With the Prime Minister’s impending arrival in B.C., the provincial health minister says federal efforts have helped make headway in the overdose crisis.
It marks something of an about face from two months ago, when Health minister Terry Lake called on Ottawa to declare a national public health emergency in the wake of the overdose crisis.
Now, a funded national opioid strategy, health transfer deal, and additional dollars seem to have quieted that call.
“The federal government has done a lot, especially over the last little while with the passage of C-37, with the changes to the Canadian Border Services Agency, the national opioid strategy which is now funded, and the $10-million dollars of resources that are coming to British Columbia” Lake says.
But Lake adds federal boots on the ground would also help.
“I think something the federal government should look at is putting federal personnel on the ground to help with overdose prevention sites, with physicians that can reach out and help people when they want to go on opioid substitution programs for instance.”
Lake says he’s happy Justin Trudeau will get a look first hand of the work being done in the Downtown Eastside, and says he’s looking forward to continuing their partnership with Ottawa.