Federal Government can support Vancouver priorities with anti-drug strategy: Sullivan
Mayor Sam Sullivan and Councillor Kim Capri today welcomed a 34-page City of Vancouver report on innovative treatment for people with drug addiction. Mayor Sullivan also confirmed his intention to invite the federal government to provide funding from its pending anti-drug strategy to support Vancouver priorities.
“Delivering compassionate solutions to our social challenges is one of the five goals we have established for our government and is the key reason we introduced Project Civil City,” said Mayor Sullivan. “I support substitution treatment for those suffering from addiction because it rejects the use of needles and illegal drugs and offers real hope of reducing homelessness, crime and public disorder. It can be the pathway to long term abstinence.”
The City report indicates that substitution treatment has a record of reducing drug use and crime. It also concludes that CAST fits into the City of Vancouver's Four Pillars Drug Strategy.
"Getting people off illegal drugs must be a top priority of all levels of government. The treatment measures outlined in this report support our Project Civil City objectives," said Councillor Kim Capri. "Addressing drug addiction and mental health in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside is a national issue that requires federal leadership, compassion and direct investment."
In addition to accepting the report, City Council approved a resolution from Councillor Capri inviting the Mayor to write a letter to the Federal Government asking that Vancouver receive funding from the proposed National Anti-Drug Strategy to support the Four Pillars Approach - including the CAST research trials.
Councillor Capri and Mayor Sullivan also welcomed the Government of Canada's decision to extend Insite's Section 56 exemption temporarily to June 30, 2008, however they reaffirmed their support for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority's multi-year application.