On Friday September 30, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada will deliver its ruling in Attorney General of Canada, et al. v. PHS Community Services Society, et al, the landmark case regarding Insite – Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Facility.
Monique is counsel for PHS Community Services Society, a plaintiff in the case and co-manager of Insite. Insite staff oversee drug use, provide clean facilities and sterile equipment, respond to emergencies such as overdoses, and provide health and counselling services. Since June 2008, the site has operated under a constitutional exemption. Previously, the site operated under an exemption granted under s. 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The exemptions allow Insite to operate without its staff and clients being prosecuted for trafficking or possession of controlled substances. However, the federal government has repeatedly threatened to close this life-saving health service. PHS and two individual drug users, Dean Wilson and Shelly Tomic, applied to the BC Supreme Court for relief when it appeared that the federal Minister of Health would not renew the s. 56 exemption that was set to expire on June 30, 2008. The Plaintiffs succeeded at trial and in the BC Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court is hearing the federal goverment’s appeal from those decisions.
To access a copy of the decision (when it is made available Friday at approximately 6:45 am PST) please check back on the Ethos website or visit the Supreme Court of Canada website.