BCCLA to challenge criminalization of safe injection facility at Supreme Court of Canada

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Ottawa – On Thursday, May 12 the BCCLA will argue before the Supreme Court of Canada in PHS Community Services Society v. Canada (Attorney General) and Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users v. Canada (Attorney General). The BCCLA is an intervener in the companion cases.

The cases will determine whether a supervised injection facility, Insite, located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, can continue to operate. Insite provides supervised and sanitary conditions for the use of intravenous drugs and has successfully reduced the health risks associated with addiction. Research has found that the operation of Insite has prevented overdose deaths, reduced the suffering of addicts and lessened the spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.

The BCCLA will argue that the absolute ban on possession and trafficking in the criminal law is unconstitutional because it criminalizes the conduct that drug addiction compels and denies addicts access to health services that protect individuals from death and disease.

Ryan Dalziel and Daniel Webster, Q.C. are counsel for the BCCLA. Both are of the firm Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP. The argument the BCCLA filed in the cases is available here.

What: Supreme Court of Canada will hear oral arguments in Insite case.

When: Oral arguments before the court begin on May 12 at 9 a.m. EST.

Where: Supreme Court of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

Who: Counsel for the BCCLA, Ryan Dalziel will be available for comment at the number listed below.

Ryan Dalziel, Counsel for the BCCLA: (604) 641.4881
Grace Pastine, BCCLA Litigation Director : (604) 630.9751