September 29, 2011 17:54 ET

Operator of Supervised Injection Site to Comment on Supreme Court of Canada Ruling

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 29, 2011) - PHS Community Services Society (PHS), which operates InSite (Vancouver's supervised injection site) in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health, will be issuing an official statement about the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling on Friday, September 30 at 8:30 AM PDT. PHS will be joined by medical and research professionals, as well as users of InSite, and members of the community.

PHS and plaintiffs Shelly Tomic and Dean Wilson filed their case in the BC Supreme Court in 2007. The BC Supreme Court held that, applied in the context of InSite, two sections of Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act are unconstitutional because they offend the rights to life, liberty and security of the person protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Stephen Harper's government appealed the ruling to the BC Court of Appeal in 2008.

The Court of Appeal denied the federal government's appeal and further ruled that the health care services provided at InSite are matters of exclusive provincial—not federal—jurisdiction. The Court of Appeal also decided that were it necessary to do so, it would affirm the BC Supreme Court's ruling under the Charter.

The Canadian Government appealed again to the Supreme Court of Canada. On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada will release its decision in the case.

The Supreme Court of Canada will hand down its decision at 6:45 AM PDT (9:45 AM EDT in Ottawa). InSite will be open to the community and media to hear the decision.

139 East Hastings St., Vancouver, BC
WHAT: Statement regarding Supreme Court of Canada ruling
WHEN: Friday, September 30
6:30 AM PDT: InSite open to the community and media to hear the Supreme Court of Canada Decision.
8:30 AM PDT: PHS to provide official statements about the court ruling.

About InSite:

InSite is the only supervised injection site in North America and has been operating in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES) since 2003. Operated under a partnership between PHS Community Services Society and the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, InSite has reduced the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C, as well as the number of overdose deaths in the DTES. The research shows InSite saves money and saves lives.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    Shelley Bolton