Supervised Injection Sites Must be Fixed to Protect Communities and Families

“As Mayor, I’m going to make Toronto safer." - Mark Saunders

Toronto – As City streets and parks become littered with used needles and uncollected garbage, Toronto residents have been pleading with the City to take action to keep our streets clean and safe for all. While supervised injection sites save lives, nearby residents and communities have received the short end of the stick and it is now time to rebalance this debate and protect the dignity and quality of life for all residents.

“I’ve heard stories of people keeping naloxone kits at their front doors to help prevent fatal overdoses. And of families who can’t bring their kids or dogs to local parks to play because of needles carelessly discarded on the ground,” said Saunders. “Deliberate choices were made by decision-makers with agendas that focused only on listening to the loudest voices, and not all voices. They failed to follow-up and didn’t consider the impact of their choices on local residents and their families. There has been no accountability at all.”

As Mayor, Saunders would:

  • Immediately turn the City’s focus on street cleanliness and moveability in residential areas around supervised injection sites and redirect any underutilized cleaning resources to these areas in a surge capacity.
  • Adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward needle disposal outside of supervised injection sites, including by strengthening standards and expectations of cleanliness within funding and operating agreements with facilities.
  • Introduce a colour-coded syringe system to enable the tracking of the needle’s source, to enable decision-making that focuses on areas and sources of discarded needles.
  • Create a highly-visible option within the 311 app to report used needles, and dispatch relevant disposal teams on an urgent and priority basis when reports of discarded needles arise.

“A safe community is a healthy community, and a healthy community is a prosperous community. But it all starts with community safety,” Saunders added. “We cannot forget the quality of life and dignity of those who live in areas where supervised injection sites are located. It’s time for their voices to be heard.”

In the coming weeks through the campaign, Saunders will announce more details of his integrated plan to protect Toronto’s future, including a mental health plan that will complement other parts of his platform. As a former police chief, Mark Saunders knows what needs to be done to make Toronto safe again. You can read his full plan at

For more information contact:
Laryssa Waler