Furstenau demands more than half measures on 8-year anniversary of toxic drug crisis

April 15, 2024

VICTORIA, B.C. - Today marks eight years since the illicit-toxic drug crisis was declared a public-health emergency in British Columbia. Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the BC Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley has issued the following statement: 

“Eight years ago, our province was forced to confront the grim reality of the unregulated, highly toxic, and lethal drug supply. Yet, despite the ongoing severity of this emergency, the response from this government remains woefully inadequate. I am deeply concerned about the politicization of the crisis and the unwillingness of government to scale up the response. If it’s an emergency, treat it as one.

"We cannot ignore the underlying factors that contribute to this crisis. Deepening poverty and despair are driving more British Columbians into situations where they are at risk. We must remain focused on dismantling the conditions that lead to such vulnerabilities and on combating the deadly nature of the illicit-toxic drug supply that is taking too many lives.

"Indigenous communities have been especially hard hit by the toxic drug crisis. From 2015 to 2021, the life expectancy for First Nations decreased by seven years. Even more alarming, between 2019 and 2021, there was a further decline of nearly six years - a stark contrast to the one-year decrease experienced by other B.C. residents.

"The time for half-measures is over. We need serious, compassionate, and evidence-based solutions that address both the supply of toxic drugs and the social conditions that fuel this crisis.”



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

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