Dodging drug laws, B.C. unveils plans to immediately offer supervised-injection services in Vancouver and other cities
The announcement made by B.C.’s ministry of health marks a major policy shift that could change how supervised-injection sites are established across Canada.
Today (December 8) two new supervised-injection sites for drug users will open in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
The following week, similar facilities will open in Surrey and Victoria. Later this month, additional sites will open in all three jurisdictions.
The surprise announcement made by B.C.’s ministry of health marks a major policy shift that could change how supervised-injection sites are established across Canada.
Up until now, programs like Vancouver’s Insite facility have required exemptions from federal drug laws, and the former Conservative government made those exemptions very difficult to obtain.
The two sites opening today do not have exemptions from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that authorities previously insisted they required to open.
In a telephone interview, B.C. health minister Terry Lake said today’s action was taken out of necessities created by the fentanyl crisis and unpreceded numbers of drug overdose deaths.