Vancouver Injection Site Becomes Election Issue

Vancouver’s controversial safe injection site became an election issue Monday after yet another published study showed it has saved lives, prompting the study’s author to say Conservative policy on the site has no basis in fact.

Critics demanded Prime Minister Stephen Harper drop his government’s opposition to the clinic and abandon efforts to have it shut down.

Harper was in Yellowknife on Monday where he touted his government’s national drug strategy, saying it is based on prevention and treatment.

But the Conservative government has said in the past that it doesn’t condone the safe injection site and claims it fosters addiction.

The latest study was published this week in the influential medical journal The Lancet. It was written by Dr. Thomas Kerr, along with his colleagues from the Urban Health Research Initiative at Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital.

“Canadians should be concerned about how the federal government is approaching problems like drug addiction — that they’re really not basing their decision on science, they’re basing it on ideology,” Kerr said.

Marc Townsend, manager of the Portland Hotel Society, enters Insite