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Tracking the Progress of Supervised Injection Services across Canada

In order to provide supervised injection services (SIS) in Canada, an organization must seek an exemption under section 56.1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The criteria for an exemption are currently outlined in the Respect for Communities Act (known as Bill C-2) which was spearheaded by the Conservative government and passed in March of 2015. On December 12, 2016, the Liberal government announced that it would repeal Bill C-2 and introduce a new bill (Bill C-37), which will reduce the number of criteria for an exemption from 26 to five — the same criteria set out by the Supreme Court of Canada. These criteria are:

  • Impact on crime rates;

  • Local conditions indicating need;

  • Regulatory structure in place to support the facility;

  • Resources available to support its maintenance; and

  • Expressions of community support or opposition.

 The bill has since passed and is now used by the Federal Health Minister to grant exemptions.
Here is the status of supervised injection services across the country:
Supervised injection sites with an exemption

  • Vancouver (3)

  • Montreal (4)

  • Toronto (3)

  • ​Ottawa (1)

  • Surrey (2)

  • Kelowna (1)

  • Kamloops (1)

  • Victoria (1)

In progress (discussion, consultation and/or application)

  • Edmonton

  • Calgary

  • Ottawa (more sites)

  • Saskatoon

  • Thunder Bay

  • London

  • Hamilton

  • ​Windsor

  • Quebec city

  • Halifax

Overdose prevention sites* without exemption

  • Vancouver

  • Victoria

  • Kamloops

  • Kelowna

*Overdose prevention sites were implemented in British Columbia in December 2016 to address the overdose epidemic. These sites provide a place to inject under the supervision of a peer or harm reduction worker (a nurse is not present)

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