Category Archives: Pub Document Type

Consultation on the development of new regulations under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

Sent by email to Office of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Controlled Substances Directorate, Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch, Health Canada. Since the HIV Legal Network’s inception, the organization has advocated for drug policies that respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights of people who use drugs, including through effective, equitable access to harm reduction services. We are pleased to […]

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Comic: No police at overdoses (Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act)

In 2017, the Canadian government passed the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, a law meant to provide certain legal protections for people who witness an overdose in Canada and call 911 for emergency assistance. Janet Butler-McPhee and Sandra Ka Hon Chu of the HIV Legal Network partnered with Emily van der Meulen at Ryerson University on a new research […]

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Open letter to Minister of Justice: stop enforcing sex work laws immediately

July 23, 2020 The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Dear Minister Lametti: In 2014, the federal government passed the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (S.C. 2014, c. 25), criminalizing all facets of sex work, including selling sex in a public space, purchasing sex in all spaces, all material benefits from […]

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The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act: The Good, the Bad, and the Ineffective

In Canada, people who use drugs are dying in record numbers. Between January 2016 and September 2019, more than 14,700 people died of apparent opioid overdoses in this country. In Ontario alone, more than 1450 people died from opioid-related causes in 2018. The overwhelming majority of these overdoses and deaths involve fentanyl or its analogues, […]

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Submission to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in relation to its study on arbitrary detention relating to drug policies

We are grateful to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention for the opportunity to make this submission, and respond below to questions relevant to Canada in the Working Group’s questionnaire, to the extent that requested data is available in Canada.

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Submission to Edmonton City Council: reject the proposal to permanently close Edmonton’s Body Rub Centres

In March 2020, Body Rub Centres in Edmonton were closed pursuant to a State of Local Emergency Order, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 27, 2020, Edmonton City Councillor Jon Dziadyk stated he wants to explore options for accelerating the permanent closure of Body Rub Centres in the next annual update, given that the Centres are currently […]

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Gendering the Scene: Women, Gender-Diverse People, and Harm Reduction in Canada – Full report

At writing, Canada is facing an unprecedented overdose crisis that is killing at alarming rates. Canada’s ongoing fixation on criminal prohibition as the primary approach to addressing drug use has led to a situation in which people who use drugs continue to face criminalization, political and social hostility, and limited access to harm reduction and health […]

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Gendering the Scene: Women, Gender-Diverse People, and Harm Reduction in Canada – Summary report

There are marked differences between men, women, and gender-diverse people in terms of their drug use and how laws and policies affect them. However, insufficient attention is paid to the needs of women and gender-diverse people who use drugs and their access to health services, including harm reduction services. This is especially true for gender-diverse […]

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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants on the Rights to Freedom of Association of Migrants

We make this submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Mr. Felipe González Morales, to describe laws and policies that inhibit migrant sex workers and other marginalized communities from enjoying their right to freedom of association, as well as concrete steps that States, international organizations and the UN can take […]

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Supporting Health and Human Rights in Drug Policy: Brief to the Minister of Health and Canadian Delegation to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs

This brief is submitted to the Minister of Health and members of the Canadian delegation to the 63rd session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) by the Canadian Civil Society Working Group on UN Drug Policy (see Appendix). The Working Group was originally established in preparation for the 2016 UNGASS. Since this event, […]

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