Seeking Safer Sites: Organizers say injection site would reduce health risks in Ottawa

Bill C-2, entitled an Act to Amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act passed its first reading in the House of Commons in October 2013. Sponsored by the Conservative Minister of Health Rona Ambrose, the Act has been criticized for creating obstacles to establishing safer consumption sites for intravenous drug users.

Bill C-2 was accompanied by a Conservative Party fundraising campaign launched with the tagline “Keep heroin out of our backyards.” The campaign warns against special interest groups that are seeking to replicate ‘”the experiment of Vancouver’s Insite facility.”

Students to rally for supervised injection in Ottawa

Students rally in support of supervised injection site in Ottawa, but police and mayor have little support for the idea.

Rally for a Supervised Injection Site in Ottawa

Rally for Supervised Consumption Sites in Ottawa

Take a stand for supervised consumption.

Join us in voicing your support for a humane, responsible, and proven approach to drug treatment. Ottawa needs supervised consumption sites now!

Date: Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 1 PM
Place: Parliament Hill

Speakers include Dr. Mark Tyndall, members of the Drug Users Advocacy League (DUAL) and CSCS Ottawa.

RSVP on Facebook and help us spread the word.

Don't let silence speak for you!

Students to rally for supervised injection site in Ottawa

A group of Algonquin College students is organizing a rally on Parliament Hill to promote supervised injection sites.

Sam Porghavami, a second-year social service worker student, said it’s a “no-brainer” for Ottawa to have a supervised injection site.

The students are partnering with the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites (CSCS) in Ottawa to raise awareness and pressure city councillors to bring in a clean and acceptable place for people to use drugs under the supervision of medical staff.

It's a question of respect - speak out against Bill C-2

Add your voice to the many others that are speaking out against Bill C-2 — a bill that will make it harder, if not impossible, for communities to provide needed health services including supervised consumption services. Please share this important video with your friends and family.

Get informed, sign the petition, and contact your MP. Don't let silence speak for you.

Visit the website: respectcommunities.ca

Evidence not Ideology: A discussion of harm reduction in Ottawa

Evidence not Ideology: A discussion on harm reduction, March 14 2014

Heard of harm reduction? Want to learn more? On March 14 at Carleton University, join us for a discussion about harm reduction & community health in Ottawa.

NOTE: The event has been moved to Uni Centre room 180.

Presented by the School of Social Work's Social Justice Committee, this event will feature expert speakers sharing their stories and answering your questions and concerns:

  • Christine, Participatory Research in Ottawa: Understanding Drug Use
  • Karen White-Jones, Carleton School of Social Work Faculty & Manager of Addictions Services at The Ottawa Mission
  • Luc Cormier, RN with the Oasis Program at Sandy Hill Community Health Centre
  • Sean LeBlanc, Drug Users Advocacy League

Members of the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa will be present as well, sharing their advocacy work and ways of getting involved.

Spread the word, and we hope to see you all there!

RSVP on Facebook

Canada’s drug policy is in with the wrong crowd

The world’s nations have begun talks ahead of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs in 2016. This is a time of increasing high-level calls for drug policy reform and a sense that policies long dominated by prohibition and law enforcement in many parts of the world have failed miserably. Countries may be better served with a public health policy approach instead.

Canada has long been a world leader in implementing harm reduction policy when it comes to drug use at home.

So it was almost shocking to see it aligning itself to countries such as Russia and China in vocally opposing the inclusion of “harm reduction” in a new a new set of UN principles that will guide talks at the special session in 2016.

Safe injection: Saving lives or ignoring addiction?

The crumpled figure in the picture is face down on the tiled bathroom floor. His legs are curled underneath him as though he toppled over from a kneeling or sitting position. The bathroom is clean but for wrappers and a tourniquet scattered over the closed lid of the toilet. A used needle lies on the floor behind the unconscious man.

“This picture was taken at Pizza Pizza, downtown,” says Sean Leblanc.

Get the facts: No such thing as a "no-go zone"

Recently, there's been a lot of discussion about supervised consumption sites in Ottawa. It's important to separate the FACTS from the MYTHS.

FACT: IF A SUPERVISED CONSUMPTION SITE OPENED IN OTTAWA, POLICE WOULD RETAIN FULL POWERS TO ENFORCE ALL LAWS THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.

Only the inside of the supervised consumption site itself would be exempt from drug possession laws. 

Ottawa Police Superintendent Tyrus Cameron dismissed the myth of restricted police enforcement around a potential supervised consumption site during a Lowertown Community Association meeting:

“There is no such thing as a 'No-go zone'. The Ottawa Police will enforce the Criminal Code everywhere in Ottawa. The community expects us to, so we will.” - Superintendent Cameron, Ottawa Police, Oct. 21 2013

In an article published by the Ottawa Sun, Inspector Scott Thompson of the Vancouver Police Department spoke about policing policy around Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection site:

There is no 'bubble zone'. The force “recommended” that officers direct users found injecting within a four-block radius to Insite to avoid future brushes with the law but they had “full discretion” to lay charges and seize drugs. - Ottawa Sun Interview with Insp. Thompson, VPD, Sept. 28 2013

The evidence from Insite in Vancouver – and from over 90 such sites around the world – shows that supervised consumption sites encourage cleaner, safer streets by helping to reduce public drug use and drug equipment litter. They're also proven to reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV, prevent overdose deaths, and improve access to addiction treatment programs.

Drug Consumption Rooms: What the residents say

CSCS members have had hundreds of conversations with people in Ottawa just like these interviews with residents of Birmingham in the UK.

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