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Prime Minister Harper urged to keep Insite open

Prime Minister Harper urged to keep Insite open 27 May 2008

Interpol’s former Secretary General and ICOS’s President urge Prime Minister Harper to keep Insite open

Raymond Kendall and Norine MacDonald stress safe injection site’s significant positive impact on public order
OTTAWA – Raymond Kendall, Honorary Secretary General of Interpol, and ICOS’s President, Norine MacDonald QC, on Tuesday urged Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to keep Vancouver’s Insite safe injection centre open, citing in particular its significant positive impact on public security aside from its proven health benefits. In a piece published as the Globe and Mail’s exclusive commentary on its website on Tuesday, Kendall and MacDonald wrote that Insite and other sites like it ‘neither increase drug-related crimes, nor attract criminals to the site’.

“A public security paradigm that is community-based is more conducive to public order. Given that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has, quite rightly, named Canada’s security as one of his main priorities, we have no doubt that he will understand Insite’s positive contribution to public security,” wrote Kendall and MacDonald.

“Mr. Harper has the ideal opportunity to reconfirm Canada’s leadership on effective, pragmatic and community-based responses to drug-related challenges. The Insite safe injection site for drug users does not attract crime and drug-related problems, but is a first step toward solving them.”

Insite has built on successful experiences by countries with similar drug addiction challenges, such as in the Netherlands and Australia. Citing examples of decreases in drug-related crime and social nuisance in both these countries, Kendall and MacDonald called on the Canadian government to open more safe injection centres as an effective response to the harm caused to society by illegal drug use. “If similar centres were to open across Canada, crime rates could further decrease as more and more drug users would be reached by the safety networks provided by these centres,” they added.

Link to full Globe and Mail article

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