A Coquitlam MP says his proposed Bill that protects people who have overdosed, or those who try and help them, from being charged is long overdue.
Liberal MP Ron McKinnon says Bill C-224, The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, would help those who need police or medical help but are afraid to get it.
He says due to the alarming rise of overdose deaths, this Bill could help make a difference.
“This will not stop overdose, it will not stop overdose deaths, but it will I believe, firmly, that it will reduce them. It will have an effect. It will save some lives.”
The Bill is currently in front of the Health Committee in Ottawa.
“It’s not likely to get passed before we rise for the summer but it’s certainly one step closer to being a law.”
He says making people feel safe about coming forward is vital.
Vancouver’s Chief Medical Health Officer is getting behind Rob McKinnon’s Bill, but she says much more needs to be done.
Doctor Patricia Daly says the federal government needs to take it much further.
“We would like to be able to drug testing to those people who bring substances into Insite. Staff under their current exemption are not allowed to handle those drugs. If we were to decriminalize possession of those substances, we could implement a testing program.”
Daly says Portugal has decriminalized all illicit drugs and its not seen an increase in drug use.