Throw “InSite” in to your favorite search engine and you’ll find nearly a thousand different articles. Many come out of the recent Supreme Court of Canada case, others take on the issue from a social perspective but almost all share a particular thread: support for InSite. With so many different voices coming out in support of InSite, some going as far as to deride the efforts of the Federal Conservatives, it’s not unreasonable to wonder what case can be made to shut it down.
The crux of the government’s argument seems to be about the federal jurisdiction over criminal law being paramount to the provincial jurisdiction over health care. While important, this decades old power struggle of Canadian federalism really shouldn’t over shadow the evidence, InSite saves lives. On the social plane, they argue that InSite does not help addicts kick the habit. Leaving aside the evidence that use of InSite is positively correlated with entering a treatment program, with only a little prodding this argument falters, an addict is more likely to overcome the addiction, or “kick the habit”, if they’re alive. Dead addicts don’t detox.
The Federal government engaging in a jurisdictional fight with the province of B.C. should not affect the health and well being of its citizens. In doing so the government places inter-jurisdictional squabbling above its core purpose of serving the needs of the population of Canada.