteer to join us next weekend for a petition blitz. To mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of Insite in Vancouver, we will head to the ByWard Market on September 21 & 22 to hand out information about safer consumption sites and gather signatures from people on the street.

Provincial governments in B.C. and Quebec have already shown their support for supervised consumption services. It's time that politicians in Ontario stood up for the health and well-being of people who use drugs, and the communities they live in.

Thank you for taking action!

Petition blitz volunteers needed

On September 20th, harm reduction advocates across the country are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the opening of Insite in Vancouver. To mark the occasion, we're looking for volunteers to join us on September 21 & 22 for a petition blitz in the ByWard Market. We'll hand out information about safer consumption sites and gather signatures on our petition in support of bringing this life-saving health care service to Ottawa.

OD Awareness Day 2013 demands

At the Overdose Awareness Day rally held Friday in Ottawa, Gilles and Kelly from DUAL read the following statement, recognizing the accomplishments of harm reduction advocates over the past year and calling on the city to meet further demands for the health and safety of people who use drugs.

CSCS stands firmly with DUAL and supports the call to health care leaders and politicians to take action now to prevent further deaths in our community.

"Before we state our demands, we want to recognize some important progress that has been made over the last year in the City of Ottawa. A year ago, on Overdose Awareness Day we demanded access to naloxone a safe drug that immediately reverses opiate overdoses and prevents death. Over the last year Ottawa Public Health rolled out the peer overdose prevention program which gave access to naloxone at the street level. While we need greater access to naloxone, we must recognize that this is a big step that came from the demands of our communities."

"Last year we also demanded greater access to overdose statistics from the provincial coroner. We now have greater access to the numbers of people who have died from overdose related causes. Again, this came from the demands of our communities."

Overdose Awareness Day 2013 demands

  • Safer injection services now! Overdose deaths can be prevented, but not if the person is alone.
  • Open access to Naloxone
  • We need evidence-based health care and treatment that is accessible.
  • We need to end the stigma against people who consume drugs. We need to strengthen our community through evidence and action.
  • We need to treat drug use as health issues instead of using criminal punishment. We want our dollars spent on health care and housing.


Overdoses in Ottawa a preventable problem, say activists

1 person dies every 10 days in Ottawa from a drug overdose

A group of health-care workers and former drug addicts held a rally and silent walk Friday to draw attention to overdose deaths in Ottawa, with some arguing for a safe injection site for the city.

Saturday is International Overdose Awareness Day around the world, but in Ottawa the local chapter of the group behind the day held it Friday to draw attention to what they say is a preventable problem.

The group met at the Human Rights Monument on Elgin Street, where they placed 36 pairs of empty shoes — marked with labels such as son, daughter, friend and veteran — to represent those who have died of overdoses in the last year.

Gilles Dupuis said he recently lost two friends to the prescription drug fentanyl, and said he's had close calls himself. "Me personally, I've overdosed seven times, flatlined twice. So I am lucky to be alive," said Dupuis.

Ottawa Overdose Awareness Day rally 2013

CBC coverage of the Overdose Awareness Day rally held August 30, 2013 at the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa.

Dozens mark International Overdose Awareness Day

An average of 36 people die of overdoses in Ottawa every year and around 60 people gathered at the Human Rights monument on Elgin Street Friday morning to pay tribute to loved ones taken from them too soon.

Rob Boyd, the director of the Oasis program at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre told CFRA they were also using International Overdose Awareness Day to raise awareness about the issue.

What is Insite?

Hope In the Fight asks: What is Insite?

As North America's first supervised injection site, Insite provides life-saving health care services to a marginalized community in Vancouver. It's also a model for success for similar services in Ottawa, and across Canada.

Overdose Awareness Day 2013

We are marking International Overdose Awareness Day 2013 in Ottawa on Friday August 30th, and invite you to join us.

The event will start at 11am at the Human Rights Monument on Elgin St. in front of City Hall with a call to action and speeches.

At noon, we will walk to Parliament Hill for the performance of an Overdose Awareness Day song by local artist Michael Dalton, followed by a moment of silence to remember those who have lost their lives to overdose.

For more information, visit Ottawa Overdose Awareness Day on Facebook.

Overdose Awareness Day has been a key remembrance event for those who have died from fatal drug overdoses since 2001. For Overdose awareness day thousands of people worldwide will stand alongside the friends and families of fatal overdose victims to reflect on those who have been lost. The event is organized on the understanding that no-one need feel shame or disgrace over a drug overdose.

Overdose Awareness Day offers all who have been affected by overdose a chance to publicly mourn and help the wider community understand that fatal overdose profoundly affects mainstream society.

Prisoners' Justice Day 2013

On August 10th, 2013 we mark the 38th annual Prisoner Justice Day. Observed with hunger strikes in Canada and around the world, Prisoner Justice Day is about drawing attention to abuse, and exploitation faced by those imprisoned, and those targeted and affected by the prison system.

Location: Room 101 in the Jack Purcell Community Centre (320 Jack Purcell Lane)
Time: 4pm-6:30pm
RSVP on Facebook 

Learn more on the Prisoners' Justice Day Ottawa website.

Canada’s next supervised injection site: Ottawa?

An Ottawa group aims to open Canada’s first supervised injection site since a landmark Supreme Court ruling gave Vancouver’s Insite the right to offer addicts a safe place to shoot up.

By all accounts, the odds are against them: They don’t have the backing of the city, the police or the province; they’re racing against the clock to apply for an exemption from federal drug laws before new legislation makes it tougher.

But proponents argue they can’t afford not to pursue it: Canada’s capital boasts sky-high hepatitis rates and Ontario’s highest rate of HIV infection among injection-drug users.

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