VANCOUVER -- Following its request for a federal exemption that would decriminalize the simple possession of drugs for personal use, the City of Vancouver says it has submitted a preliminary application to Health Canada outlining a so-called "Vancouver model" for managing substance use and saving lives.

It says the application is based on consultation with Vancouver Coastal Health and police, and details how the city plans to build on the submission by working with community organizations and people who use drugs.

Alvin Singh, a spokesman for the mayor's office, says the city isn't sharing the document now because it could "jeopardize the integrity of the application."

He says the current plan wouldn't apply penalties or sanctions, but instead would see police determine if a person is in possession of drugs for personal use, and possibly provide a voluntary referral to the Vancouver Coastal Health overdose outreach team. 

The Canadian Press