Next week, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the Federal Government’s final appeal of the decision to allow the Insite Supervised injection facility to continue to provide lifesaving medical services and support to people who use injection drugs. We are inviting everyone who is interested in learning more about the struggle to open Canada’s first supervised injection site, the ongoing legal battle to keep it open, and the potential impact of a final ruling in this case to join us May 17th for Health, Harm Reduction and the Law: The InSite Case and the Future of Canadian Drug Policy.
Pivot board member and author of Vancouver’s groundbreaking Four Pillars Drug Strategy, Donald MacPherson will moderate an evening of discussion with legal professionals, medical experts, community activists and safe injection site users. The evening will focus on demystifying the case, celebrating the successes and challenges of the movement for evidence-based drug policy, and turning our attention to the future of drug policy in this country.
We’ll see footage straight from the courtroom in Ottawa. We will hear from the Portland Hotel Society, which operates Insite, and their lawyer, Monique Pongracic-Speier. Dr. Thomas Kerr of the Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and Maxine Davis, Executive Director of the Dr. Peters Aids Foundation will talk about the potential health implications of the decision in this case. Plaintiff Dean Wilson will reflect on his journey through the court process as a person who has used Insite. Downtown Eastside activist Bud Osborn will share reflections on the grassroots movement for a supervised injection facility. Dave Murray will talk about the unique perspective and legal arguments that the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users has brought to this case.
We’re looking forward to a lively evening of discussion, debate and reflection on the implications of this case for people who use drugs in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and beyond.
The event will be held at SFU Woodwards from 6:30pm- 9:00 pm. $10 suggested donation, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Register online to confirm a seat.