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Bill to make it easier to create safe injection sites becomes law

OTTAWA—Canada is dealing with an opioid crisis of “unprecedented proportions,” Health Minister Jane Philpott said Thursday as she spoke in defence of a new law that removes 26 strict requirements for new supervised injection sites.Under the former law, new sites had to provide medical and scientific evidence of benefit and letters of support from provincial health ministers, local police and regional health officials — criteria established by the previous Conservative government that advocates argued created far too many barriers for harm-reduction facilities.The government said Thursday the new law streamlines the application process to align it with five factors set out by the Supreme Court of Canada, adding that evidence of a site’s intended public health benefit will be required for applications.Read more: B.C. illicit drug overdose deaths hit record high of 914 in 2016Article Continued BelowDrug users say supervised injection sites address ills of substance abuseWhat you need to know about safe injection sites in TorontoOne letter of support from a provincial or territorial minister will still be required and if the federal government refuses a site application, it will be required to make the rationale public.

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