Supreme Court to rule on Insite -

Supreme Court to rule on Insite

Ottawa challenging legality of supervised injections


The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear the federal government’s appeal of a B.C. court’s decision to allow the safe injection site Insite to stay open. The B.C. Court of Appeal ruled earlier this year that the clinic, which allows addicts to inject their own drugs under the supervision of a nurse, has a constitutionally justified right to exist. The clinic aims to reduce the risks associated with using drugs on the street. The federal government has challenged the legality of a space where police aren’t allowed to arrest illegal drug users.

Toronto Sun

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Supreme Court to rule on Insite

  1. Stop wasting taxpayers money fighting something most BC citizens approve and their elected government supports.

    • Stop wasting taxpayers money promoting and legitimizing drug addiction.

    • I'm from BC and I sure as hell do not approve of this injection site. Unfortunately, we are a province of users and it is a constant agenda of many to make the rest of society embrace and pay their habit and the effects of it's use. If a cigarette is outlawed everywhere, why should an illegal activity get the go ahead?

      • Unfortunately, we are a province of users… why should an illegal activity get the go ahead?

        As I understand it, if the majority of people agree with a thing (as you appear to suggest), usually democracy ensures that that thing occurs.

      • Unfortunately we are all forced to pay for drug addiction in the form of higher prices in stores due to theft and high policing costs because of some backward rightwingnuts ongoing desire to treat addiction as a criminal matter instead of a medical condition. The police cannot even control the crime in their own agencies and until they do they should stay out of things of a non criminal nature.

  2. This could be a very interesting case. Does the provincial right to dictate how it manages Health Care within the Canada Health Act trump the Federal Gov'ts right to dictate what and what isn't a federal crime?

    • You have a very loose definition of health care. Even the proponents don't call it care, they call it "harm avoidance". Because it isn't health care, not in the slightest. There is nothing healthy about it. The only supposed benefit is that it is a substitute for unhealthy behaviour that has not yet taken place, that it is less harmful than the more harmful alternatives. There's nothing healthy about any of it, it's the furthest thing from health care.

      • Putting aside the naming issue for a moment, do you support the program at all? If not, is there anything that society should or could do with these folks? Or let them take care of themselves?

    • The BC Court of Appeal rules on the same laws as the Supreme Court, so I'm a little surprised the SC is taking on a case that's been ruled on by two levels of provincial courts. I see four possibilities. Either they believe the case is of such extreme national importance that a provincial Court of Appeal precedent isn't adequate, they believe the BC court system is fundamentally flawed, or they are bowing to pressure from the Executive Branch. I don't think the first is likely, and I don't like the implications of the other two as far as democracy in this country. The fourth possibility is the conflict between clear provincial jurisdiction (health care) & clear federal jurisdiction (drug laws).

      • cont'd

        The trouble with the level of debate on this issue is typical of extremists of all kinds. They see politics as the choice between the obvious right answer & the obvious wrong answer, and everyone who agrees with them is stupid, greedy or misguided. In reality, politics is about choosing which good choice is better or which bad choice is less bad. The question isn't whether Insite is good or bad: most of us who support it know it is "bad". The question is if Insite is less bad than totally unsupervised drug use.

  3. and why did the government spend even more of our tax dollars 'buying' medical reports that 'proved' the Insite Centre didn't work -even tho all the experts agree it doesn. Reports bought with our money that the accuracy of is now being questioned in court.
    All the stats show fewer OD's….out reach programs for those who want treatment…less spread of disease…how can any of this not be a good thing.
    Instead, it's a power play. nothing less. On the backs of the sick and unfortunate.

    • Many of those sick and unfortunate you wish to get high have mental issues. After River View was shut down, several of those poor people became our East Side residents. A safe injection site is not the solution, mental health and facilities to deal with it is the answer. Many people have something to gain off the backs of these "sick and unfortunate" if you care so much about their health and welfare, pay for it yourselves, keep our tax dollars out of the equation, that may bring out the true people who care.

      • A safe injection site is not the solution, mental health and facilities to deal with it is the answer.

        if you care so much about their health and welfare, pay for it yourselves, keep our tax dollars out of the equation

        I'm confused. So the solution is mental health facilities that are paid for by whom?

        Certainly you are correct, mental health problems, and a lack of support, do often lead to drug addiction. However, solving that problem doesn't preclude providing a safe injection site. It just means that the issue is multifaceted.

        • There are also a helluva lot of these addicts in the Downtown Eastside who don't really have mental health issues per se. A lot of them are, e.g., runaways who go to Vancouver because it's the big city, because the weather's nice, it's considered a "cool" place to go, etc. Then they get to Vancouver, they don't know anybody, the cost of living is sky high, the job market is tight and they can't get a decent-paying job. They fall in with the underclass, and next thing you know they're hanging out in the DES. Next thing you know, they're doing petty crimes, turning tricks, and drug addiction goes along with that lifestyle.

  4. The money we pay the government to operate should not be used to run a safe injection site or arrest drug users. Use our money to provide mental health care to those who are suffering and that's it. De-criminalize drugs, what people consume is not the government's business.

  5. What I see from these sites is the moral equivalent of leaving a glass of water and two advil at the bedside table of an alcoholic. You do nothing to solve the problem, you just make the ancillary effects of it less severe.

    The implicit message in your action is that you endorse their behaviours by simply telling them that what they're doing isn't wrong, per se.

    • I don't disagree with you per se. I just don't think the opinion of respectable society at large plays much of a role in the decision-making process of Insite "clients".

  6. Taxpayer funds should not be allocated to illegal and unhealthy decisions by drug addicts who choose to use drugs while jeopardizing their health and wellness. Promotion of this program under the guise of harm reduction to decrease the incidence of HIV and HCV is misleading and research results are skewed and unreliable in this regard.