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Occupy Vancouver prepared for potential police violence: Medics

The first aid tent at Occupy Vancouver. Photo: David P. Ball

Volunteer medics at Occupy Vancouver -- including an emergency room nurse and a first aid responder trained in the military -- are preparing for the worst as political rhetoric over the three-week-old encampment escalates.

After the death this weekend of Ashlie Gough, 23, in the camp, Mayor Gregor Robertson has come under pressure from his right-leaning opponent in the upcoming city election, Suzanne Anton, to remove Occupy Vancouver's tent city -- although the mayor said Sunday he was happy to let the protest continue, without people sleeping in tents. Stronger warnings from City Hall have medics at the encampment worried.


The Supreme Court sides with Insite

Photo: Russell Maynard
The head of Vancouver’s Dr. Peter AIDS Centre, which also offers supervised injection services, responds to the Supreme Court’s ruling.

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A triumph for Insite

Photo: Russell Maynard

During its eight years of operation, Insite has been proven to save lives with no discernible negative impact on the public safety and health objectives of Canada. The effect of denying the services of Insite to the population it serves and the correlative increase in the risk of death and disease to injection drug users is grossly disproportionate to any benefit that Canada might derive from presenting a uniform stance on the possession of narcotics.

- The Supreme Court of Canada, Sept. 30, 2011


The verdict is in: Insite saves lives

Insite in Vancouver. Photo: Stephen Dyrgas/Flickr

The verdict is in: Insite saves lives. A study by UBC scientists at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS adds to the collection of data already showing that North America's first medically supervised safer injection facility saves lives and money.

The study, published last month in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet, concludes that the opening of Insite in 2003 was associated with a 35 per cent reduction in overdose deaths in the neighbourhood surrounding the facility. This reduction translates into real lives saved at no expense whatsoever to the federal government.


Harper's Bill C-2 is spreading misinformation about harm reduction

Photo: flickr/eric molina
Let's get one thing straight: If Bill C-2 is passed it will only present new barriers to health care for people with addictions.

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Bill C-2 spreads Harper's misinformation about harm reduction

Photo: flickr/yaokcool

Bill C-2, known as the Respect for Communities Act, was drafted by the government in response to the Supreme Court ruling of September 2011 that supported the continued operation of Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection facility.

It has completed first and second readings in the House of Commons and is currently one-third of the way to becoming law.

If passed, Bill C-2 will create substantial barriers to the establishment of safe consumption sites, such as Vancouver's Insite.


Libby Davies remembers activist and poet Bud Osborn is saddened to learn of the death of Bud Osborn. Osborn was a founding member of VANDU and memorialized Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in his poetry.

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Downtown Eastside activist and poet Bud Osborn has died

Photo: taratoesen is saddened to learn of the death of Bud Osborn. Osborn was a founding member of Vancouver Area Network of Drugs Users (VANDU), a group of users and former users who work to improve the lives of people who use illicit drugs through user-based peer support and education.

His work with VANDU led to the creation of North America's first supervised injection site in Vancouver, and continued through legal challenges to laws affecting controlled substances and their users.



Why we shouldn't buy into the smear campaign against the Portland Hotel Society

April 6, 2014
| After Mark Townsend was forced to resign, critics from the left as well as the right accused the PHS of corruption. Michael Stewart says that's exactly what the government wanted us to do.
Length: 12:48 minutes (11.73 MB)

Vancouver's safe injection site marks its 10th anniversary

October 5, 2013
| In 2003, Insite opened its doors to provide harm reduction services to people who inject drugs. In that time, there have been 1.8 million visits and no overdose deaths.
Length: 15:13 minutes (13.93 MB)
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