- Humber Student Federation holds carnival to end semester
- Syrian ceasefire begins, troops remain
- Supervised drug facilities may be coming to Toronto
- Lack of participation cancels Recycle Race at Humber
- March employment numbers surprise economists
- OPP's 2011 traffic stats show decrease in deaths caused by motor vehicle collisions
|Supervised drug facilities may be coming to Toronto||| Print ||
|Written by Tyler Hunt|
|Thursday, 12 April 2012 13:37|
A lengthy report released Wednesday entitled Toronto and Ottawa Supervised Consumption Assessment (TOSCA) recommends three new, supervised drug-injection facilities in Toronto, plus another two in Ottawa.
The study, which was launched four years ago, aims to curb Ontario drug addiction and the spread of disease, claiming these facilities will reduce drug use and prevent the spread of new HIV and hepatitis C infections.
But the study’s findings are not necessarily being endorsed by Toronto Police and some members of city council.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair told reporters that the potential negative aspects that accompany the facilities concerns the police force, and that Toronto Police want to ensure that there will be no negative affects on the community.
“My concern is there needs to be sufficient assurances within the community that the quality of life will not be put in jeopardy,” Blair told reporters Wednesday night.
Despite Blair’s concerns however, this type of facility is already operational in Vancouver, and there have been several (some big and some small) accomplishments from having a supervised facility in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighborhood, a spot notorious for its long-term drug users and frequent overdoses.
Anna Marie D'Angelo, senior media relations officer for Vancouver Coastal Health, which runs Insite, Vancouver's supervised facility, told thedailyplanet.com that the idea for Insite originally came as a solution to the city's growing drug addiction and HIV problem.
Despite the negative connotations the facility brought with it at its inception, D'Angelo says the highly successful and has helped significantly reduce the rate of HIV transmission in the Downtown Eastside.
One of the main concerns Chief Blair had with the facilities is that he fears they will have a negative impact on the communities around them, but D'Angelo says in Vancouver this has not been the case. And despite early concerns, there is no evidence that the Downtown Eastside has been negatively affected at all.
Toronto City Council was skeptical of the report, with Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday saying he would like to see more evidence that this model would work in Toronto. Mayor Rob Ford has been unsupportive of these sites as a form of drug treatment in the past.
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