By Keith Gerein

Health Canada has approved the four locations proposed for supervised drug consumption sites in Edmonton.

Alberta’s first supervised drug injection sites will open within months at four locations in Edmonton’s inner city after receiving approval from Health Canada, the provincial government announced Wednesday.

Proponents hailed the news as a “long overdue” step that will save lives and direct more addicts into treatment.

The goal is to get three community sites open by late December or early January, while a fourth facility at the Royal Alexandra Hospital is anticipated to open sometime in the spring of 2018.