Legal showdown coming for Edmonton supervised injection sites
Published Sunday, December 9, 2018 7:36PM MST Last Updated Monday, December 10, 2018 12:28PM MST
A legal showdown between an Edmonton neighbourhood business association and supervised injection sites is set to take centre stage early next week.
The Chinatown and Area Business Association will be in federal court Monday morning facing off against a coalition of community and legal groups.
The downtown association claimed that they were never consulted about the clinic locations, three of which are all within their neighbourhood.
They refused an on camera interview with CTV News Sunday, but had previously said they want Health Canada to revoke the exemptions given to the sites.
“Our voices have not been heard, period,” said Holly Mah of the Chinatown and Area Business Association.
“After they have administered the drugs to themselves, where do they go? Did you give them a cab ride to go back to their house? Take care of them and make sure they go to where they need to be. Don't let them loiter here.”
The impact of the case could be nationwide, with Monday’s judicial review deciding the fate of the federal drug use exemptions. If the business association does win, one legal society believes that other present and future sites in Canada could be in jeopardy.
“We’re concerned this would impose additional barriers to supervised consumption services,” said Caitlin Shane of Pivot Legal Society. “There's ample evidence to show that supervised injection sites save lives.”
There are currently four supervised injection sites in Edmonton, with the provincial government supporting similar clinics in Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie and Red Deer.
With files from Timm Bruch