Speaking Out on Safe Injection Sites

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): — Mr. Speaker, in the resounding municipal election results in Vancouver on Saturday the voters made it crystal clear that they support Larry Campbell’s straightforward and compassionate approach to saving lives and dealing with the drug crisis.

If the Minister of Health needed any more evidence that the public is solidly behind safe injection sites she only has to look at the landslide victory of COPE candidates. Will the Minister of Health act now to be part of the solution, to ensure that safe injection sites are set up in the New Year? Treatment does not begin with dead bodies.

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the Hon. Member is probably aware, the Federal Government has been working with Provincial and Territorial colleagues for some time in relation to the possible development of safe injection sites. In fact my Department is in the process of finalizing draft guidelines which will be discussed by stakeholders in the coming were weeks.

In fact, these guidelines will form the basis for a local community if it so chooses to make an application for a safe injection site. It is not for me to presume, but in light of the election results in Vancouver, I take it that the new mayor and his council might be interested in pursuing it.