B.C. to get $10-million boost to fight opioid crisis

The federal government announces $65 million across Canada in response to the opioid overdose crisis.

The federal government announced Friday it will spend another $65 million over five years to combat the deadly opioid crisis facing the country, with $10 million coming immediately to B.C.

Exactly how that funding is going to be doled out has yet to be determined, but the B.C. government says it will help support the work of its Joint Task Force on Overdose Response.

Projects include increased access to opioid substitution treatment, law enforcement strategies for fentanyl and carfentanil, supervised consumption services, and more access to the overdose-reversing drug, naloxone.

A total of 944 people died of drug overdoses in B.C. in 2016. An additional 116 people died last month.

“Provinces and even municipalities have been saying we need better access to laboratory testing facilities, we need better toxicology equipment, we need more epidemiologists to help us gather the data,” said federal Health Minister Jane Philpott at the news conference in Richmond.

Said B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake: “We were hoping for more, but it’s time to get down to work. I’m not saying that all of our needs are being filled.”

Lake also announced a provincial boost of $5 million to come next week to support the task force.

Last month, the minister had called on Ottawa to declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency and give B.C. more cash.

He told reporters Friday: “(The new projects) could mean mobilizing federal resources, much like the mobile medical clinic in the Downtown Eastside – there may be an appropriate role for a similar federal resource in Victoria or Surrey.”

Philpott was asked whether her government planned to legalize illicit drugs to combat the rising numbers in overdoses, but she dismissed that.

Lake said he will look to the B.C. Centre on Substance Abuse for recommendations on possible legalization.

“That’s a discussion that, as Canadians, we are starting to have,” said Lake. “What works in a country like Portugal might not work in a country like Canada that’s next to the largest country in the world.”

 

@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Langley Rivermen inviting fans to anti-bullying painting party

Come down to George Preston Recreation Centre Wednesday night to take stand against bullying

Jacob Tremblay tells Langley film fest about playing a boy with facial differences

It was a long stay in a makeup chair, but it could have been even longer

Update: Eyewitnesses kept driver who hit Langley pedestrian from fleeing (with video)

Police issue tickets for multiple offences after Sunday incident

VIDEO: A Langley man travels coast-to-coast to honour Canada’s national symbol

The “Beaver appreciation tour” was timed for country’s 150th birthday

Gators top ’Cats in all-Langley Fraser Valley final

Walnut Grove junior girls continue strong play over past month by winning Fraser Valley banner

Update: Police report “physical altercation” during Langley gas station holdup (with video)

Incident on Glover Road involving armed robber draws massive police response

B.C. turns up the heat in the wine pipeline feud

B.C. challenges Alberta’s ban on wine over pipeline expansion dispute

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

B.C. Ferries aims to improve passenger perceptions

CEO acknowledges corporation is sometimes seen in a negative light

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Fallen cedar knocks out Otter area power

Strong gusts of wind caused an entire cedar to split off and crash into power lines

Aldergrove U18 soccer boys keep on win streak

Aldergrove’s boys prevailed in this game and have a 8 win, 1 tie and 2 loss record

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Most Read