Harm reduction advocates ask ByWard Market residents and business owners to support community health

On April 27th and 28th, members of the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites (CSCS) will be doing door-to-door campaigning to residences and businesses within the ByWard Market. Residents and business owners will be surveyed about their perception of drug use in the market, and asked if they would publicly support the opening of a supervised drug consumption site in their neighbourhood.

Supervised drug consumption sites required in Ottawa, advocates say

Check out this must-watch report on the need for safer drug consumption sites in Ottawa, featuring Rick Sproule and Sean Leblanc of the Drug Users Advocacy League, Dr. Mark Tyndall, and Rob Boyd of Sandy Hill CHC. Keep an eye out for one of our CSCS stickers, too!

This video was created by Carleton University journalism students. Great work!

A discussion of community-based harm reduction

On Thursday, Feb 28, join University of Ottawa Health Services for an evening of discussion about community-based harm reduction in Ottawa at Cafe Alt from 6:30-8:30pm. With special guests:
• Wendy Muckle, Executive Director of Ottawa Inner City Health (OICH)
• Sean LeBlanc, Chair of the Drug User’s Advocacy League (DUAL)

R.S.V.P. on Facebook

UOHS welcomes students and the community to join in this informative and engaging discussion. This presentation will be especially relevant to students in the fields of health, allied health, medicine and social work.

Talking harm reduction at Ottawa's Winterlude

This past weekend, CSCS volunteers took to Winterlude to talk with people about supervised consumption sites & collect signatures on our petition to the provincial health minister. We had great conversations about harm reduction and received lots of positive feedback from Ottawans and tourists alike. There's no doubt that supervised consumption sites are a health service that people are ready to support in our community.

Thank you so much to our amazing volunteers! With your help, we're now at well over 1000 signatures on our paper petition, which we'll be submitting to the provincial legislature later in the year.

Health centre studies safe injection sites

A recent fact-finding trip to Europe by members of the Somerset West Community Health Centre has inspired new discussions among community organizers about safe injection sites in Ottawa.

Two board members and an employee from the centre visited four cities in Germany and the Netherlands last fall to research supervised safe injection sites, says the centre’s executive director, Jack McCarthy.

Winterlude weekend action

Put on your toques and lace up your skates, we're taking our campaign to the world's longest skating rink!

On February 16th and 17th, we need volunteers to gather signatures in support of supervised consumption sites in Ottawa. We'll be going where the action is this time of year - Winterlude!

Sign up now to volunteer and help us spread the message about this important cause.

Human Library - Drug User Book

In an interview on CBC Ottawa Morning, Sean LeBlanc of the Drug Users Advocacy League talks about the success and benefits of harm reduction methods, and the stigma against drug users.

"I can't be in recovery from drugs if I'm dying of HIV or of overdose... I'm proud to see value in everybody's life, and that people do deserve second chances."

► Click to play

You can "sign out" Sean from the Ottawa Public Library Main Branch on Saturday, Jan. 26 as part of the Human Library program.

The Insite decision and the case for supervised consumption facilities in Ottawa

Professor Suzanne Bouclin of the Ottawa University Faculty of Law and Priyanka Vittal, a law student & CSCS volunteer, have co-authored a paper on the 2011 Supreme Court decision in favour of Insite remaining open, and what the decision means for the possibility of similar sites opening in Ottawa. The article is available in the December issue of the Canadian Journal of Poverty Law, and offers a valuable analysis of the legal aspects of this issue.

On September 29, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled to allow a safer supervised consumption facility (SCF) to remain open under a section 56 exemption of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The decision has lent additional legitimacy to SCFs as a necessary health care service that is part of a comprehensive and holistic drug and addiction strategy. In part one of this comment, we describe the context in which Insite emerged in Vancouver, British Columbia. In part two, we discuss the legal mobilization that led to the Supreme Court decision and the framework under which Insite currently operates. In part three, we explore the decision’s implications for another jurisdiction – Ottawa, Ontario.

Read the full article here (PDF)

Group hopes for safe drug consumption site in Ottawa

On the busy streets of the ByWard Market, people are always in a rush to get where they need to be. Nobody grants the man sitting on the sidewalk, holding an empty cup, any attention.

Though he is asking for money, he does not raise his eyes to meet anyone. His clothes are torn, his skin dirtied from nights of sleeping on the streets. Most passersby also avert their eyes of the man standing behind him. Christopher Dalton is here to lend his voice to the voiceless.

Insite - Not just injecting, but connecting

This video about Insite, created by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, is an amazing look at the program, the people, and the vital place it holds in the community. Supervised consumption sites are about so much more than using drugs - they're also about compassionate health care, forming respectful connections with people, and providing help when it's needed.

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