News / Toronto

Toronto council approves three supervised injection sites

The health clinics next need to apply to the federal government.

Health promotion specialist Samira Walji demonstrates how drug needles will be disposed of at Toronto's planned supervised injection sites.

Torstar News Service

Health promotion specialist Samira Walji demonstrates how drug needles will be disposed of at Toronto's planned supervised injection sites.

Toronto city council has given its resounding support to the opening of three supervised injection sites for intravenous drug users.

On Thursday, council voted 36-3 to support Board of Health recommendations to move forward with the proposed sites in existing community health centres on Queen St. W., near Yonge and Dundas Sts., and in Leslieville.

“In Toronto, we are ready to embrace safe injection sites,” declared Councillor Joe Cressy, who chairs the Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Panel.

Councillors Giorgio Mammoliti, Christin Carmichael Greb and Stephen Holyday voted against the sites. They will now apply for federal exemption under drug laws to offer the services with trained medical staff.

Mayor John Tory, who acknowledged earlier “discomfort” with the concept, said he is now convinced the sites are the “right and moral thing to do.”

Council rejected Mammoliti’s motion to change the location of the sites to hospitals, pharmacies and medical clinics.

Cressy said if the application process goes to plan, the sites could be open next year.

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