Planned Manitoba rules are a barrier to safe drug consumption sites, critics charge

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is planning new rules and licensing requirements for different kinds of addiction treatment centres, including supervised drug consumption sites.

Janice Morley-Lecomte, the minister for mental health and community wellness, says the province cannot stop supervised consumption sites from opening because the federal government has paved the way.

She says the province instead wants to set down rules to ensure that the centres offer proper medical supervision and other standards of care.

A bill now before the legislature would require supervised drug consumption sites, bed-based addiction centres and other facilities to be licensed by the province.

The licence would spell out the kind of services that could be offered and standards of care, and people who break the rules could be fined up to $50,000 per day.

The Opposition New Democrats say the Progressive Conservative government is putting more hurdles in the way of treatment centres and should open up a safe consumption site on its own.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2023

The Canadian Press