OTTAWA - The federal government will appeal a British Columbia court ruling that sanctioned Vancouver's supervised drug-injection site, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Tuesday.
"This case raises important questions regarding the doctrine of interjurisdictional immunity and the division of powers between the federal and provincial governments," the minister said in a statement.
"There was a dissenting opinion in the B.C. Court of Appeal, and the government of Canada believes it is important that the Supreme Court of Canada be asked to rule on this matter."
The appeal court ruled Jan. 15 that provinces, not the federal government, have jurisdiction for health care which includes services such as injection sites.
The federal government's appeal is bolstered by a dissenting opinion in the appeal court ruling.
Nicholson says the federal government agrees that addicts need help, but believes the safe-injection site approach isn't the right solution.
"Our national anti-drug strategy focuses on prevention and access to treatment for those with drug dependencies," he said.
"At the same time, we aim at getting tough on drug dealers and producers who threaten the safety of our children and communities.
"Our message is clear: if you sell or produce drugs, you will face jail time."