Petition Closed
Petitioning Minister of Health, Government of Canada Hon. Rona Ambrose

Health Minister Rona Ambrose: Improve access to prevention & treatment services. Stop building barriers.

Harm reduction practices promote health, prevent death and disability, and enhance access to critical health and social services — especially for those experiencing poverty, mental illness and homelessness, and for others who are not well-connected to traditional health and community supports. The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and the following organizations call on Health Minister Rona Ambrose to increase access to prevention and treatment services and to stop building barriers.

Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia
Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Canadian Family Practice Nurses Association
Centretown Community Health Centre
College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta
Community Health Nurses of Canada
Community and Hospital Infection Control Association - Canada
Global Platform for Drug Consumption Rooms
Provincial Infection Control Network of British Columbia
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
Sandy Hill Community Health Centre
Somerset West Community Health Centre
South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre

Letter to
Minister of Health, Government of Canada Hon. Rona Ambrose
Le français suit.

Evidence demonstrates that harm reduction programs — such as Vancouver’s supervised injection site, Insite — bring critical health and social services to vulnerable populations. This is especially so for those experiencing poverty, mental illness and homelessness, and for others who are not well-connected to traditional health and community supports. If this government is truly committed to public health and safety, as it says, it would enhance access to prevention and treatment services instead of building more barriers.

In the case of Vancouver’s Insite, neighbourhood business owners, service providers and residents agree about the clinic’s positive impact, both on the health of the people who use it and on the health of the community. Research shows that the use of supervised injection sites is associated with increased access to detoxification services and longer term treatment programs.

The proposed Bill C-2, the respect for communities act, emphasizes the need for broad community support. CNA agrees that community consultation and support are indeed necessary, especially because harm reduction programs are meant to benefit a community and promote the health and safety of its members.

I and other members of the Canadian community therefore call on you, Minister Ambrose, to reconsider Bill C-2 and to create mechanisms to facilitate the opening of supervised injections sites instead of building barriers that prevent Canadians in need from accessing harm reduction programs.

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Il est démontré que les sites d’injection supervisée, tels que le site d’injection sécuritaire de Vancouver Insite, fournissent des services de santé et sociaux essentiels aux populations vulnérables. C’est notamment le cas de ceux qui vivent dans la pauvreté, qui souffrent de maladie mentale et qui sont sans abri ainsi qu’à ceux qui n’ont pas aisément accès aux services de santé traditionnels et aux ressources communautaires. Si ce gouvernement est réellement engagé à l’égard de la santé et de la sécurité publiques, il s’efforcera d’améliorer l’accès aux services de prévention et de traitement, plutôt que de créer plus d’obstacles.

Dans le secteur de Vancouver où se trouve le site d’injection sécuritaire Insite, des propriétaires d’entreprise, des fournisseurs de services et des résidents du quartier sont d’accord que la clinique a influencé positivement la santé des personnes qui l’utilisent et celle de la collectivité. Il est démontré que les sites d’injection supervisée favorisent l’accroissement de l’accès aux services de désintoxication et aux programmes de traitement à plus long terme.

Le projet de loi C-2 proposé, Loi sur le respect des collectivités, met l’accent sur le besoin d’un vaste appui communautaire. L’AIIC estime elle aussi qu’il est nécessaire de consulter la collectivité et d’obtenir son appui, puisque les programmes de réduction des méfaits visent avantager les collectivités et à faire la promotion de la santé et de la sécurité auprès de ses membres.

D'autre membres de la collectivité canadienne et moi-même vous exhortons donc, Madame la Ministre, à reconsidérer le projet de loi C-2 et à créer des moyens de faciliter l’ouverture de sites d’injection plutôt que de créer des obstacles qui entravent l’accès des Canadiens qui en ont besoin aux programmes de réduction des méfaits.