Health Centre wants interim safe injection site

The Sandy Hill Community Health Centre wants to open a safe injection site sooner.

Director Rob Boyd tells CTV Morning Live he will meet with Health Canada officials today to seek an interim exemption to open a temporary safe injection site.

The move comes after Overdose Prevention Ottawa opened a pop-up safe injection site in Raphael Brunet Park on St. Patrick St. in Lowertown. Since it opened last Friday, 88 people have visited the site. There have been no reported overdoses.

Boyd says the interim safe injection site awould be similar to one that opened in Toronto last week.  People would be able to use illigict drugs while under the supervision of a medical professional.

The Sandy Hill Community Health Centre has received federal approval to open a permanent safe injection site at its facility on Nelson Street. That facility is scheduled to open later this fall.

Mayor Jim Watson said Tuesday he would prefer Overdose Prevention Ottawa move its tent next to the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre.

“We’re going to work for an amicable solution. That’s the first priority,” he said. “But the reality is that I think it does not do a lot of good to the movement when you have a group that has a legitimate right to a federal licence, and then a group that just comes up and says we’re going to operate a pop-up site.”

Watson said he understands the overdose prevention group is “well-meaning…they want to help people, which is noble,” but added that “everyone in the country has to follow the rule of law.