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

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

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read