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Mayor supports plan to establish safe injection sites in Toronto

A kit of drug injection supplies to be used by an addict is pictured at the Insite safe injection clinic in Montreal THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Mayor John Tory is backing a plan calling for safe injection sites in Toronto.

The move comes after the City’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David McKeown, released a report recommending city council support the approval of three sites.

“Supervised injection services have been effective in other communities in preventing death, illicit drug use and in reducing health risks,” said Tory in a statement. “But in accpeting their initiation in Toronto, we must recognize they are only one part of the solution.”

Public consultations were held from March to and May and included an online survey and several town halls in the affected neighbourhoods.

Councillor Joe Cressy, who has been an advocate for supervised injection sites, said the time has come for the city to develop a new model to improve public health and safety.

“Toronto is ready to embrace an evidence-based approach to drug policy. An evidence-based approach to reduce harm and save lives.”

A decision by city council is expected to be made at its July 4 meeting.

If approved, the sites would be near Queen and Bathurst, another at Queen and Carlaw and the third near Yonge and Dundas.

According to McKeown’s report, the cost of setting up these sites would be between $100,000 to $150,000 per centre.

Currently, Vancouver is the only city in Canada home to supervised-injection sites.