Support builds for Vcr safe injection: Victoria next?

May 3, 2008 at 1:29 am 8 comments

Word comes that UBC doctors in support of safe injection sites are butting heads with Federal politicians who claim the jury’s still out on their effectiveness:

CBC: UBC medical staff wrote PM to support supervised injection site

The doctors felt compelled to step forward because of concerns the Conservative government was ignoring medical research that proved the medically supervised facility had reduced needle sharing, fatal overdoses and public injections, according to John Hepburn, the vice-president of research at UBC.

“Health research findings were not being paid attention to,” Hepburn told CBC on Thursday.

It took three and a half months for the Prime Minister’s Office to acknowledge the letter, but the response didn’t say anything else, said Hepburn.

Federal Health Minister Tony Clement also took four months to respond to the letter but merely recounted the federal drug strategy in his response, said Hepburn.

As evidence mounts, Tony Clement and the rest of the Conservative party better show some credible, unbiased evidence that refutes safe injection sites as a viable piece of the addiction solution. Otherwise, our Federal Government will be seen as an impediment to fixing Canada’s century-long drug problem.

This comes a few weeks after the Province’s top health official said Victoria should be the second BC city to have safe injection sites:

CTV: Permanent safe injection site for Victoria: report

Fischer and Kendall contend a supervised consumption drug site in Victoria will offer the city’s 1,500 to 2,500 hard drug users a location other than alleyways and open parking lots to inject drugs.

Safe injection sites not only improve health conditions, they can play an important role in cleaning up the streets. Addicts caught injecting in public will be directed to a safe injection site or face the consequences of Community Court.

Entry filed under: safe injection sites, social issues.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Father Allen Jones  |  November 3, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    safe injection sites is just wrong Giving addicts needles just does not feel right…’
    my sister Alana 1966-2003 was an addict. Those who gave her needles help her destroy her life.


    Reverend Father Allen Jones
    Curate of Prince of Peace Mission
    Vicar Apostolic of Victoria
    Catholic Apostolic Church in Canada

  • 2. robertrandall  |  November 3, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    I don’t like the thought of giving out needles either but have you given thought about the alternative? Until addicts get into treatment do you really not have a problem with them sharing needles?

  • 3. Father Allen Jones  |  November 4, 2008 at 8:23 am

    What alternative? Once they take the drug….do you really think they worry about clean needles? Not in real world

  • 4. robertrandall  |  November 4, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Are you truly not aware of the alternative? Last year I attended the funeral of an old high school acquaintance who died from years of drug abuse. He had kicked the hard drugs but not before catching hepatitis. He died a slow, lingering death.

    This is what harm reduction is trying to stop. Not trying to find some fuzzy moral high ground, or “feeling right”. It’s about saving lives as we work to cure their devastating addictions.

    Of course I support abstinence-based treatment. But it isn’t a magic cure-all for every case. It needs to be part of a broad spectrum of treatment aimed at curing, not managing addicts.

    But I know your opinion is immovable. Addicts do care about their health. Haven’t you noticed how they meticulously clean their needles with bleach water? It’s simply that their craving for the drug overpowers all.

  • 5. Father Allen Jones  |  November 4, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    No my opinion is not immovable.I do not agree with you but thank thank you for anwers


  • 6. allan antliff  |  November 5, 2008 at 2:51 pm


    Having established and run a needle exchange (in Ontario, in 1990) I know from first-hand experience that such facilities are “gateways” to addictions treatment and the addressing of related social needs (housing, welfare, etc.). Once an addict starts caring about his or her health–and by extension, the health of those they share their lives with–they often move on to the next step: kicking their habit and getting their lives back in order. I personally assisted a number of them in this endeavor: I know of one individual who went on to get a law degree and is now practicing in Toronto, another works in the building trades, and a third found employment in the non-profit sector in Ottawa.


  • 7. Father Allen Jones  |  November 7, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks for that information Allan Antliff.My sister Alana wanted treatment it just wasn t space for her.If you are giving out needles and treatment or it leads to treatment I could accept that.
    Mr.Robert Randall in the future do not tell me my opinion is immovable and really “fuzzy moral high ground”, why I said feeling right was trying be civil.Would you rather I say It is immoral and if you where a christian I excommunicate you for the immoraly of handing out needless?
    I see you are running for a seat on Victoria City Council .
    I might yet vote for you.

  • 8. goyodelarosa  |  November 14, 2008 at 10:12 am

    I have been impressed with your expertise on land use issues, Robert, but I must say that your advocacy of ‘harm reduction’ is a great disappointment to me and many others in the CCC who might like to vote for you. Frankly, though, I discourage people from doing so, despite your intelligence, your artistry and your command of the language.

    I too lost a brother to a morphine and alcohol overdose. He was 18. So, Father Allen Jones and I both have had direct personal experience of the devastation that untreated hard drug and alcohol addiction can wreak on families.

    In this election, some of the candidates have been more outspoken in either their support or their condemnation of this utilitarian philosophy that is the basis for so-called ‘harm reduction.’

    There are now at least five Victoria City Councillor Candidates opposed to giving addicts more needles. They are: incumbent Councillor Geoff Young, Victoria Mayoral Candidate Kristen Woodruff, CCC Councillor Candidates Father Allen Jones, Patrick Jamieson and myself, Gregory Hartnell.

    The most vocal proponents of the expansion of the needle programmes seem to be all of the defensive incumbent Councillors (save Young), Pieta Van Dyke, Philippe Lucas, Victoria Mayoral Candidate Steve Filipovic and yourself.

    The Greens seem completely oblivious to the dangers posed to innocent children in their fanatic advocacy of such programmes.


    Gregory Hartnell, President, Concerned Citizens’ Coalition
    Victoria City Councillor Candidate



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