If you have not already done so, please consider signing the petition calling for Supervised Consumption Sites for Ottawa. The petition is part of the work being carried out by the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa.
A ground-breaking report, released earlier this year after, called for multiple Supervised Consumptions Sites to be established in both Ottawa and Toronto.
The TOSCA (Toronto and Ottawa Supervised Consumption Assessment) research team looked at two questions: (1) Do Toronto and Ottawa need supervised consumption facilities? (2) Is the implementation of supervised consumption facilities in Toronto or Ottawa feasible? To answer these questions, the research team conducted a scientific study involving the collection and analysis of data from a variety of sources. The assessment answered both questions with a resounding “YES”, backed up with five recommendations that set out a framework to make Supervised Consumption Sites a reality. The report is worth reading in full … in the mean time, here is a press release and a supportive Toronto Star editorial that hit the main points.
But let’s not kid ourselves, securing the rights and health of people on society’s margins has never been easy. Making Supervised Consumption Sites a reality in Ottawa and Toronto will take ACTION. Ontario’s Minister of Health is on record opposing them: “We are always prepared to listen to good advice, and we make our decisions based on evidence,” Health Minister Deb Mathews said in a written statement at the time TOSCA was released. “Experts continue to be divided on the value of the sites. We have no plans to pursue supervised sites at this time.” Ottawa is not rushing to implement the recommendations. And even in the potentially friendlier, more enlightened climate prevailing at the City of Toronto‘s Drug Strategy Implementation Task Force, public expression of support and political action will be crucial.
AAN! fully supports the need for Supervised Consumptions Sites in Ottawa, Toronto, and wherever there is need for this life-saving public health measure. We think you should too. Please sign the petition. Your voice and your support are needed now, and for the foreseeable future. Show your support for justice and evidence-based policy making, for empathy and community, and for action to promote the rights, dignity, health and well-being of people who use drugs.