Former Vancouver mayors join fight to defend Insite

Current mayor gets support of five predecessors ahead of Supreme Court hearing

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and five of his predecessors have joined together in a bid to stop the federal government from shuttering Insite, the city’s controversial safe-injection site. Robertson, Philip Owen, Larry Campbell, Mike Harcourt, Art Phillips, and Sam Sullivan have signed a letter arguing the facility is a medical service that’s been effective in saving lives and urging Ottawa to abandon its case against Insite, which is set to go before the Supreme Court on Thursday. “Drug addiction is a health issue, not a criminal issue, and Insite needs to be recognized for what it is: a valuable health service that saves lives,” Owen said. “To help people who are addicted, we need a comprehensive, health-based approach, and Insite needs to be a part of that.” Arguments filed by the Justice Department show Ottawa plans to argue its authority over criminal justice matters trumps the province’s jurisdiction over health care facitilities.

Vancouver Sun

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