Category Archives: Pub Document Type

Submission to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights by the HIV Legal Network and the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation

A joint submission to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights by the HIV Legal Network and the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, focusing on human rights violations against people in Canada of African descent, in the context of Canada’s drug laws and policies. “For the period 2014 to 2019, police in […]

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Submission to the City of Vancouver: Mayor Stewart’s motion to decriminalize personal possession of controlled substances in Vancouver

The HIV Legal Network wishes to express our support for Mayor Stewart’s motion to direct “the City of Vancouver to write to the federal Ministers of Health, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Justice and Attorney General to  request a federal exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to decriminalize personal possession of illicit […]

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STATEMENT: Legal and civil society groups commend City of Vancouver’s leadership on drug decriminalization

Legal and civil society groups commend City of Vancouver’s leadership on drug decriminalization As the opioid overdose crisis devastates communities across Canada, groups hope that other jurisdictions will follow suit   November 18, 2020 Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories – Today, the Mayor of Vancouver, supported by Vancouver Coastal Health, announced a motion that could lead […]

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Letter to Ministers Ng and Bains – TRIPS Council waiver

On November 15, 2020, the Legal Network sent this letter to the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade, and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, urging them to support a proposal currently before the WTO’s TRIPS Council (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) to waive stringent […]

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Summary Policy Brief – HIV: Funding the Fight

From the launch of the Federal Initiative in 2004–05 through the end of the 2017–18 fiscal year, more than $123 million in total has been diverted or withheld from committed HIV funding. Services and organizations have either closed or have discontinued some programs, despite the clear need. Community organizations across the country have called for an adequately funded federal HIV […]

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Decriminalizing People Who Use Drugs: A Primer for Municipal and Provincial Governments

As the COVID-19 pandemic and the overdose crisis sweep across Canada, all policymakers have an obligation to adopt evidence-based measures that uphold the health and safety of people who use drugs. This includes municipal and provincial governments, who can take immediate steps to minimize the harms of current drug laws by decriminalizing drug possession for […]

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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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