New federal legislation will make it easier for communities to create safe consumption sites.

Feds step up dealing with opiate crisis

Under new legislation, it is going to be easier for communities to set up safe drug consumption sites.

Under new legislation, it is going to be easier for communities to set up safe injection sites.

“Extraordinary realities require extraordinary measures,” said Jane Philpott, federal minister of health, adding that she hopes bill C-37 will be expedited, “given that people are dying every day.”

“Bill C-37 proposes to simplify the legislative requirements for communities that want and need to open and operate supervised consumption sites,” said Phillpott.

Phillpott said Canada is facing a serious and growing public health matter in the ongoing opiate crisis and Bill C-37 provides tools to deal with it.

“It will replace the national anti-drug strategy. It will re-frame problematic substance use as a public health issue it is,” said Phillpott. “We will reinstate harm reduction as a key pillar in this strategy.”

The new bill replaces the 26 application criteria in previous legislation with a general requirement that the site in question must demonstrate public health and safety benefits. The minister will then be able to approve a proposed site based on five criteria: need, community consultation, the affect on crime and whether regulatory systems and resources are in place.

“The evidence is clear. Well established and well maintained consumption sites save lives,” said Phillpott.

On the enforcement side, the Canada Border Services Agency will be given tools to intercept fentanyl and fentanyl precursors at the border.

“We also need to toughen and tighten our borders here at home,” said Ralph Goodale, minister of public safety and emergency preparedness.

The CBSA will be given increased authority to inspect packages coming in from offshore. Tools used to create pills, like pill presses and encapsulators will now require pre-approval before being brought into Canada.

“Border officers need this authority to help save Canadian lives,” said Goodale, pointing out that as little as 30 grams of pure fentanyl could make 15,000 doses.

Related:

More overdoses as fentanyl epidemic grows in Penticton

Fentanyl crisis in Penticton as overdose numbers spike

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Passengers escape unharmed from destructive houseboat fire on Mara Lake

Cause of blaze under investigation, flames erupt at 2 a.m. Aug. 4

UPDATE: Water bombers attack wildfire north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Wildfire BC reports fire is still classified out of control, 25 personnel on ground

HandyDART additions part of BC Transit plan to expand Shuswap fleet

BC Transit plans to add six new light duty buses

Salmon Arm Silverbacks welcome assistant coach

Seasoned forward Derek Damon to join team behind the bench

VIDEO: Wildfire erupts north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Observers suspect fireworks sparked blaze, Wildfire BC states cause still unknown

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Alberta vehicles allegedly damaged in Summerland

Lug nuts loosened, windows smashed in several instances in Okanagan community

Interior Health reports nine new cases of COVID-19, 149 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Former Kelowna resident makes fundraising goal for cancer fertility treatments

Rebecca Hamilton recieved a boost in a battle against cancer - $25,000 for post chemo treatments

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Most Read