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CUPE supports demonstrators holding a vigil on Parliament Hill June 5 to ask the federal government to support InSite, a Vancouver safe injection and addiction treatment program.

InSite Supporters Host Vigil on Parliament Hill to recognize lives saved at Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site.
3pm, Thursday, June 5, 2008
Parliament Hill, meet at Peace Flame.

InSite supporters got a boost from the BC Supreme Court May 28, when a judge struck down portions of the criminal code that would have forced the site to close its doors.

InSite had been granted a temporary exemption from Canada’s drug laws, but the exemption was due to expire June 30 and the Harper government had no plans to renew it.

But the program, which provides drug addicts clean needles a safe place to inject and options for rehabilitation and treatment, is still in jeopardy.

The federal government is expected to appeal the BC Supreme Court ruling, which gave the government 60 days to bring Canada’s drug laws in line.

“It’s a simple fact that if InSite closes, people will die,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “The Harper government needs to understand that and get behind InSite and similar harm reduction programs.”

“We support efforts at harm reduction like InSite because we think addiction is an illness and people with that illness need our help, not our blame,” he said.