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North Island-Powell River MP wants toxic drug overdose plan

“People need a plan and a federal government willing to act." ~ Rachel Blaney
North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney.

With Canada in the midst of an opioid overdose crisis, North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney is urging the federal government to create a plan for toxic drug harm reduction and treatment.

Speaking in the House of Commons during Question Period on February 2, Blaney noted that in her riding, City of Campbell River recorded a disastrous year for drug overdoses.

“Toxic drug overdoses have devastated countless communities, like in my riding,” stated Blaney. “Campbell River just witnessed the worst year on record for toxic drug-related deaths, having the fifth-highest rate of deaths in British Columbia.”

In Campbell River, 47 people died as a result of drug use in 2023. That’s the deadliest year since 2016, when a drug toxicity public health emergency was declared, according to a media release from Blaney's office. It’s also 16 more deaths than in 2022, and puts the Greater Campbell River area among the highest toxic drug death rates in the province.

“People need a plan and a federal government willing to act,” stated Blaney. “Liberals drag their feet and offer up patchwork plans while conservatives try to criminalize our loved ones who are struggling. Canada needs a health-based plan for harm reduction and treatment with a timeline. What is the hold up?”

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