B.C. member of parliament takes feds to task on opioid crisis

‘Too many families are tragically losing parents, siblings and children to the opioid crisis.’

  • Dec. 12, 2018 9:45 a.m.

Rick Stiebel/News staff

A group of New Democractic Party members of parliament are demanding the federal government declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.

Alistair MacGregor, MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, as well Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski called on the Trudeau government this week, urging it to commit significant new funding and resources to addressing the opioid crisis immediately.

READ MORE: Men account for highest number of deaths in opioid crisis

READ MORE: New in-depth report sheds light on who in B.C. is dying of drug overdoses

“Across Canada, too many families are tragically losing parents, siblings and children to the opioid crisis,” the group said in a news release. “From downtown neighbourhoods to our most remote areas, no community has been untouched by these highly addictive and dangerous drugs.”

READ MORE: NDP’s Jagmeet Singh proposes new approach to tackling opioid crisis

Citing research by the Angus Reid Institute, the release said one in eight Canadians, or roughly 3.5 million people, have become dependent on opioids in the last five years alone.

Fewer than one in four Canadians believe that the federal government has responded appropriately, a statistic the NDP agrees with, he added.

B.C. has seen the brunt of overdose deaths in Canada, with 1,143 deaths between January and September of this year. The province makes up more than one-third of all overdose deaths in the country.

READ MORE: Two sons lost to the opioid crisis, a B.C. mother calls for change

“The Trudeau Liberals claim to be doing everything in their power to address the opioid crisis, and yet, that’s clearly not true,” the release said. “New Democrats have been calling for the declaration of a national public health emergency for over two years. It’s time for the Liberal government to act.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Three projects on the North Coast awarded funding

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Hagensborg Water District purchases new fire truck; prepares for conversion to CCRD

Approximately $1.3 million of the district’s infrastructure grant has been transferred to the CCRD.

Nuxalk Nation receives over $4 million in funding for Big House

The funding is joint federal, provincial and municipal and will support 24 infrastructure projects

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read