OTTAWA, Feb. 6, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to doing its part toaddress the public health crisis related to opioid overdoses and deaths across the country. Our approach must be comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate and evidence-based.
Certain communities across Canada
International and Canadian evidence shows that, when run properly, supervised consumption sites can save lives without increasing drug use or crime in the surrounding area.
Today, Health Canada approved a request by the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal to operate three supervised consumption sites at fixed locations in Montreal. Once established and operational, the three sites will be located in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Ville-Marie. CIUSSS asked Health Canada for exemptions from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) to operate the three sites. The Act provides the legislative framework for the control of substances that can alter mental processes and that may produce harm when diverted or misused. Supervised consumption sites require an exemption under the Act to ensure public health and safety requirements are met.
As part of our commitment to a comprehensive drug strategy for Canada, the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, and I introduced legislative amendments to the CDSA and other Acts in December 2016. In addition to new enforcement measures, including the removal of the exception currently placed on border officers to only open mail weighing more than 30 grams and the regulation of illegal pill presses, this legislation will repeal the previous onerous and burdensome regime for establishing supervised consumption sites. These amendments will streamline the application process for supervised consumption sites, by aligning it with the five factors set out by the Supreme Court of Canada:
Building on these legislative amendments, our government also continues to work with border officials and other jurisdictions to stem the flow of illicit substances from entering Canada.
By working with our partners across Canada – including provincial and municipal governments, health professionals and first responders – we can turn the tide of this crisis.
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
SOURCE Health Canada
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