Across Canada, too many families are tragically losing parents, siblings, and children to the opioid crisis.
From downtown neighbourhoods to our most remote areas, no community has been untouched by this epidemic. Last year alone, nearly 4,500 Canadians died from overdoses – more than from motor vehicle accidents and homicides combined. Over 11,500 Canadians died from opioid overdoses between 2016 and 2019, and opioid deaths have risen every year of the Liberal government's mandate. This is a new record and shocking statistic - but we must never forget the searing loss that each one of these preventable deaths represents for devastated loved ones.
The Liberals say they are doing everything possible to address this crisis, but they are not. We continue to witness the death toll climb as a poisoned drug supply floods our communities. Courageous volunteers and first-responders are doing everything in their power to save lives, but they need action and support from their federal government.
In order to bring this crisis under control, Don Davies and Canada’s New Democrats will:
- Declare a public health emergency.
- Provide direct federal support to overdose prevention sites.
- Improve access to treatment on demand for people struggling with addiction.
- Launch an investigation into the role drug companies may have played in fueling the opioid crisis, and seek meaningful financial compensation from them for the public costs of this crisis.
- Work with all levels of government and those on the front-lines of this crisis to end the criminalization of substance use, and provide access to a safe supply as a medically regulated alternative to the toxic street drugs offered by organized crime.
The number of Canadian lives lost to the opioid epidemic is sobering, staggering, and growing. It’s time to for a new approach.