Pubdate: Sat, 23 Sep 2017
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Jon Willing
Page: A3


Lowertown location receives exemption

Health Canada on Friday granted the necessary exemption for an interim
supervised injection site in Lowertown, with Ottawa Public Health
planning to greet the first clients on Tuesday.

The health unit is using the federal exemption granted to the Sandy
Hill Community Health Centre to run the temporary injection facility
at 179 Clarence St.

David Gibson, executive director of the Sandy Hill health centre, said
it's a first to see an interim exemption for an injection site granted
to an organization using another organization's exemption.

"It really shows the creativity of Health Canada," Gibson said, noting
he's pleasantly surprised Health Canada moved quickly to give the
health unit an approval. "I'm shocked in many ways." The Ottawa Board
of Health last Monday approved the health unit's plan to open the
temporary injection site at a health unit clinic while the Sandy Hill
centre builds its injection site at its Nelson Street facility.

The health unit expects it will cost $15,000 to create the injection
service on Clarence Street. It intends to use money from the province
to run it until the Sandy Hill health centre has its injection site
ready, which still might take at least 10 weeks.

Gibson credited the health unit and Mayor Jim Watson for moving fast
to get the application moving for the interim injection site on
Clarence Street.

Gibson hopes the volunteers at the pop-up supervised injection tent in
Lowertown will help clients transition to the health unit's facility
next week.

"I do hope that happens because they do have a lot of good experience
in terms of what they've been doing," Gibson said of the volunteers.
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