Article by Mike O, Cannabis Life Network
Edmonton’s supervised consumption sites, aka safe injection sites, have won big over a local business association that wanted two of 3 downtown sites closed.
Back in October 2018, the Chinatown and Area Business Association (CABA) filed a judicial review application, claiming that it was not properly consulted before Health Canada’s decision to open 3 supervised consumption sites in downtown Edmonton.
The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC), which was represented by Pivot Legal Society’s Caitlin Shane and Ethos Law Group’s Monique Pongracic-Speier (QC), intervened in the case, arguing that:
“CABA and other third parties do not have a mandatory right to weigh in on the approval of consumption sites in Canada. Instead, public health and safety should be the principal concern of the government in considering applications, as this would best protect the Constitutional rights to safety and security for people who use drugs accessing life-saving services.”
Federal Court of Canada Justice Mosley agreed, saying in his decision that:
“The process [to approve a supervised consumption site] is both discretionary and non-adjudicative.
The principal and mandatory focus of the legislation is on the question of whether [approval] would provide public health benefits. Any consideration of negative impacts on the local community is secondary and discretionary.”