New safe-injection site bill expected from Liberals

Bill expected to make it easier to open new safe-injection sites

OTTAWA – The federal government is expected to clear the way today to allow new supervised drug injection sites to open.

Health Minister Jane Philpott is due to make an announcement outside the House of Commons involving the Controlled Drug and Substances Act.

It’s expected part of the changes involve making it easier for more supervised injection sites to open.

Currently federal laws allow sites to operate only in exceptional circumstances.

There are only two drug injection sites in Canada, both in Vancouver.

Today’s announcement comes amid concern among health officials and political leaders about the alarming number of fatalities across Canada from overdoses of the deadly opiod fentanyl.

In British Columbia alone, officials say there have been 622 drug overdose deaths between January and October, about 60 per cent of them involve fentanyl.

The federal government announced last month it was taking steps to control six chemicals used to make fentanyl.

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