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Furstenau: David Eby must show leadership on addressing drug toxicity crisis

November 07, 2022

VICTORIA, B.C. – Today, the BC Coroners Service reported that 171 people died from drug poisonings in September of this year. Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, has issued the following statement: 

"How do we stop people from dying from a chaotic and toxic drug supply? By immediately introducing safer drugs. This government is not doing enough to reduce harm caused by toxic drugs and meet people where they are at.

“British Columbians urgently need a safe supply of drugs that does not require a diagnosis, daily line-ups, or finding a sympathetic doctor. Yes, we urgently need more access to standardized treatment, but prioritizing treatment over stabilization leaves people to die. 

“Last week, the Select Standing Committee on Health released our final report. Nearly 1,000 experts testified to the committee, and we heard over and over again that safe supply needs to be expanded. Multiple health authorities explained that the prescription model can’t be supported around the province. The Association of Police Chiefs urged lower barrier safe supply. The final recommendations of the report failed to recommend low barrier safe supply due to the political landscape of the Legislature.

“The BC NDP are beginning a new chapter. Incoming Premier David Eby is expected to make changes that align with his vision for British Columbia. It is my hope, for the more than 100,000 people who use drugs in this province, that David Eby chooses to save lives by introducing lower barrier safe supply. I call on him to implement every recommendation of the committee’s report, and to take it a step further with expanded safe supply. 

“Last Friday I stood outside of the Ministry of Health building with mothers who have lost loved ones to drug poisonings and their supporters. One of those mothers, Jessica Michalofsky, has been running daily marathons around the building to raise awareness of the urgent need for safer drugs. Her son Aubrey was killed by toxic drugs in August. He was on methadone prior to his death and found the system distrustful, humiliating, and inaccessible. We must do better.” 

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Media contact
JoJo Beattie

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

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