Libby Davies, the New Democratic Party spokesperson on drug policy, is working with harm reduction groups across Canada to hold forums in cities including Toronto, Whitehorse, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa.
Davies represents Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which is home to Canada’s first and only Supervised Injection Site, called InSite. InSite requires a special permit from the federal government to operate, and the current permit expires in December 2007. The governing Conservatives are hostile to the existence of Vancouver’s InSite, and are unlikely to extend its permit or allow any new sites to open.
“The program started as a three-year study in 2003, and the results have been positive,” says Davies in a statement on her website. “The study has met the highest academic standards and shows that InSite has resulted in a 30% increase in the use of addiction treatment, reduced public injections, reduced transmission of blood-borne infections like HIV and Hepatitis C, and no increase in drug-related crime rates.”
At the public forum in Toronto, Davies was accompanied by NDP MP Peggy Nash (Parkdale-High Park). “Toronto reaches out to thousands of drug users annually through needle exchange and methadone programs,” said Nash. “Despite successful harm reduction programs in municipalities across Canada including Toronto, Ottawa, and Winnipeg, the recent federal budget removes harm reduction from Canada’s drug strategy and commits millions of new dollars for enforcement.”
You can contact Libby Davies by email at [email protected]. Please send her a note showing your support for her important work.
Visit Libby Davies’ website at www.libbydavies.ca
The NDP webpage that covers Libby Davies’ national Harm Reduction Tour is available at www.ndp.ca/page/5552.
You can keep up with Libby Davies’ work through news clippings at www.mapinc.org/people/libby davies.
Libby also has this YouTube link on her top page, which has videos from the “Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy” Founding Convention, available at www.youtube.com/meehant72.
Media clippings on Insite are available at www.mapinc.org/people/insite.
PDF on Harm Reduction available from Libby’s website by clicking here.
Visit the eNDProhibition website at www.endprohibition.ca!