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

Just Posted

Budding tennis stars learn the ropes

Students at local elementary schools get some lessons in tennis

Lawsuit claims medication mishandling at Penticton’s hospital

The claimant says her doctor ramped up her bipolar medication before cutting her off

Indigenous grad rates make big strides in SD67

Educators are praising major efforts toward inclusivity for the recent improvements

Mamas for Mamas founder survives with new lease on life

Kelowna’s Shannon Christensen escaped a dangerous situation and lived to tell about it

Valley First Endowment grant helps OSNS in 2017

The grant for the OSNS teaching kitchen just one of the ways First West helps communities.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Lawsuit claims medication mishandling at Penticton’s hospital

The claimant says her doctor ramped up her bipolar medication before cutting her off

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Tychonik continues scoring run

Vees chalk up another win with Pink in the Rink

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Most Read