Harm Reduction 2020 Innovative Solutions 

Virtual Conference

Pre-Conference Documentary Screening and Facilitated Discussion

Join us on the evening of Monday November 23 2020 from 7 pm - 9 pm to view the documentary "Wasted: My Struggle with Addiction" and take part in a facilitated discussion after.  There is no cost to attend this session but pre-registration is required.

Conference Vision:

The vision of this conference includes knowledge-sharing, networking and promoting best and/ or innovative practice in the field of harm reduction within the local context.

 Conference Objectives

- Challenge myths, stereotypes and stigma

- Share strategies and technical information that is evidence-informed

- Encourage use of innovations locally for program development and implementation

Who Should Attend?

This conference is intended for front line workers including educators, health care workers, enforcement/justice workers and social service providers as well as those working in primary care and those in management positions.

Virtual Event

This event will be held online. The week before the event each registrant will receive the conference site link.  


Please direct all conference questions to  

Kari Chiappetta  kcconsutling@shaw.ca or

807 621-6225

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit, with support from the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy, present:

Harm Reduction 2020

Innovative Solutions

Tuesday November 24  &

Wednesday November 25, 2020

10 am - 3 pm 

Registration Fee: $60 + HST

Please note that registration fee can be waived for those who are unable to cover the cost.  Please note this request when you register

Register Now! ** Please note, if you are registering for a number of people, you will need to know their workshop choices PRIOR to registering.

Conference Agenda

There will be a mixture of plenary and concurrent sessions throughout the 2 days.  Plenary session topics include:

  • Mother’s Voices: Compassion and Politics in The Time of Drug Poisonings in Canada
  • The Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use: The rise of drug poisoning deaths involving fentanyl and the value of early warning
  • Building A Drug User Movement During a Pandemic 
  • Innovations in Services During COVID 19 Pandemic

Plesae note, when you register, you will be asked to choose which workshop you wish to attend.  Everyone that registers for the conference MUST pre-register for your workshop choices.  

Concurrent workhsop sessions and summaries can be found at the bottom of this site or in the below link to conference agenda and summaries.

Click here to access full conference agenda and workshop summaries 

Concurrent Workshop Options

Tuesday November 24, 2020 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm 

Tenant Rights, Home Takeovers and Housing Health Hazards

Abby, Public Health Inspector with TBDHU will cover Health hazards that tenants may encounter and the landlord’s responsibility for mitigation

Sally, Coordinator of Legal Services for the Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic in Thunder Bay will cover:

•             how the pandemic has exacerbated the lack of affordable housing,

•             how the stress associated with the pandemic has caused an increase in mental health issues and substance use which can impact people’s housing,

•             the eviction process and changes and problems at the Landlord and Tenant Board, including new rules around payment schedules.

Crystal, Manager, Housing Programs within the Integrated Social Services Division of The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board will focus on:

An increase in unit takeovers of vulnerable tenants has been identified within our community, also affecting properties owned and managed by The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB).  The TBDSSAB Housing Programs team are working towards building plans to mitigate these risks, and leaning on community partners to protect tenants and tenant communities. 

Safer Supply  

This session will cover the context of the overdose crisis (including colonialism, racism, stigma and criminalization), the rationale and evidence base of the service and policy and practice related to service delivery and program design. Also reviewed will be the underlying tenets of Harm Reduction in this context.

Seeking Mino-Bimaadiziwin

In this workshop series McMahon will connect ongoing colonialism to the current fabric of our communities as it relates to the over representation of Indigenous Peoples inside of our crumbling and failing systems to address challenges in communities. Areas of focus here will be Indigenous models of harm reduction, reconciliation and health and wellness in Indian Country.

Wednesday November 25, 2020 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Decriminalization for Simple Possession of Illicit Drugs: Exploring Impacts on Public Safety & Policing

In this session, Chief Serr will provide an overview of the position statement put out by the CACP and the reasoning behind putting out the position statement. Chief Serr will also discuss how the CACP envision implementing decriminalization as well as what, at the individual community level, could local police forces/municipalities do to move the dial on decriminalization.

Pre and Post Natal Care for Families Using Substances

Midwives from Thunder Bay community agencies (Dilico Family Health Team and NorWest CHCs) will share their experiences of providing prenatal and postpartum care with a Harm Reduction lens to populations who are using substances in their pregnancies or have a recent history of substance use.

Supporting Individuals with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) – What You Need To Know

FASD must be better understood in order to provide successful interventions and support. This session will provide a brief overview of the impacts of prenatal alcohol exposure and how it affects all aspects of daily function.