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Canada’s nurses campaign for supervised injection services

Ottawa, October 3, 2013 — Tomorrow, Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) CEO Rachel Bard will present to the provincial and territorial health and wellness ministers’ conference in Toronto. As the focus of this meeting is on key public health initiatives, CNA will ask provincial/territorial health ministers to thoughtfully consider applications for supervised injection services, as evidence shows they increase access to prevention and treatment programs and prevent death and disability. Further, CNA will ask the federal government to withdraw Bill C-65, the proposed Respect for Communities Act, which sets out more onerous application criteria for opening and maintaining supervised injection services as part of a ‘tough-on-crime’ approach to drug use. In contrast, CNA would like the federal government to develop a new bill based on the principles of harm reduction, established best practices and sound research, in consultation with health experts, local and provincial/territorial governments, and those struggling with drug addictions themselves. Bard will be supported by Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, who will provide an Ontario context for supervised injection services and broad public health interventions.

CNA has consistently questioned the federal government’s strategy behind Bill C-65, which stemmed from the 2011 Insite Supreme Court of Canada ruling that the federal government enable access to supervised injection services. As evidence demonstrates that supervised injection services and other harm reduction programs bring critical health and social services to vulnerable populations — especially those experiencing poverty, mental illness and homelessness — CNA strongly believes governments should be working to enhance access to prevention and treatment services instead of building barriers.

What: Provincial — Territorial Health Ministers' Meeting, hosted by Deb Matthews, Ontario's minister of Health and Long-Term Care
When: Friday, October 4, 2013


7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Presentation to ministers. Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, is also presenting.
Where: King Edward Hotel
37 King Street East, Toronto
Bank Room
Media opportunities: Rachel Bard, CNA CEO, will be available for English and French interviews between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Please contact Kate Headley (coordinates below) to arrange a time.

For media registration and participation information, please consult Ontario’s media advisory.

CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing more than 150,000 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.


For more information, please contact:

Kate Headley, External Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 561
Cell: 613-697-7507
E-mail: kheadley@cna-aiic.ca