Letter to Minister About Safe Injection Site Permit Renewal

The Hon. Tony Clement, P.C., M.P., Minister of Health

House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Minister,

I am following up on a letter that I sent to Prime Minister Harper, and copy circulated to you, on June 1st of this year regarding Vancouver's Safe Injection Site, known as InSite. In that letter, I included a recent study by "Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy", which showed that Vancouver's InSite was not associated with a marked increase in drug-related criminal activity. In fact, it showed a significant decline in break-ins and thefts since its opening. However, since InSite is up for federal review in September, I felt it urgent that you receive as much evidence as possible that shows the success of InSite, in the belief that InSite must continue.

Enclosed, I have included a research summary by Vancouver Coastal Health, which shows the tremendous success of InSite in reducing harm to those who use illicit drugs. Most notably, the research shows that InSite is leading to an increase in users who choose to enter detoxification programs and addiction treatment, and that 453 overdoses have resulted in no fatalities thanks to the availability of qualified medical staff. I hope you find the included facts helpful to recognize that InSite is performing well and needs ongoing support.

Because of the importance of InSite in reducing harm to so many of my constituents in the downtown eastside of Vancouver, I am requesting a meeting with you in order to further discuss this matter. I hope you will seriously consider my request. I feel very strongly that the evidence is clear, and would welcome the opportunity to let you know how strongly InSite is supported in Vancouver.

I thank you for your time, and anxiously await your reply.

Yours Sincerely,
Libby Davies MP
Vancouver East

This Open Letter to Ministers & Public Officials was posted on July 4, 2006