Vision team says city should intervene in Insite case

August 27, 2008
Vision team says Vancouver should intervene in Insite appeal
to defend supervised injection site from Conservative legal attack

The City of Vancouver should formally intervene in a critical upcoming Court of Appeal case to defend Insite, the city’s supervised injection site, from the threat of closure by the Conservative government, say Vision Vancouver council hopefuls Geoff Meggs and Dr. Kerry Jang.
The Harper Conservatives are appealing a BC Supreme Court decision that struck down sections of Canada’s drug laws as unconstitutional because they prevent Insite from operating. The case was taken up by the Portland Hotel Society, the non-profit society operating Insite.
“The provincial Attorney General’s ministry has confirmed the province will intervene in the appeal, but so far the City of Vancouver has left the defence of Insite to a non-profit society,” says Jang, an acknowledged expert on mental health and addiction. “This is unacceptable given the importance of this program to hundreds of injection drug users.”
“If Insite closes, we will see a resumption of alley-way injections and a return to the disorder, illness and death that preceded the program,” said Meggs.
“It’s time for Peter Ladner and the NPA majority, who unquestioningly backed Mayor Sam Sullivan’s reckless experimental drug program to provide free drugs to addicts, to take a stand against Conservative attacks on a scientifically-proven program.”
Vision councillor Raymond Louie said he supports city intervention in the case and will take the matter before council when it next meets on Sept. 16.