OD prevention site permit will be extended, Health Minister says – The London Free Press



An extension will be granted to London’s temporary drug overdose prevention site, Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott confirmed Thursday, less than a week before its permit was set to expire.

Elliott made the comments in the legislature, responding to a question from New Democrat London North Centre MPP Terence Kernaghan, whose riding houses the site. Elliott said the government was hoping to grant the temporary extension in the coming days.

“The clinic is very well used and is doing very good work,” Elliott said.

The provincial approval for the temporary overdose prevention site at 186 King Street, first granted by the former Liberal government, will run out on Wednesday.

“The site must continue to exist past August 15,” Kernaghan said in the legislature. “Again, there are six days left.”

Elliott said the temporary extension means the site will be able to run as the government continues their ongoing review about the benefits of supervised injection sites in Ontario.

“We don’t want them to stop their work while our work is underway,” she said. “We want to make sure that all Ontarians who need help receive that help.”

The temporary overdose-prevention site opened with provincial funding of $130,700 for operating costs. The site gets an average of 55 visits daily, public health officials wrote in a report to their board.

As of the end of June, there’d been more than 4,000 unique visits.

The health unit is awaiting approval from Health Canada before it can proceed with two planned permanent supervised drug use sites.

scoulter@postmedia.com

@ShannonatLFP