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A History of Drug Strategy in Waterloo 

March 6th 2023

Waterloo Regional Council received this letter from the DAT outlining the history of drug strategy in Waterloo Region.  

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Response Letter about De Facto Decrim

March 3rd 2023

On January 26th 2023, the Chief of Police, Mark Crowell, responded to the Drug Action Team letter and presentation on De Facto Decriminalization here in Waterloo Region. 

On March 3rd 2023, The Drug Action Team replied to the Chief of Police with the following letter. 

De Facto Decriminalization of Simple Possession: A cost-saving policy change for The Region of Waterloo 

December 15th 2022

Waterloo Regional Council received this letter from the Drug Action Team 

The Drug Action Team presented to Regional Council during their Budget Meeting on January 18th 2023 
(Presentation starts at 9:20) 


Decriminalization Delegation 

May 25th 2022

Waterloo Region Integrated Drug Strategy (WRIDS) suggested decriminalization to Regional Council. The Drug Action Team delegated to Regional Council about the urgent need to decriminalize simple possession in Waterloo Region. 

The WRIDS and Public Health sent a advocacy letters to the Provincial and Federal government.

Delegation starts at 20:08

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Issues of Substance: Regional Council

March 23rd 2022

The Drug Action Team gave a 10 minute presentation on "Issues of Substance" report to Regional Council. 

Presentation starts at 20:22

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Issues of Substance: Policy Debrief 

March 20th 2022

Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council has endorsed "legalization with strict regulation" as the best drug policy option to immediately and dramatically improve health and safety for all residents of Canada, prevent tens of thousands of drug poisoning deaths and injuries annually, and, provide financial savings to the public, non-profit, and private sector budgets. 

The DAT gives a free webinar on the Issues of Substance Report 

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(Re)thinking Drug Prohibition

March 14, 2022

Panel discussion:
Criminalizing certain drugs – and certain people – fuels inequities, kills and injures thousands of people, and remains a clear structural barrier to improved individual and community health, safety and well-being. There are alternatives to prohibition underway in Canada today. Prohibition, decriminalization, and legalization with strict regulation remain the key policy options in the midst of the worst poisoning crisis in Canadian history.

Natasha Touesnard, Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs 
Sandra Ka Hon Chu , Canadian HIV/Aids Legal Network, and
Alicia Neufeld, City of Toronto Public Health

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(Un)Safe Research 

April 20th 2021

In 2020, 43 people living in Waterloo Region who regularly purchase and consume drugs from the unregulated market and who lack stable housing were surveyed. People were asked about crime 
and victimization, housing and shelter, and issues related to their acquisition, consumption, and criminalization of unregulated substances. Participants were asked about the current 
criminalized model and a legal model known as ‘safe supply'.
The local research suggests that removing criminalization and replacing the toxic, unregulated market through ‘safe supply’ initiatives can provide immediate and cost-effective benefits for individuals, communities, not-for-profit, public, and private sectors.


Focus Group on Safer Supply 

September 2019 

A focus group with people living in Kitchener who use opioids from the unregulated market discuss the impacts of "safe supply" and different delivery and operational designs. Safe Supply is any initiative that provides pharmaceutical equivalents to the contaminated substances from the unregulated market such as opioids, stimulants, and benzodiazepines.  

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