Bill to make it easier to create safe injection sites becomes law

Published on May 18, 2017

OTTAWA — Liberal government legislation that includes measures to remove 26 strict requirements for new supervised injection sites has received royal assent to become law.

Under the old law, new sites had to provide medical and scientific evidence of benefit and letters of support from provincial health ministers, local police and regional health officials.

Advocates argued the criteria — put in place by the previous Conservative government — created too many barriers.

Health Minister Jane Philpott says the country is facing an opioid crisis of "unprecedented proportions" and the bill will improve the government's ability to offer harm-reduction services.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the legislation includes measures to restrict the import of pill presses and encapsulators — two machines commonly used in the production of illicit drugs.

He says the bill also lifts a restriction that prevented border guards from inspecting packages under 30 grams in weight even if they had reason to believe the packages held illegal drugs.

The Canadian Press