Opposition to Supervised Injection Sites: Hubris, ignorance and grandstanding

It’s pretty bad that Chair of the Board of Health, councillor Shad Qadri doesn’t seem to have done what he “has to” do in order to properly evaluate the issue of supervised injection sites. It’s worse when councillors strip all the humanity from those addicted to drugs, treating them as nothing more than criminal elements.

Enter Stephen Blais:

“Police chief [Charles Bordeleau] is an expert in crime and he’s against this,” said Blais. “[Levy] is an expert in health, not an expert on crime.”

“This is a criminal issue. Use of heroin is illegal and the sale of heroin feeds organized crime. I’m not sure why we would encourage the continued criminal behavior,” he added.

First, I’m pretty damn sure that our medical officer of health, Dr. Isra Levy, is far more an expert on research than is Chief Bordelau. The Chief’s apparent obliviousness to all the research on the matter of supervised injection sites would tend to give that away.

(He also seems unaware that these sites have a positive impact on crime reduction…so maybe he’s not as much an expert in crime as Blais would suggest.)

Second, and more importantly, this is not criminal issue, not primarily. It is a health issue. It is a public safety issue. It is a frigging human issue. It’s about harm reduction. It’s about getting people addicted to drugs into treatment programs. It’s about reducing overdoses.

It is so cold and soulless to reduce the treatment of drug addiction to a criminal issue, as if people are nothing more than a government classification, and the wrong classification gives you a shot at a death sentence.

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