Provincial review of supervised injection sites could wrap up by end of the month

Niagara Region's Public Health and Services Committee is trying to find a delicate balance between championing overdose prevention clinics while appealing to the Ford Government.

During yesterday's meeting committee members were presented with the latest statistics available for the Niagara Region; during 2016 and 2017, 116 opioid related deaths were recorded in Niagara Health Services alone.

The committee considered sending a letter to the provincial government outlining their support for supervised injection sites, such as the planned site hosted by Positive Living Niagara in St. Catharines. That site has been put on hold while the provincial review is completed.

Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Health Doctor Mustafa Hirji suggested taking a softer approach to the discussion.

"The provincial government is likely not to respond well to a whole bunch of angry voices coming at them, and rather it is best to take a more soft approach - let them do their review, but really give input into that review, and that is likely to have the best chance of success.

Hirji also said it is his understanding that the provincial government hopes to wrap up the review by the end of September.