I think it is inappropriate to use something as serious as the addiction problems of the less fortunate in our society and make money from it. I hope that Canadians will realize that the Conservatives are not acting in good faith. I will try to use what little time I have to elaborate.
To use the issue surrounding supervised injection sites in order to raise money, the Conservatives came up with the slogan “keep drugs away from our children”. That is nothing new for the Conservatives. We saw that recently with Bill C-53, Life Means Life, introduced by the government. A few hours after announcing this very important justice bill, they launched a fundraising campaign for the upcoming election. Frankly, their way of using very sensitive issues to try to make money on the backs of poor people is deplorable. No one is fooled: we know that the Conservatives are using Bill C-2 to try to score political points.
I listened to a number of speeches from both sides of the House, and I paid particular attention to the speeches by the government members. They keep saying that this bill addresses the problem of drugs in our streets. Is obstructing groups like InSite in Vancouver East really the best way to eradicate addiction problems? Of course not. This makes no sense.
If the government really wants to address problems related to addictions and mental health, as well as access to drugs and other illicit substances in our communities, there are much simpler ways of doing that. For example, it could invest in our police forces across the country.
I am thinking of what happened in Montreal, for example. The Conservatives allocated $400 million to special projects across the country. I do not remember the exact amounts and I am not going to get into that, but several million dollars were granted to Quebec. The province decided to create the Eclipse squad to deal with the problem of street gangs and, by extension, addiction and access to drugs in its communities. The Eclipse squad worked miracles for five years. Unfortunately, the Conservatives decided not to renew the funding. If they really wanted to address the problem of access to illicit substances in our communities, restoring funding for projects like the Eclipse squad would have been a much better way of doing that than standing in the way of groups like InSite, which is only trying to address certain health issues and help people overcome their addictions.
Other than parliamentary procedures, which I do not want to get into, I would also like to mention something that was talked about in the last speech, and that is the need to respect our communities. That is what we must do. In Montreal there was a project that the mayor, elected officials from all levels of government, the police, community leaders and health leaders were participating in. They were in the process of setting up a project like InSite, in the typical Montreal way of doing things. Unfortunately, if Bill C-2 is passed, it will create obstacles for our communities.
I would like to ask the Conservative government to reverse its decision, rethink its strategy for dealing with addictions and access to illicit substances, and completely dismiss the idea of moving forward with Bill C-2.