BC Greens respond to Ottawa’s approval of B.C.’s drug use restrictions

May 07, 2024

VICTORIA, B.C. - Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the BC Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, has issued the following statement in response to Ottawa's approval of B.C.'s request to restrict public drug use under the decriminalization pilot project:

"The Coroner’s report on unregulated drug deaths was released this morning, and we are painfully reminded that we continue to lose six British Columbians a day. We are over seven years into this public health emergency, and this government is still not implementing urgent, evidence-based solutions. That's a glaring failure.

"I would like to see the other opposition parties show even a sliver of urgency about homelessness and poverty that they reserve for drug use. Focusing on decriminalization as a distraction from these underlying issues is a smokescreen that doesn't address the real problems. Reversing decriminalization won't solve the deep-rooted issues of inequality and disconnectedness in our communities.

“Bill 34, which restricts public drug consumption, is currently challenged in court. And despite warnings from advocates, lawyers, and experts about the potential harm walking back decriminalization could have without the appropriate services in place, both provincial and federal governments bypassed these concerns to once again recriminalize drug use.

"We need to expand the safer supply program and ensure comprehensive harm reduction services are available province-wide. The rise in homelessness, 30-70% in various parts of the province, calls for substantial action on housing and mental health support.

"Consistent public safety measures must protect all community members, including people who use drugs and those who don’t have a home.

“The province is simply not holding up its end of the bargain. We remember those we've lost to substance use with love and honour, yet continue to drag our feet on implementing life-saving measures.”




Media contact
JoJo Beattie
Press Secretary
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | [email protected]

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