Parents threaten injunction against Montreal safe injection site near school
Lia Levesque, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, October 10, 2017 1:43PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 10, 2017 4:11PM EDT
MONTREAL -- Parents opposed to a supervised safe injection site near a Montreal elementary school are ready to go to court in a last-minute effort to stop it from opening.
They have hired well-known civil liberties lawyer Julius Grey who said Tuesday he's ready to seek an injunction or another court ruling against the centre if need be.
But he is hopeful an agreement can still be worked out before Sunday when the injection site is scheduled to open.
"I'm convinced that a consultation in good faith will necessarily lead to a change, a change in location, a change in schedule for the centre and therefore I'm certain that an action will not be necessary," Grey said.
A spokeswoman for the school said parents are not opposed to setting up an injection site to help drug users.
But Christelle Perrine said they are against the fact it would be located on a school corridor, 200 metres from the Marguerite-Bourgeoys school.
The parents are worried the site would be open during the day when schoolchildren might run into drug users who may be aggressive.
Perrine said she was unsuccessful in attempts to persuade promoters of the centre to change their opening hours or to move further away.
Grey said no other injection centre in Canada has been placed so near a primary school.
"When there's an issue of children, when there's an issue of safety, it's something that immediately strikes one as a legitimate and serious concern," he said.
A sign on the fence in the schoolyard explains what to do if a syringe is found.
The lawyer said parents did not have their say, adding the injection site should have been set up elsewhere.
"They should have been consulted, they should have heard the parents, they should have taken what they said into account, they should have gone somewhere else a little further," Grey said.
The drug injection site, which is located in Montreal's Gay Village, has the support of the federal government and public health authorities.