It’s ironic, and typical, that as INSITE celebrates its 10th anniversary of successful operation in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, the Conservative government in Ottawa is still railing against Safe Injection Sites and no doubt has Bill C-65 ready to go when Parliament returns October 16.
Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, was the last bill to be introduced before parliament recessed in June. It’s a nasty bill, couched in anti-harm reduction rhetoric, full of misconceptions, and designed to shut down any attempt to open a safe injection site in Canada.
The bill is a shining example of Conservative ideology trumping evidence-based health and science.
But try as hard as they can - INSITE just won't go away and nor will public support for it. After numerous court rulings, including the Supreme Court of Canada, enormous public scrutiny, more than 24 peer reviewed scientific studies, INSITE will continue no matter what legislation the Conservative government throws at it.
September 2003 marks the opening of INSITE, but the struggle to get there began many years before that.