Last month's decision by the British Columbia appeals court to allow North America’s only safe-injection site to stay open will be taken to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Insite facility, located in Vancouver’s Eastside, that allows drug users to safely inject themselves has caused tension between the local government and the Conservative federal government. The previous liberal government had granted the site exemption from federal drug laws but now the current government wants to shut the site down.
Supporters of the Insite facility include many local health professionals who claim that the service saves lives as it is designed to reduce the health and public order problems associated with illegal injection drug use. Safe-injection rooms also reduce the risk of drug addicts overdosing. Last months appeal court decision; said that addicts needed Vancouver's Insite facility as a medical service.
The courts have now ruled twice in favour of the facility that has been operating since 2003. However the safe-injection room has become a thorn in the side for the Conservative government and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said last week that he would ask the Supreme Court of Canada for permission to appeal the previous decision so that the facility can be shut down.