Our government remains committed to combatting the current overdose epidemic and to taking swift action that will help save the lives of Canadians. Responding to this crisis requires a whole-of-society approach. No single action is going to put an end to the mounting number of overdoses occurring across the country, and it is crucial that we work together and continue to explore new ways to help us reverse the course of this crisis.
Today, Health Canada approved the operation of four new supervised consumption sites – two in Surrey, British Columbia, one in Vancouver, British Columbia and one in Montreal, Quebec:
- Lookout Society Powell Street Getaway, Vancouver, BC (applicant: Vancouver Coastal Health Authority)
- Quibble Creek Sobering Assessment Centre, Surrey, BC (applicant: Fraser Health Authority)
- Lookout Society – 135 A Street, Surrey, BC (applicant: Fraser Health Authority)
- Mobile supervised consumption site (applicant : Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux [CIUSSS] du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal)
The CIUSSS mobile site is the first of its kind to be approved in Canada. The mobile site, whose services are fully contained within a vehicle, will provide complementary services to three fixed sites in Montreal that were approved in February. The mobile site will provide a more geographically flexible service to clients and be open overnight when the fixed sites are closed.
International and Canadian evidence shows that, when properly established and maintained, supervised consumption sites save lives without increasing drug use or crime in the surrounding area. The evidence also shows that they decrease infections and the transmission of communicable disease, and can also decrease the use of emergency departments, as well as hospital admissions related to injection drug use.
Bill C-37, which received Royal Assent on May 18, streamlines the application process for supervised consumption sites, without compromising the health and safety of clients, staff, or the surrounding community.
Our government’s approach to this crisis is, and must be, comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, grounded in sound evidence, and firmly dedicated to saving lives and protecting the health and safety of Canadians.