Bill to make it easier to create supervised drug-consumption sites becomes law

Canada is dealing with an opioid crisis of “unprecedented proportions”, Health Minister Jane Philpott said Thursday as she spoke in defence of a new law that removes 26 strict requirements for new supervised injection sites.

Under the former law, new sites had to provide medical and scientific evidence of benefit and letters of support from provincial health ministers, local police and regional health officials — criteria established by the previous Conservative government that advocates argued created far too many barriers for harm-reduction facilities.

The government said Thursday the new law streamlines the application process to align it with five factors set out by the Supreme Court of Canada, adding that evidence of a site's intended public health benefit will be required for applications.

Kristy Kirkup reports

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