Local psychiatrist reflects on opposition to supervised consumption sites in Manitoba

The following appeared in the letters to the editor section of the Winnipeg Free Press on December 15th, 2022. It was written by stalwart MPA Member Dr. Michael Eleff, a psychiatrist with over 40 years of experience serving the people of Manitoba, and reflects the views of many health care professionals of our province.

Winnipeg Free Press Dec 15th, 2022

Letters to the Editor

The article on Community Wellness Minister Sarah Guillemard’s walking tour of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside serves to remind Manitobans that the provincial government’s opposition to supervised injection sites is based on beliefs and not on information.

The stance of the government may reflect political calculations or moral/ideological positions. The harm-reduction approach, including supervised injections sites, is met with resolute, “principled” refusal.

The “gotcha” of the minister claiming to have visited supervised consumption sites while not actually having set foot inside the sites misses the point. The point is that this government is opposed to supervised injection sites and that Manitobans who are addicted to and using injectable streets drugs are dying in the only province west of the Atlantic region without such sites.

Perhaps the government sees an advantage in this political and “moral” stance. Dead addicts do not vote.

Michael Eleff, MD