Published 09:49 Apr 12, 2022

By KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Members of the Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society and Moms Stop the Harm say they are not giving up after the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the groups’ injunction application last week, which requested the repeal of a policy requiring Alberta supervised consumption service users to show ID.

Local advocate and MSTH member Kym Porter shares in the disappointment, but is now choosing to focus on the groups’ lawsuit regarding the same matter.

“This isn’t going to stop us,” Porter told the News. “Even though they turned down the injunction … it’s not like we actually lost; they just decided to not hear it in court. So now, we continue the fight (with) the lawsuit.”

As she now looks to the future, Porter, who lost her son Neil to a fentanyl overdose in 2016, is concerned about potential effects of the policy, which came into affect April 1.

“We are quite concerned, as in Alberta the amount of deaths per day (from acute drug poisoning) is up to five people,” Porter said. “Unfortunately, with the rate of death happening at this point, those numbers are only going to rise … We’re not accepting this and letting it be. Too many lives depend on it.”

Avnish Nanda, the lawyer representing MSTH and LOPS, also weighed in.

“The injunction was just (an attempt) to stop the measure from coming into effect until we could determine if it’s lawful or not,” Nanda told the News. “We still have the main lawsuit, so we’re going to continue on with that (but) because we don’t have the injunction, we want to get this into a trial as soon as possible because every month we delay this, more and more people are going to be impacted by this policy.”

This item reprinted with permission from Medicine Hat News, Medicine Hat, Alberta