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Ontario warns Toronto Public Health to drop drug decriminalization application

Ontario has warned Toronto Public Health’s top doctor to drop the city’s drug decriminalization application with Health Canada.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones and Solicitor General Michael Kerzner say in a letter to Dr. Eileen de Villa that the province is 100 per cent opposed to the application.

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Toronto Public Health filed an application to Health Canada in early 2022 to decriminalize the possession of illegal drugs for personal use.

The ministers say the results of a decriminalization pilot in British Columbia prove that approach does not work.

The B.C. government recently received federal approval to recriminalize public drug possession, a major climb down for the first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Toronto does not have an “active” application, while the city’s health unit has said its application remains with Health Canada amid ongoing discussions.


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