It's bittersweet at best. Health Canada has issued an exemption to Vancouver's Insite, the city's clean needle injection site. That's not to say the battle is over. Despite the clear ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Harper regime has put Insite on a year-to-year exemption meaning the Vancouver authorities will have to run the regulatory gauntlet every year.
Vancouver Coastal Health is required to apply for an annual exemption to operate Insite.
"We know Insite works," says Coastal Health chief medical health officer Dr. Patricia Daly, in a written statement.
"Thousands of overdose deaths have been prevented, the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C have been reduced, and clients can more easily connect to health services like detox and primary health care," she says.
The Harper regime this week passed the Orwellian named Bill C-2, The Respect for Communities Act, which is a vehicle to heap layers of federal disrespect on communities like Vancouver.
"VCH is troubled by the numerous conditions set out in the new legislation," she said.
Donald MacPherson, spokesman for the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, said he believes the government purposely created Bill C-2 to discourage new sites from opening
"Supervised consumption sites are a response to a very dire situation," he said.
Update: Alison, of Creekside, sent along a link to a 2010 Paul Wells article from Maclean's that I hadn't read. This post needs to be considered in light of that article from 5-years ago. It's proof positive of the malevolent character of this Harper government and the partisan political role the RCMP plays in it. Thank you, Alison.
Also check out Troy's comment. Troy, a very eloquent, British Columbia First Nation, has known the streets of East Vancouver. This disgrace churns in him.