Pubdate: Thu, 27 Jul 2017
Source: Metro (Ottawa, CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Metro
Author: Alex Abdelwahab
Page: A1


Ottawa's first supervised injection site was granted an exemption by
Health Canada on Wednesday.

"I'm feeling elated here. It's a strange feeling to be at this point
now, after so much time and effort and energy," said Rob Boyd, Oasis
program director at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, where the
site will be housed.

Boyd said he will meet with the province next week to discuss the
budget to build the injection room, which will include five
specialized booths for drug users.

The Ontario government pledged to cover the clinic's cost in the 2017
budget, as long as it received federal approval. Now that the approval
has come through, it can release the money, Boyd said.

"I think that, ideally, we would have something in operation in
October of this year," he said.

Mayor Jim Watson said he'd rather see money invested in treatment and
is concerned about a potential increase in criminal activity.

"I very much hope that my concerns are not realized and these citizens
do get the help they need to overcome their challenging addictions,"
Watson said.
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