British Columbia

Health minister Jane Philpott 'incredibly moved' by Insite supervised injection site visit

In a big shift from her Conservative predecessors, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott toured the supervised injection site to thank workers there.

Philpott visited Insite yesterday to thank the people who work there, a sharp departure from Conservatives

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott visiting Insite yesterday, an experience she described as 'extremely moving.' (Sante Canada/Twitter)

In yet another sign of that Justin Trudeau's Liberals have a very different approach to drugs than the previous government, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott yesterday toured Insite, the long-standing supervised injection site on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and called the experience "incredibly moving."

That might not seem remarkable; numerous peer-reviewed studies have shown that Insite saves lives, and Philpott just last week granted a second approval for a second supervised injection site already operating in Vancouver.

But it's a stark contrast to her Conservative predecessors who not only philosophically opposed Insite but fought against it in court and last year passed a bill making it harder to open new supervised injection sites.

Today, Philpott said she was "deeply impressed" with her visit and had followed Insite for years in her work as a family physician.

"I've always known that what they do absolutely saves countless lives. It has a huge impact on people," she said Thursday.

"It was incredibly moving for me to be there, to be able to thank the folks that put the program together over the years and have sometimes faced some adversaries along the way."

Philpott was in Vancouver to meet with provincial and territorial ministers Thursday.