Vancouver’s controversial Insite clinic can stay open, the Supreme Court said Friday in a landmark ruling.
In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that not allowing the clinic to operate under an exemption from drug laws would be a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The court ordered the federal minister of health to grant an immediate exemption to allow Insite to operate.
"Insite saves lives. Its benefits have been proven. There has been no discernible negative impact on the public safety and health objectives of Canada during its eight years of operation," the ruling said, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.
Insite was granted a three-year exemption from the possession and trafficking provisions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act when it first opened its doors in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side neighbourhood in 2003. It was granted two extensions but the Conservative government made it clear in 2008 that it did not support another exemption, and court proceedings were launched to try to save the clinic.
The federal health minister at the time was Tony Clement, now Treasury Board president, and the Supreme Court agreed with lower court decisions that found his decision to withdraw the exemption violates Section seven of the charter because it contravenes the principle of fundamental justice.
If Insite wasn’t allowed to operate it would prevent injection drug users from accessing the health services offered at the facility, threatening their health and their lives, the ruling said. Withdrawing the exemption would even undermine the purpose of the federal drug law, which includes public health and safety, the court said.
“…dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of love - which is to transform us.”—John Welwood (Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love)
“Be with her because you actually want to be with her, because you actually see a potential future with her, not because you are used to being with her, not because you’re scared of the thought that being without them will ruin you. The point of being in a relationship is to enjoy each other’s company, is to be there to support each other when they need it most. No one person, defines who you are. They only compliment you.”—Marvin King (via modernmethadone)
“And yet, of all these things, we feel sadness the most. We are never buoyed upon an ocean of apathy. We are never crushed by complacency. We are never moved by the okayness of the world.
Sadness and pain, to help us flee danger and hurt. To help us get away when we’re bleeding. You have a body and it screams “Something stirs like broken glass in my chest, leave this place, before I die.”
An animal part of us, still here after all these years, breaks our hearts.”—I Wrote This For You: The Cosmic Joke (via kari-shma)
“Every increment of consciousness, every step forward is a ‘travesia’, a crossing. I am again an alien in new territory. And again, and again. But if I escape conscious awareness, escape “knowing,” I won’t be moving. Knowledge makes me more aware, it makes me more conscious. “Knowing” is painful because after “it happens” I can’t stay in the same place and be comfortable. I am no longer the same person I was before.”—
Gloria Anzaldua, “Chapter 4: La herencia de Coatlicue” in the sub-section entitled “The Coatlicue State Is A Prelude To Crossing” (p.70) in Borderlands /La Frontera (3rd Ed) by Gloria Anzaldua
This applies to my daily life being in an ethnic studies masters program. I am constantly reading, hurting, growing, discussing inequalities, victories, theories, epistemologies that I am in that state of movement Anzaldua describes. I change from day to day, my identity expands, my self-definition and self love transforms. My heart grows big with excitement because I constantly discover literature meant to empower and free those formerly silenced and rendered dead. But then my soul also aches with the added pain that consciousness always brings. I cry for more people, I cry more easily, and cry for the parts of myself that are just now beginning to surface.
But it is necessary. There is never a final level of consciousness that we meet. A level that declares us officially ‘grown up’, unable to process anymore knoweldge, or unable to move to a ‘higher plain’ because we have reached it. We never stop moving, shifting, growing. Sometimes we wish we could hold still and be in a single place forever because it is safe. But that place of safety will never bring about revolution—whether internal revolution or external—nothing will happen if we become immobile.
I get excited for tomorrow, yet deathly afraid of it. But, as I stay afraid, sometimes cry, sometimes depress, I do so while moving forward. It is through conscious movement that freedom occurs; no one ever found liberation through inactivity.
“Absolutely. I love that, the conflict between the idea that everything’s been done, nothing’s new, but everything’s always new. So, just stop worrying about it, make what you need to, do what’s important. There’s so much to do.”—
Troy was found guilty of murdering a police officer 19 years ago, based upon the testimony of 9 witnesses. Today, 7 of those 9 have recanted their testimony entirely, and there are enormous problems with the testimony of the remaining 2 witness accounts. There is NO OTHER EVIDENCE. The murder weapon was never found. There is no DNA to test. Troy is scheduled to die by lethal injection on September 21, 2011.
A message from Troy Anthony Davis September 10, 2011
I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.
As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.
I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.
So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.
I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,