No InSite, No Insight

insitesign I’m recommending that you take a moment to read Connie Howard’s article, Well, Well, Well, No InSite, No Insight, about Vancouver’s, safe injection site. Why? Because Stephen Harper seems bent on shutting it down.

I suspect the safe injection site doesn’t sit well with him. It probably has to do with a personal philosophy, or principle…which is fine, we all have them–philosophies/principles. Except here, his principles will do damage to people who need help.

I guess he agrees with his health minister Tony Clement, who calls safe injection sites, "abominations." It’s telling language. And it’s a shame. Because on every humane and practical score, as Connie H. reports, InSite makes sense.

Harper’s own advisory committee has examined the evidence and concluded that the site makes financial sense, saves lives, acts as a deterrent to drug use, has not increased crime, drug dealing or relapse rates and effectively increases the number of addicts seeking detox and treatment. Criminologists commissioned by the RCMP say it should be left open.

There should be no controversy about reducing harm and saving lives.

If you care about harm reduction and basic human dignity, please read the article and sign the letter to Stephen Harper, linked at the end of Connie Howard’s article.


  1. Dan Rather seemed impressed with this site also. He reported on InSite on his program at HDNews. It is available on-line at his archives.
    As you probably know, he is not longer on network news, and working with an independent news souce now. He went to DTES Vancouver, to tour the InSite safe injection site. The news piece was done quite well, and he worked with UBC journalism students on the piece. It first aired Tues Feb 19, and other dates too.
    “A Safe Place to Shoot Up”
    Episode 307

    If I remember correctly, the piece begins about 12-15 minutes into the program.

    Regardless of whether one agrees with nature of the safe injection site, the news pieces gives good information from the perspective of the people who live on the DTES. In particular, I liked his “tour gulide” who is one of the local activists who fight to keep it open. Glad to see you are giving this some “insight” too 🙂

  2. I have read Connie’s article, and while it’s well-written and presents a convincing case (to me at least) for keeping InSite operating, I was hoping also to read a presentation of the reasons why the federal government might want to close the site, and an argument about those reasons. That part of the broader argument seems to me to be missing. From my limited exposure to this work, I understand that harm reduction is still a controversial approach to the problems around drug use and abuse and that there are valid reasons for opposing this approach.


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