safe injection sites toronto

Toronto upset after Ontario halts funding for safe injection sites

Ontario has left some safe injection sites in limbo this weekend as their funding was cut and they now have to turn to public donation

Amid a growing opioid epidemic that killed 1,200 Ontarians in 2017 alone, the Ford government announced it would only fund six injection sites in the city, leaving three currently in operation without approval. 

In response, the federal government stepped in to give a one-month reprieve to two of the sites. However, following the end of that one-month period, they will have to rely on public donation. A third site is without reprieve.

The province approved 15 sites across Ontario, including six in Toronto. This leaves six in the province without funding and facing a forced closure. 

Critics and public health officials have decried the move, outraged that the sites are closing amid a health crisis. 

Many harm reduction workers and healthcare workers have been quick to point out that the opioid epidemic is reaching crisis levels, and the province should be opening new safe injection sites, not closing or capping the existing ones. 

City councillors like Kristyn Wong-Tam called the move "wrong," and former mayor David Miller had a stronger choice of words.

Data and several studies show that safe injection sites work to prevent overdoses, reducing the number of deaths. The most recent reports show the first half of 2018 seeing 600 deaths in Ontario, well on track to match or surpass 2017. 

Lead photo by

Marco Verch


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