VICTORIA, B.C. - “The introduction of B.C.’s new Overdose Emergency Response Centre and five new regional response teams could not have come soon enough,” said Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley, of today’s announcement.
“It is the culmination of tireless, heartbreaking work done by first responders, health-care providers, elected officials, advocates, First Nations, volunteers, people who use drugs and their loved ones. I am grateful for everyone’s determination in the face of this devastating crisis.
“The opioid crisis is a public health emergency that continues to devastate families and communities across the province. Throughout, our caucus has maintained that we must consider all evidence-based options as to how we can prevent overdose deaths. We must look at the causes of addiction, make investments to prevent crises like these from occurring in the future, and ensure treatment is immediately accessible when asked for.
“I am proud of the leadership of Minister Darcy and her new ministry have taken with the Overdose Emergency Response Centre plan. It is an incredibly comprehensive and inclusive initiative, built on community and medical expertise.
“For the first time in a long time, I am feeling optimistic about the government’s ability to help British Columbian who face mental health and addiction challenges. I am hopeful that lives will be saved and going forward will continue to mourn those who have already been lost.”
MLA Furstenau is the B.C. Green Caucus Spokesperson for mental health and addictions.
The Confidence and Supply Agreement between the B.C. Green Caucus and the B.C New Democrat Caucus specified the development of an immediate response to the fentanyl crisis and the creation of a Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction as conditions of support by the B.C. Green Caucus.
Sarah Miller, Acting Press Secretary
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