“The time is now” for safe injection sites, says prominent Ottawa doctor

A prominent Ottawa doctor says he’s ready to lead an effort to bring a safe injection site for drug addicts to the nation’s capital. But he’ll have to overcome strong opposition from Ottawa’s mayor and chief of police first.

Harm reduction at home

When Dr. Mark Tyndall moved to Ottawa from Vancouver earlier this year to take up the post of head of infectious diseases at the Ottawa Hospital, he was surprised at what he saw. The overdose rate among injection drug users seemed to be high, although it was difficult to find stats to confirm that, and the rate of HIV transmission was among the highest in the country. In Vancouver, those kinds of issues helped inspire the community to support a safe injection site, Insite, which the Supreme Court of Canada has just ruled should stay open.

Keep Vancouver's Insite open, Supreme Court rules

Vancouver's controversial Insite clinic can stay open, the Supreme Court said Friday in a landmark ruling.

In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that not allowing the clinic to operate under an exemption from drug laws would be a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The court ordered the federal minister of health to grant an immediate exemption to allow Insite to operate.


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