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International News

Canada: Quebec to Open Safe Injection Site

July 17, 2008

Quebec's health officials will open a supervised-injection site in Montreal, and their plans include establishing similar facilities elsewhere in the province. "There is a team in Montreal looking at the feasibility and acceptability of all this, but there is no date set yet," said Public Health Director Alain Poirier.

Poirier said the idea of creating a network of injection sites has been a part of Quebec's public health plan for some time, but a recent court decision in British Columbia has given the project momentum.

Vancouver is currently home to North America's only safe injection site, Insite. Created as a pilot project in 2003, Insite operated under a limited exemption from federal drug laws until a court ruling last May that granted it a permanent constitutional exemption.

That ruling appears to have cleared one of the legal barriers to similar sites opening in other parts of Canada. "We're the ones who pay for the treatments of [addicts], we pay for their care if they contract HIV," said Poirier. "In short, it falls under the panoply of preventive services."

Earlier this month, Tories appealed the ruling on Insite, and federal Health Minister Tony Clement does not support the program. His office declined to comment on Quebec's plans.

Back to other news for July 2008

Adapted from:
Waterloo Region Record
07.17.2008; Jonathan Montpetit, Canadian Press

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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