Proposed federal rules throw up hurdles for supporters of Ottawa drug-injection site

Supporters of an Ottawa supervised injection site say they are disappointed that the federal government is politicizing a health issue with hurdles that would make it harder to open one here. But they remain undeterred in their push to bring one to Ottawa.

“It is the right thing to do. We know that this is an important intervention and we should continue to move ahead,” said Dr. Mark Tyndall, head of infectious diseases at The Ottawa Hospital, and a strong supporter of an Ottawa safe injection site.

Safe drug injection site rules emphasize local input

The federal government says it is giving a voice to local communities with a bill introduced today that lays out criteria for getting permission to open a supervised drug injection site in Canada.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq introduced the proposed respect for communities act in the House of Commons and at a press conference she said the proposed rules are in line with a Supreme Court decision in 2011 that allowed Vancouver's InSite clinic to stay open.

CSCS supports Pivot Legal Society's report on Bill C-10

The Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites is a group of community members who advocate for the opening of supervised sites in Ottawa for people who use drugs. We strongly support the work of Pivot and the findings of their report, Throwing Away the Keys.

Mandatory minimum sentences are harmful to low income people with problematic substance use issues in Ottawa, and across the country.

The consequences of longer and more frequent imprisonment are a threat to the health and well-being of people with drug addictions. Loss of housing, reduced employment opportunities, and separation from the support of family and friends only serves to push people to the margins of our society. These destabilizing effects are severe challenges to overcoming addiction.

Throwing away the keys: the human and social cost of mandatory minimum sentences

Lawyers from Pivot Legal Society are holding a press conference in Ottawa on May 30th to launch their new report, Throwing Away The Keys: The human and social cost of mandatory minimum sentences.

This report is based on interviews with drug users about their involvement within the criminal justice system, and assesses the potential impacts of new mandatory minimum sentences on low-income drug users.

Safer sites for drug users not supported by mayor or police chief

Ottawa’s mayor and police chief say they will not support safe injection sites, despite a recent survey showing the majority of Lowertown residents favour the creation of a supervised site for injection drug users.

“This is a health crisis that has been going on for far too long,” says Christopher Dalton, coordinator of the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa (CSCS), which commissioned the six-question survey in late April.

Proving the Proven: A safe consumption site for Ottawa

"There's a health crisis in Ottawa."

Chris Dalton's pronouncement contains not a trace of drama, but it's hard to reconcile with the city I see at the moment. It's springtime in the national capital, and it's beautiful—the bike paths along the canal and rivers are getting busy, trees are flourishing in greens and reds, and the historical architecture in the core of the city glints beneath the sunlight.

Ottawa Police Chief Bordeleau: safe injection site decision not up to police

Any decision on whether Ottawa should have a safe injection and inhalation site for drug users is up to the community, not the police, according to Chief Charles Bordeleau.

Bordeleau said Wednesday his position on the sites has not changed: he would prefer to invest resources on treatment, rather than harm reduction.

The Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites receives broad support in Lowertown

Volunteers for the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa (CSCS) went door-to-door in the Byward Market and Lowertown this past weekend to engage with the community, and received broad support for their campaign from residents.

In their first weekend of canvassing in an ongoing campaign, CSCS volunteers consulted with over 100 households. At each home, residents were asked whether they would support the creation of a public health facility where people could use their own drugs under medical supervision.

An overwhelming 78% of those responding said they supported the implementation of a supervised drug consumption site in Ottawa, and 65% said they would welcome such a site in their own neighbourhood.

Proponents of supervised injection site in the capital not ready to throw in the towel

Debate over whether Ottawa should have at least one supervised injection site is far from over.

Proponents are planning a major new proposal by the end of the year.

The subject dominated discussion a recent Board of Health meeting.

The proponents of a supervised injection sites say one of the city’s four pillars to substance misuse is “harm reduction.”

Group asking Ottawa Market residents to support supervised injection site

A group advocating a supervised injection site in the ByWard Market is canvassing the neighbourhood Sunday seeking support from residents.

“This is clearly a health crisis. We’re offering an alternative,” said Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites co-ordinator Chris Dalton.

Ottawans using drugs have high rates of overdose, infection, and rising rates of communicable diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C, he said.

“This is a growing problem and if we don’t stop it soon, then there’s going to be more HIV,” Dalton said.

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