VICTORIA, B.C. – Ahead of the provincial roll-out of decriminalization of illicit drugs, Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, is calling on Premier Eby to ensure his budget funds equitable access to harm reduction, safe supply, and mental health and addictions services across BC.
“The lack of a coordinated approach to this public health emergency in B.C. leaves decriminalization as just another half-measure. This emergency is in its seventh year, and yet we’re still a province without a clear plan. The piecemeal approach has let 10,000 British Columbians die preventable deaths.
“Decriminalization is not a silver bullet. The roll-out of this policy change has left local governments with more questions than answers, and without funding for implementation.
“Decriminalization alone will not result in fewer people dying from this poisoned drug crisis. We need an exponential increase in access to safe supply, mental health services, and treatment options. We have to start addressing toxic drugs like a public health crisis, stemming from declining mental health, unaffordability, and lack of preventive healthcare.
“Every community in the province is feeling the impact of the toxic drug crisis. It’s past time for the BC NDP to see the big picture and come out with a clear plan for saving lives. I am calling on Premier Eby to ensure his budget funds equitable access to harm reduction, safe supply, and mental health and addictions services across BC.”