NDP demands immediate action on the opioid crisis

EDMONTON – On Monday, as the opioid crisis claims more and more lives every day, the NDP called on the Liberal government for a federal declaration of a national public health emergency. New Democrats urged Trudeau’s government to commit significant new dollars, resources and additional measures to combat what is inarguably a deepening, serious crisis that is affecting Edmonton and every region of the country.
   
“Across Canada, too many families are tragically losing parents, siblings, and children to the opioid crisis,” said NDP MP Linda Duncan (Edmonton – Strathcona). “From downtown neighbourhoods to our most remote areas, no community has been untouched by these highly addictive and dangerous drugs.”
   
In 2009, when 428 deaths were caused by the H1N1 flu virus in Canada, an Emergency Operations Centre was mobilized 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Yet, with ten times the death toll from opioids, the federal government has not taken a similar step. The federal government spent $322-million on the H1N1 campaign. Despite a far more entrenched emergency today, the federal government has spent one-third of this amount.
   
“Eleven Canadians die every day from opioid-related causes. We need to treat this as the health crisis that it is,” added Duncan. “I am inspired by the dedicated work of Petra Schulz and the other mothers of opioid overdose victims through Moms Stop the Harm to demand action to redirect government policies towards a public health directed, decriminalized and harm reduction approach to addressing this crisis.”