The case of Insite in the Downtown Eastside Vancouver is a complex case. It’s not a case of being for or against, but more of seeing the big picture in this complex case.
First of all, I have nothing against Insite and I am not for closing it, but honestly this is a temporary problem to a much bigger problem which is the war on drugs (which have the same effects as alcohol prohibition). But again, this is a whole another story. I think however it is to the province of British Columbia to allocate the funds for it, not Health Canada because healthcare is a provincial responsibility. Also if Health Canada is giving funds for a centre in Vancouver in particular does it have to give funding for these centres in all Canadian cities?
And again, yes, I think that harm reduction is not a bad thing (who could be against that), but honestly I am very curious to see how many people can be helped with this »treatment », because in a honest way I believe that actual studies have the main propose to help keep the funding for this place. I believe that if studies had said that there was no improvement, the place would have been closed right away.
Yes probably that the people working at Insite are knowing that these are people are desperate, but again this bring a very complex situation with a vicious circle especially with the fact that healthcare is run by the state in Canada and it is very difficult in a ethical way for the state to decline to cover a specific medication against cancer and then accepting at the same time to fund a place where junkies could go shoot their drugs in a legal matter.
The other problem comes with the fact that I am not sure that people who says who are for Insite would like it if a centre like this is build in their neighborhood. Yes, a counter-argument to this is that a centre like this could not be build anywhere else but in a way this only brings a vicious circle in the Downtown Eastside which could only makes things worse. Would any average person would want to be living in a vicinity of this centre?
In conclusion, it’s not by stigmatizing this neighborhood that it will become less worst.