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Ottawa Public Health Not Endorsing Safe Injection Site

Ottawa Public Health says it's unclear how a supervised injection site in Ottawa would benefit drug users and the community.

The Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites Ottawa is holding a rally on Parliament Hill today to call on the Federal Government to allow a safe injection site to open in the National Capital.

The group is criticizing Ottawa Public Health for not endorsing the idea of a safe injection site, saying two people a month die due to drug overdoses.

Ottawa Public Health program manager Andrew Hendriks tells CFRA’s Sunday Morning Blend that Public Health recognizes a safe injection site might be part of a "spectrum" of harm reduction services for people who use drugs.

But Hendriks says it's not clear how the model could work in Ottawa.

He says Ottawa Public Health is listening to the various perspectives on how a safe injection site would work in Ottawa and what services it would provide.

Ottawa Public Health has previously said it has no plans to open a safe injection site in Ottawa at this time.

Last fall, the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre said it was preparing an application for a supervised injection site for Ottawa.

Mayor Jim Watson and Police Chief Charles Bordeleau have both said they don't support a supervised injection site in Ottawa.

Ottawa Public Health says rates of HIV and Hep-C have decreased among drug injection users in Ottawa.

Hendriks says the four pillars to dealing with drug use in Ottawa are prevention, harm reduction, treatment and enforcement.

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