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Overdose crisis response must be addressed with a factual, compassionate approach

September 23, 2020

VICTORIA B.C. –  Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens,  says the tragic ongoing overdose crisis must be addressed using a factual, compassionate approach.

“Today’s devastating overdose numbers from the coroner demonstrate that we are not doing enough to address this crisis,” said Furstenau.

“There is clear provincial action that could be taken. Dr. Bonnie Henry has laid it out. So far the NDP have chosen to ignore her advice and leave it to Ottawa. The B.C. Greens have been calling for the adoption of her advice for months.”

Earlier today, John Horgan alleged that the Greens’ opposition to Bill 22 was the reason he triggered an unnecessary election. The substance of the bill was also opposed by the BC Civil Liberties Association, the Representative for Children and Youth and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. 

In the last session of the Legislature, the BC Greens listened to experts, including the Chief Coroner, when they voiced concerns about the NDP’s plan to detain youth. The experts were clear that this could actually lead to increased fatalities and would violate childrens’ charter rights and the UN Convention on the rights of the child.

“The fact that Horgan is using a bill meant to help the most vulnerable children in the province as political cover for why he needs to go to a self-serving election in the middle of a pandemic is appalling,” Furstenau continued.

“When the NDP use Bill 22 to mislead BC about the need for an election, despite all the groups opposed to it, you're getting a glimpse of how they will govern as a majority. What John Horgan is saying is he wants a blank check. He wants less checks and balances. He wants the ability to ram through whatever he thinks is best, rather than listening to experts and the communities who are directly affected.”

“For 3 years CASA delivered positive outcomes for British Columbians. The Premier has chosen to throw that cooperation away to make a grab for more power. We clearly can’t trust how he would use that power.”

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