Health Minister Tony Clement has made clear the Canadian government’s position on Insite, the safe-injection facility in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The Canadian government intends to appeal a BC court ruling that would allow the site to continue operating beyond June 30, 2008.
Insite is operating as a pilot project under a legal exemption originally granted by the previous government that allows people to carry, traffic and inject illegal drugs in the supervised facility.
The Conservative government extended the legal exemption until June 30, 2008 in order to conduct more research into the the program. Meanwhile, a British Columbia court has ruled that Canada’s current drug laws are unconstitutional when they prohibit possession and trafficking of illegal drugs by those looking for help at facilities such as Insite.
I cannot agree with Canada’s submission that an addict must feed his addiction in an unsafe environment when a safe environment that may lead to rehabilittion is the alternative.
– Mr. Justice Ian Pitfield
Clement said the federal government will appeal the recent BC court decision, saying supervised injection sites are well-intentioned but ultimately medically unethical.