BC Conservative MPs Join the Calls to Declare Opioid Crisis a National Public Health Emergency

British Columbia (January 20, 2017): Conservative MPs Cathy McLeod (Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo) and Dianne Watts (South Surrey–White Rock) released the following joint statement echoing BC Health Minister Terry Lake’s plea for the federal government to declare the opioid crisis a National Public Health Emergency:

“With over 900 deaths in our province in 2016, the call is loud and clear for the federal Liberal government to take action and declare this crisis a National Public Health Emergency. December was the deadliest month, with 142 deaths from illicit drug overdoses and there is no end in sight to this epidemic.”

“We are calling on Health Minister Jane Philpott to:

  1. Declare a National Public Health Emergency;
  2. Enhance border security measures to stop the flow of fentanyl and carfentanil into Canada;
  3. Immediately undertake a National Fentanyl and Carfentanil Education Awareness Campaign;
  4. Support detox and treatment facilities and mental health in our communities and provinces; and
  5. Create a national strategy for tracking opioid overdoses.

“BC’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Perry Kendall, declared this a Public Health Emergency back in April 2016. However, the first piece of federal legislation targeting the epidemic was not tabled in the House of Commons until December 12, 2016, two days before Parliament rose for its winter break. This legislation has not gone through the process and it will be several months before it is implemented. Action needs to be taken now.”