Disclaimer: We encourage all those opposed to this partnership to contact the Works, and John Howard directly. Please voice your opposition. This pilot project needs to end.
December 21, 2015
Atten: Shaun HopkinsManager, The Works
Toronto Public Health
Director of Community Initiatives, Policy and Research
The John Howard Society of Toronto
Decades of trust has been built in this city between people who use drugs and front line harm reduction workers. This trust is being broken every day that this project continues. We do not need to explain why bringing undercover officers on outreach is problematic. The police is the most comprehensive tool in reinforcing prohibition and we know you comprehend the magnitude of the negative role the police play in the lives of people who use drugs. As professionals working in harm reduction, you should already be aware of these problematic dynamics.
We would like to offer ourselves as a source for consultation for future projects. It is obvious that the implications and ramifications a project like this could have were not thought through. We would like to help you think these through in the future so that we do not find ourselves in an adversarial role. We want to work in solidarity with TPH, towards a common goal.. In the meantime we ask that this project is terminated immediately and that both the Works and the John Howard Society act quickly to repair the damage that has been created by this partnership with the most coercive tool of prohibition. This project has to stop before people who use drugs in this city become more fearful of accessing any of the needle and syringe distribution programs in Toronto and beyond.
On behalf of the Toronto Drug Users Union