Canada to ease rules on supervised drug injection sites

Canada is making it easier to set up supervised drug injection sites.

Health Minister Jane Philpott said Monday the changes come in an effort to take drug strategy out of the realm of criminal justice and into the public health fold.

Canada currently has only two drug injection sites, both in Vancouver, British Columbia, and existing laws allow such sites to operate only in exceptional circumstances.

Philpott says a new law will make it easier for such sites to be established, provided they can demonstrate a compelling public health need and a lack of risk to public safety.

Officials have been sounding the alarm about a dramatic spike in fatalities from overdoses of the opioid fentanyl.

In British Columbia, there have been 622 drug overdose deaths between January and October.