Abbotsford, B.C., looks at repealing anti-harm-reduction bylaw - InfoNews

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Abbotsford, B.C., looks at repealing anti-harm-reduction bylaw

January 13, 2014 - 12:32 PM

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Local politicians in Abbotsford, B.C., are considering reversing a controversial bylaw that has prohibited harm-reduction programs in the community since 2005.

Abbotsford has had an anti-harm-reduction bylaw in place for nearly a decade, banning programs such as clean needle exchanges within the city limits.

But a motion that would dismantle the harm reduction bylaw is set for a public hearing today, potentially followed by second and third readings.

Coun. John Smith says if there is a large amount of opposition during the public hearing phase, the final vote on the bylaw could be delayed.

The bylaw has come under scrutiny in recent years, with the region's health authority saying the rules prevent the agency from effectively addressing diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

Last year, a group of drug users launched a lawsuit, claiming the bylaw violates their charter rights.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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