Pubdate: Tue, 15 Aug 2017
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Shawn Jeffords
Page: 18


T.O.'s top doc says move is in response to opioid crisis

Toronto's will open three "interim" supervised injection sites this

Dr. Eileen da Villa, the city's chief medical officer of health,
confirmed Monday that the opening of the three sites has been
accelerated in response to the opioid overdose crisis.

The move comes a little over a week after the city said it would speed
up the development of the sites from their original mid-fall scheduled
opening. At that time, city staff were directed to open them as soon
as possible.

While the interim operations are not expected to be the same as the
fully-built sites, they will be housed at the same locations. Last
summer, council gave the OK to safe injection sites operating at The
Works, located at Yonge and Dundas Sts.; the Queen West-Central
Toronto Community Health Centre in the Queen-Bathurst Sts. area; and
South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Queen and Carlaw Sts.

"There are lots of things that need to be taken care of," da Villa
said of the arrangements needed to start the interim sites. "We want
to make sure that we are providing these interim supervised injection
services in a manner that's safe for the clients and, of course, for
our staff."

This latest change in schedule happened days after a harm reduction
group in the city opened their own supervised injection "popup" site
in Moss Park. Da Villa wouldn't comment on the propriety of that
facility to host drug users but said it's a response to the crisis.

"What we saw over the weekend was a reflection of our community
partners' concern over the situation we're seeing in our city with
respect to drug use and overdose that's related to that," she said.

Mayor John Tory said Monday that he is doing everything he can to open
the supervised injection sites permanently. After speaking with the
province and federal government Monday, work is moving ahead on an
"expedited basis," he said.
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