Ontario safe injection, overdose prevention sites in limbo

An injection kit is seen Insite in Vancouver, Tuesday, May 6, 2008.
An injection kit is seen Insite in Vancouver, Tuesday, May 6, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

TORONTO – The Ontario government says it is weighing the fate of the province’s safe injection and overdose prevention sites.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the government is reviewing evidence on the sites to see if they “have merit” and are worth continuing.

READ MORE: Ontario commits to funding 3 supervised safe injection sites in Toronto

An overdose prevention site in London, Ont., will have to close mid-August if the province doesn’t renew its funding and approval.

Elliott says the government plans to make a decision in the coming weeks on the sites that are about to expire, but will also eventually rule on the program as a whole.

READ MORE: MLHU seeks extension for temporary overdose prevention site in London

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Overdose prevention sites are temporary facilities approved by the province to address an immediate need in a community, while safe injection sites are more permanent locations approved by the federal government after a more extensive application process.

During the spring election campaign, Premier Doug Ford said he was opposed to safe injection and overdose prevention sites, though his party says Ford has committed to reviewing evidence on the issue.