Health Minister Tony Clement argues that Insite saves only one life a year - this is undoubtedly a significant low ball as Insite's staff report intervening in more than 336 overdoses since 2006. Even if Clement's caviler dismissal of '1 life per year' were accurate it would still mean that the Stephen Harper government is comfortable with those lives not being saved because of their ideological objection to harm reduction.
Dr. Keith Martin, a British Columbia Liberal MP and former Reform Party star, is also a former substance-abuse physician. He admits that Clement may succeed in closing Insite: "But in doing that they will be essentially committing murder."And it is an ideological objection, let there be no doubt about that, it flies in the face of Insite's support from all levels of government in BC, the Vancouver police department, health professionals and over 25 peer reviewed studies that all agreed that Insite was saving lives and money.
Put against the Harperites distaste for the people being saved none of it matters.
It even contradicts the Conservatives fair weather belief in devolving power from the federal to provincial governments - they're quite happy to cite provincial control over medicine if it means provincial government's undermining universal health care by allowing private clinics - not so much if it means saving the lives of people even Tony Clement admits have an illness.