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Conservative party starts petition to 'keep heroin out of our backyards'

"Do you want a supervised drug consumption site in your community?" reads the first sentence of a petition on the Conservative Party of Canada's website.

The petition, which urges supporters to sign up in order to "keep heroin out of our backyards," is penned by Jenni Byrne. Her title on the petition is "National Campaign Manager, 2011," but her active Twitter account describes her as director of political operations for the party.

Earlier this week, the government introduced new rules that require, among other things, that advocates of supervised drug injection sites take community opinions into account, as well as earn the support of provincial and municipal authorities, before opening clinics.

The petition describes supervised drug injection sites as places where "drug addicts get to shoot up heroin and other illicit drugs."

"We've had enough -- that's why I am pleased the Harper government is acting to put the safety of our communities first," reads the petition, which goes on to say that "special interests" are trying to open up injection sites across the country.

According to the new rules proposed by the government, those wanting to open a site will also have to predict its impact on public safety and show they have set up procedures to reduce risks to health, safety and security of communities where they plan to operate.

Two years ago, the Supreme Court made a ruling to keep the Vancouver-based Insite clinic open, saying it saved lives and that there was no discernible negative impact on the public safety and health objectives of Canada during its eight years of operation.

But Byrne doesn't agree. "The Trudeau Liberals and Mulcair NDP are against us. They want to repeat the experiment of Vancouver's Insite facility across the country -- maybe even in your community," she writes.

Insite will have to meet all the new requirements if it wishes to remain open.

Aurora Tejeida is completing a practicum at The Tyee. With files from the Canadian Press.

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