C-65 A bill that infringes on the fundamental rights of people who use drugs.

For Immediate release

2013-06-11 

Contact: media@gnpna.org

The Global Network of People living with HIV, North America GNP+NA considers that the federal goverenements Bill C-65 infringes on the fundamental rights of people who use drugs. Furthermore, GNP+NA deplores that the presentaion of this bill by the Conservative Party of Canada coincides with its creation of a website that encourages the Canadian population to oppose the opening of supervised injection sites. These two actions are designed to increase the obstacles faced by organizations who already provide or who hope to provide services which would allow for secure and supervised drug programmes, such as those currently available at Vancouver's Insite facility.


In September 2011 the Supreme Court of Canada judged that the Supervised Injection Services at Insite permitted an ability to save the lifes as well as improve the health and well-being of the persons benefiting from these services, therefor obliging the Federal Health Minister to grant an exemption to Insite. Based on Article 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Court affirmed that People who use Drugs have the Right to Life, Health and Security and that a Supervised Injection Service may be provided to these persons. The Court based its judgement after having been made aware of the provisions that regulate this type of site and after having been giving assurances that the service had neither increased the level of drug use nor increased the level of crime in the neighbourhood. It also listed certain factor to consider with the implementation of this type of service, such as ensuring the involvement of the affected communities. In a context where the Canadian Minister of Health is the designated person who could grant the exemption within the framework of the Law which regulates certain drugs and other substances, the Court stated that the Minister has a discretionary power which would allow for granting such an exemption, but noted that this discretionary power must respect and be in compliance with the Canadian Charter and encouraged the Minister to find a balance between the right to health and public security in future decision-making.

This bill does not take into account the judgment of the Supreme Court and therefore of fundamental rights that it wished to protect. In fact it introduces a wide range of conditions necessary in order to obtain an exemption. Among these conditions, some of which provide a right to veto to any who oppose the project. The creation of the website Keep heroin out of our backyards by the Conservative Party, at the same time as it presented the Bill, seems to be pure provocation. And is a strong demonstration that this party places its ideology before the health of thousands of individuals.

We do not want a decision that steps on fundamental right. No offence intended towards the Conservative Party of Canada but, People who use Drugs are also citizens who have Rights which much be protected. We hope that these Rights are respected. We want a complete re-write of Bill C-65 in order to ensure that the decisions of the Minister to grant an exemption are made in accordance and respect the basic rights of all citizens be they directly affected or not by this type of service.

For further information please visit The Statement prepared by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Network and their partners


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Admingnp na,
11 Jun 2013, 20:26