Would the federal government have taken quicker action if the opioid crisis had struck Ontario with the same magnitude as British Columbia? That’s what B.C.’s Health Minister thinks.
Speaking from Ottawa at a joint provincial-federal opioid conference, B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake says Ottawa needs to increase RCMP resources, ban pill presses, repeal Bill C2 and establish national surveillance of overdoses.
“I don’t think it’s hit Ontario the way it’s hit British Columbia, if it had I think we would see much greater federal action and so we are really pushing the federal government to take greater action than they have to date.”
He says Ottawa needs to amend legislation and increase resources to tackle the overdose epidemic.
“We need more RCMP resources, we need legislation banning pill presses, we need the repeal of Bill C2 which prevents us from setting up safe consumption sites where they are needed, and we need national surveillance of opioid overdoses.”
A total of 555 people have died in B.C. in the first nine months of the year, that’s a 60 per cent increase over the same period last year.