Community acceptance for the idea of establishing a safe injection site in Victoria is growing, Mayor Dean Fortin said Thursday.
“The community seems more attuned to moving to that,” Fortin said after
councillors heard from Island Health representatives about progress of
harm-reduction initiatives aimed at the hard to reach, most of who
suffer from both mental illness and addiction.
Fortin was remarking on the success of the Access Health Centre, 713
Johnson St., and Pembroke Services, 1125 Pembroke St. The two centres
have been established as service hubs in the health authority’s outreach
to the hard-to-reach street population.
The centres, along with other health units and hospitals throughout the
region, have been distributing harm-reduction supplies such as clean
needles — without a lot of associated street disorder.
Toronto’s board of health has become the first governing body in the
province to endorse supervised intravenous drug injection sites. The
move is likely to be met with contention, including from the city’s
mayor, who reiterated Wednesday he does not approve of the motion.
decision passed six to two following a recommendation from the city’s
medical officer David McKeown for the board to request the provincial
government fund a pilot supervised injection site project similar to
those seen in Vancouver and other cities around North America and
Stymied by the Supreme Court in its efforts to shut down a supervised
injection site for drug addicts in Vancouver, the Harper government is
making it more difficult for the clinics to open elsewhere in the
Health Minister Leona Agglukaq tabled a bill in
Parliament on Thursday that would require the federal government to
consider a range of factors, including the views of police, provincial
ministers and local government officials before granting the exemption
to drug laws that allows the clinics to operate.
The Government says it is open to the idea of drug injection rooms for addicts.
Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White was responding to
recommendations of a drug treatment group which also called for better
detoxification and medical treatments.
The report from Merchants Quay and Ana Liffey Drug Project found 45%
of addicts are testing positive for Hepatitis C and a rise in
drug-related activity in Dublin city centre is expected during the