Today, The AIDS Network is proud to announce two new position statements. Our Board of Directors is calling on policy makers at all levels of government to take urgent action advancing evidence-informed, life-saving harm reduction approaches to issues of housing and homelessness, substance use criminalization, and the accessibility of safe supply drug substitution programs. Download the Full Press Release
TAN’s board of directors recently approved two position statements which summarize these issues and the organization’s stance. The first new position statement concerns encampments of people experiencing homelessness, urging municipal and law enforcement responses to address the root cause of encampments rather than simply clearing them and to adopt a housing-first approach. It can be found on our website at www.aidsnetwork.ca/hiv-housing-and-human-rights/
The second new position statement advocates for the decriminalization of possessing illegal substances in quantities for personal use, and the expansion of Safe Supply programs to address the increasing toxicity of the black-market supply available to people who use drugs. It can be found on our website at www.aidsnetwork.ca/harm-reduction-advocacy-positions/
“As an organization, we are privileged to be entrusted with the provision of service to some of our communities most vulnerable and marginalized members” says The AIDS Network’s Executive Director, Tim McClemont. “We believe that this privilege comes with a responsibility to add our voice to calls for progressive change, and to advocate for policy changes that will lead to better and more equitable health outcomes for the people we help”.
Our Board of Directors has also recently established a working group to review urgent advocacy issues, enabling The AIDS Network to respond quickly where our support and advocacy is needed.
“Our organization works with communities of people who experience high rates of marginalization and who have come to rely on the services we are providing” says Board President, Toni Hammond-Grant. “These communities trust us every day to show up for them, and it is our goal to demonstrate that this trust is well-placed through expanded advocacy efforts”.