VICTORIA, B.C - Today, the BC Coroners Service reported that 392 people died from toxic drugs in November and December in B.C., bringing 2022's death toll to 2,272 the second largest number of drug deaths ever recorded in a calendar year. Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, has issued the following statement:
“We know what needs to be done to stop these deaths. What we need is a government willing to save lives.
“We must start addressing toxic drugs like a public health crisis, stemming from declining mental health, unaffordability, and lack of preventive healthcare. We must rebuild the systems that hold people up and help them recover.
“40 years of cuts and mismanagement have created a highwire out of our social safety net. This BC NDP government has had almost 7 years to change that and yet most British Columbians are still walking the tightrope.
“If Premier Eby does not ensure his 2023 Budget implements and funds an exponential increase in access to safe supply, mental health services, and treatment options, this government is accepting that hundreds of people will continue to die each month from the toxic drug supply.”