A group of harm reduction workers in Toronto are calling on the city to immediately open safe spaces for drug use while supervised injection sites are constructed.
The demand was among a list of measures issued by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, which called for the city to declare a public health emergency over the current opioid crisis so that more resources can be used to prevent overdose deaths.
The organization also called for police to only respond to overdose emergencies if they carry the overdose antidote naloxone, and to make drug testing kits available for drug users.
Gaetan Heroux from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, also said that providing housing was the best way to stabilize people being affected by drugs.
Over a dozen harm reduction workers met with Toronto Mayor John Tory Thursday night to discuss the ongoing opioid crisis, but say that the city’s current efforts are still not enough.
Last week, Tory said the city was speeding up the opening of three supervised injection sites and asking local police to consider having some officers carry naloxone.
You can watch the entire press conference below.