The following is a letter from Danielle Shaw, Chief of Staff for the Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq (I corrected scanning problems but , yeah, "combating" is spelled incorrectly):
Dear Mr. Kruse:
The office of the Prime Minister has forwarded to the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, a copy of your correspondence of November I, 2008, concerning Vancouver's Supervised Injection Site, also known as Insite. I regret the delay in responding.
The Government of Canada believes in reducing and preventing the use of illicit drugs, treating those with drug dependencies, and combatting the illicit production and distribution of drugs. These are the priorities of the federal government's National Anti-Drug Strategy, which represents the Government's balanced approach to addressing drug use across the country. The Strategy was created in response to Canadians' concerns about illicit drug use and its impact on youth and communities. More information about the Strategy is available at htt.p:llwww.nationalantidrugstrategy.gc.ca.
It may interest you to know that in 2008, the Government of Canada allocated
$111 million over five years to improve access to treatment for drug addictions in Canada. Of this, $10 million was set aside specifically for Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. This funding will support the Assertive Community Treatment team of professionals and create 20 new treatment beds dedicated to female drug users who are engaged in the sex trade. In addition, $2 million was allocated to improve addiction services for First Nations and Inuit people living in the area.
As you are aware, Insite is currently the subject of ongoing litigation. As this matter is before the courts, it would be inappropriate to comment further. However, the Government welcomes the views of all Canadians on this issue.
Thank you for writing.
Danielle Shaw Chief of Staff