House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

1:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

(Motion agreed to)

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

1:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

When shall the bill be read the third time? By leave, now?

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

1:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Madam Speaker, I want to thank all members of the House for their support of the good Samaritan drug overdose act. Members from all regions of Canada became co-seconders of Bill C-224, although the rules of the House did not allow for more than 20. It is a resounding call for the need for the legislation to be passed, and quickly. Members recognize that the bill would save lives.

In my speech at second reading, I spoke about two young men, Austin and Kelly. Austin, Kelly and countless others might still be with us today if the good Samaritan bill on drug overdose had been a law when they made that one, fatal mistake. However, we will never really know.

When I was researching the bill, even before I introduced Bill C-224, it was evident that this law is sorely needed. What I did not expect was the groundswell of support that came out shortly after the bill's first reading. Groups and individuals from every part of Canada called and emailed, telling me how much the legislation is needed. I thank them for that. Their support motivated me even more to make sure that the bill became law.

The House is steeped in democratic traditions. Our legislation process gives members the ability to scrutinize legislation. We are elected by and for our constituents to represent their values, beliefs, and desires. During second reading, I heard impassioned speeches from both sides of the House, some of which were very personal, making it clear that the good Samaritan drug overdose act had broad support.

Outside this chamber, it is the committees that continue Canada's democratic traditions. Committees give each piece of legislation more scrutiny, and the Standing Committee on Health did just that. The committee did its job well. They heard from many witnesses, from paramedics, front-line workers, Austin's mom, academics, and from drug users themselves.

For me, the most compelling testimony came from the drug-using community. That community does not feel safe and does fear law enforcement in an overdose situation. The committee heard that the bill would not go far enough, that exemptions from prosecution should be broadened beyond simple possession. I agree with that.

Studies show that fear of prosecution for possession is just one of the key reasons that people do not call 911 in the event of a drug overdose, but there are also other reasons, such as outstanding warrants and breach of probation. The bill is only one piece in the harm reduction tool kit. It is a tool kit that needs to be broadened and expanded over time.

I believe it would have been good to have broadened the scope of the bill to include outstanding warrants and breach of probation. However, that would have made the bill way too complex and controversial, lessening the chances of its passage.

If passed in its current form, the good Samaritan drug overdose act would still save lives.

I laud the Standing Committee on Health for their work on this bill and for referring the good Samaritan drug overdose act back to this House without amendment. The committee recognized the urgency of opioid deaths and how Bill C-224 is desperately needed in Canada.

The committee should also be commended for taking heed of the testimony they heard during the study of Bill C-224. The powerful testimony of witnesses led to a motion being introduced during the deliberations on the good Samaritan drug overdose act, a motion to study the opioid crisis in Canada. Now, the committee is doing just that, and I have been honoured to have participated in some of the committee's meetings on that study. We cannot delay taking action on the opioid crisis in Canada.

During the course of the deliberations on the bill, countless lives have been lost. I see it in the news every day. We do not know how many lives would have been saved if the Good Samaritan drug overdose act had been law.

Our government has been continuing to put more tools in that harm-reduction toolkit since the bill was introduced. That includes removing naloxone from the list of prescription drugs. The government is also listing the six essential ingredients that make fentanyl deadly as controlled substances.

In the coming weeks the Minister of Health will be arranging an opioid abuse summit, which will prioritize how we can start to get out of this mess.

I thank members of this House for their support of the good Samaritan drug overdose act.

I want to thank the Library of Parliament, the House of Commons legal department and the private members' business office for their incredible support on Bill C-224. There are several moving pieces to drafting and supporting legislation and without them this bill would not have happened.

Ultimately this bill needs to become law. I ask all members of the House to come together and support the good Samaritan drug overdose act to help save lives.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Madam Speaker, I just want to congratulate my colleague on the excellent work he did on this bill and on the support he has received in the House.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, I did not actually hear the question or the comment, but I thank the member for his support. I am sure they were encouraging words.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Madam Speaker, I would also congratulate my colleague. This is an important bill, and coming from British Columbia, I think we have all been personally touched by some horrific tragedies.

Could the member comment on some of the additional measures he believes need to be taken to tackle this crisis?

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

October 28th, 2016 / 1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for speaking so movingly in regard to the bill at second reading.

The other similar aspects to the bill that could be addressed would be to provide immunities for breaches of probation, for outstanding warrants and so forth. Doing so would greatly exceed the scope of the bill, but those are the other kinds of things that people fear when calling the police or calling 911 in the event of a drug overdose.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

1:40 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the motion and the good work he has done in bringing this forward.

I absolutely agreed with his comments at second reading about the need to go further, that this is just a first step. With respect to that and related to the drug overdose crisis, as members know, Bill C-2 is impeding efforts by medical health professionals to move forward in addressing the opioid crisis.

B.C.'s own medical health officer, Perry Kendall, has said that we need to get rid of Bill C-2. Does the member agree with our medical health officer about Bill C-2?

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for seconding the bill at first reading.

I agree that Bill C-2 from the previous Parliament created a problem, an almost impenetrable labyrinth for people to traverse in trying to establish supervised consumption sites. We need to take a hard look at it and should look proactively at streamlining the process to make it more effective, because we need many more supervised consumption sites in this country.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak in support of Bill C-224, the good Samaritan drug overdose act. I thank the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for presenting this important piece of legislation. He has certainly worked very hard.

When I first read through the bill, I have to admit that I was a bit concerned. We are currently facing one of the worst drug epidemics that our nation has ever seen, and that is with regard to the opioid crisis. The combination of diverted pharmaceuticals, veterinary tranquillizers, and illicit drugs has created a very deadly mix of street drugs.

This past week in my riding of Lethbridge, 777 fentanyl pills were seized by the police in two separate drug raids. This is impacting every single nook and cranny within my community.

Having said that, many Canadians would agree that we need to tackle the root factors that are causing this epidemic. I agree with that. This is why we definitely need tougher laws to get drug dealers off the streets, and certainly not weaker ones. This legislation is part of a multipronged approach that should be taken in all communities across this country.

As a member of the Standing Committee on Health, I had the opportunity to examine the bill closely, and I heard from many expert witnesses from all corners of the country. Regardless of the geographical region or the sector from which they came, all of them agreed that Bill C-224 would save lives.

How exactly would this legislation do that? At the present time, when someone overdoses, there are barriers to that individual getting help quickly. For instance, young people often experiment with drugs with friends and family. In the event of an overdose, those who are with the person are often scared to call for help because they are afraid of the legal repercussions. As a result, they either do nothing, or they call 911 and then quickly flee the scene so they will not be prosecuted. As a result of this fear, young lives are lost.

When I was first made aware of this piece of legislation, I was concerned that it might allow dealers to go free or prevent police from being able to take action to shut down crack houses or illicit drug operations. After listening to the legal experts, it became clear that the bill would not provide another legal loophole for drug dealers to escape conviction. The exemptions provided in the bill only apply to those who are in simple possession.

Criminal Code offences, such as possession for the purpose of trafficking, would still apply to individuals at the scene of an overdose. Why is this important? It is important because it means that this legislation finds a balance between removing barriers to individuals having the courage to call 911, as well as preserving the power of law enforcement to convict criminals responsible for pushing these drugs on our streets. We see more than ever the organized crime rates in Canada, so it is important for me to discuss this. Again, the specific exemption within this legislation would apply to simple possession only. In this context, only those using the illicit drug, and not those who are trafficking the drug, would be exempt.

One of the heartbreaking stories we heard during my time on committee studying this legislation was from a mother who lost her 17-year-old son to an overdose. He was hanging out with his friends. There were about six people around him at the time, and they refused to call for medical assistance because they were afraid of the negative repercussions they might face. As a result, this young man's life was lost that day.

When it comes to opioid overdoses, there are simple and effective treatments such as naloxone, which can halt the effects of the opioid long enough to get a patient to hospital to receive the attention he or she needs. With the strength of illicit opioids, minutes matter in this endeavour. A few minutes can help spare a life. If bystanders were to wait for those few minutes to determine if an overdose was mild or life-threatening, that indecision could result in that person losing his or her life.

This is particularly true of young recreational drug users who have more to lose because of police involvement in an overdose. Young people who are experimenting with illegal drugs are more likely to try to keep their involvement with them a secret. As expert witnesses at committee repeatedly stressed, it is easier to deal with a drug addiction at the start of the addiction rather than caring for it later on.

Bill C-224 has the ability to facilitate early intervention and access to treatment, which I believe would serve our younger generation very well.

For addicts who are housing insecure or altogether homeless, the bill would simply puts in place what would already be common practice in many jurisdictions, and that is this. When front-line workers are called to an overdose situation, what often happens is the EMS will respond right away in order to care for that individual. Police officers will often hold back rather than going into the scene. The reason for this is because they will enter if there is a threat to medical staff or to the staff on site, let us say at a shelter. However, for r the most part they will hold back. The reason for that is because then it creates safety for concerned individuals to call EMS responders to the scene to react to the overdose.

Right now Canada is facing a significant crisis when it comes to deaths caused by opioid overdoses. In B.C., for example, the situation is so serious that public health within B.C. has declared a state of emergency. The truth is that we have been aware of this problem for a little more than a year now across our country, but there has been very little discernible action from the federal government on this file. At health committee, it was the NDP as well as the Conservatives at the table who put forward the motion to study the opioid crisis in Canada and to deliver recommendations to the health minister for consideration.

No steps have been taken to limit the import and the operation of pill press machines in Canada that enable criminal organizations to pump out hundreds of thousands of oxycodone knock-offs on a daily, monthly, and annual basis. The Liberal government reversed the Conservative regulations to move Canada toward a tamper-resistant prescription opioid, which is a very unfortunate decision. By reversing this direction, the Liberals allowed the easy conversion of legal pharmaceuticals to be used in a variety of street drugs, thus adding to the problem that we see today.

It took until last month for Health Canada to finally make naloxone a non-prescription drug and therefore accessible across Canada. Even after doing that, the provinces still need a few more months to loosen up their own restrictions to have this antidote make a real difference within streets.

The health minister finally decided that she would hold an opioid summit in mid-November. Although I am very thankful that this decision has been made, I am also disappointed with the amount of time it has taken just to achieve this. We do not need to wait for a summit this fall in order to start taking action on this file. We already know that border controls need to be ramped up. We know that Health Canada needs to make regulatory changes to limit prescription opioids that could easily be tampered with. We also know that stricter prescribing as well as tracking practices need to be implemented. We know that the over-prescribing of opioids on reserves needs to be addressed. We also need to provide treatment care for those who wish to get off of these addictions.

There is a saying on a reserve near my riding, which is “The drug dealers wear white coats”. This is made in reference to the availability of legal prescription opioids from doctors. The devastating effect this has for persons susceptible to drug abuse is tremendous. Dozens of people are dying each and every month. Dreams are being shattered. Potential is going unfulfilled and hope is disintegrating altogether.

I would contend that waiting to act on this national crisis is not an option. If we value human life, we must act now. I would contend that this requires a national strategy with regard to the opioid crisis we face in our country today. Bill C-224 is just one step, one very small step, in the massive puzzle that is needed to be put together in order to tackle this problem.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, it is my honour to rise to speak to the motion. Let me first thank the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for bringing this motion to the floor and raising the issue in the House of Commons.

At some point in time, all members in the House have been touched by this incredible issue of addiction, substance misuse in our own communities. Perhaps we have come to know people who have lost their lives. The thing about substance misuse and drug addiction is that it is entirely preventable.

In fact, on the question of overdose, there is overwhelming evidence to illustrate the fact that we need to look at substance misuse as a medical health issue and not a criminal justice issue. That is how we can save lives.

To the point of this motion, this is exactly what the member is trying to do, to take away the criminal element so we can save lives.

Imagine for one minute what life would be like if one of our children, a son or daughter, who might be young, is experimenting, takes drugs, and at that moment in time a life is lost. Imagine what that would be like. I cannot imagine. I am a mother of two young kids, aged 13 and 8. I dread the teenage years to come, the idea of kids experimenting, some horrible, unimaginable thing happening, and lives being lost.

I see this in my own community in Vancouver East. So many people's lives have been lost. There is a saying that dead people do not detox and that is why we need harm reduction. That is why we need to move forward in addressing this from a medical health perspective.

The member's bill is one piece in the harm reduction spectrum on which we need to move forward. We need to tell people that they do not need to worry about a criminal charges being laid against them. In this instance, it would be limited to only simple possession but, nonetheless, it is equally important to send that message.

Additional work needs to be done. There is no question about it. My colleague, the health critic, the member for Vancouver Kingsway, attempted to move in that direction at committee. He moved an amendment to call for expanding the scope of the bill to allow for additional measures. For example, people in my community say that it is not so much that they worry about a charge of simple possession, they worry about outstanding warrants. They worry about violating their parole, for example, and that there would be implications for them. Young people gather at these things called raves. They party and bad things happen. There is no definition of “at the scene”, the scope of that, and whether it would apply to a group of people in that context.

If we want to move in this direction, more work needs to be done and we need to keep pushing to ensure that the issue around substance misuse is looked at from a health perspective. Addiction is a health issue. I know the former Conservative government thought it was a criminal justice issue alone.

I was relieved to hear the conviction of the member who spoke before me to save lives. Let us look at this issue from that perspective. I would assume that if we believe in that and on the evidence that has been presented, we would all agree that the time has come for the government to also repeal C-2, because that prevents saving lives.

The medical health officer in my community in Vancouver, British Columbia, has said on the public record that Bill C-2 impedes progress in moving forward with respect to harm reduction in terms of bringing supervised injection facilities into communities. The litany of onerous requirements prevent medical health officers to move forward on bringing supervised injection facilities into communities.

As it stands right now, there is only one application before the government, and that is from Montreal. My community has tried to move forward with others and has been unable to get it on the table because of the onerous requirements.

The medical health officer from Vancouver, Patricia Daly, has said on the public record that Vancouver is struggling to try to move forward on this because of the onerous requirements on Bill C-2. We need to get rid of this bill. Let us get real about saving lives. This measure is an important one. I absolutely support it, but we cannot stop there. There is so much more that we can do. The fact is that we do have a crisis, a national crisis, on our hands with the opioid overdose situation.

The desperation in my own community is such that there are pop-up tents. In fact, there is one pop-up tent that has emerged in our community. Volunteers have come forward to provide for some measure of safety for drug users. They say that they would not want to continue this operation because it is not a sanctioned site. There are no health practitioners at the site, but they are doing this. Why? Because they have seen their loved ones die. They actually provide naloxone to the tune of up to 24 cases where they have utilized that to save lives on the ground. Each day when the site is up and running, up to 100 people inject at that site.

This should not be how we continue. It should not be the case. We need to bring forward science-based and proven strategies to address this. A safe site, Insite, is one of those measures. We need to ensure there is progress here, and take away measures that hamper progress in that regard. Bill C-2 is one of them.

I once again thank the member for bringing this forward. I support the bill. I applaud his efforts. More work needs to be done, and I look forward to working with all members of the House and moving forward with this goal in mind: we need to bring in measures to save lives.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2 p.m.

Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, I am proud to stand in the House today at third reading and support Bill C-224, the good Samaritan drug overdose act.

First and foremost, I want to thank the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for bringing this extremely important piece of legislation to the House. This is a piece of legislation that, if passed, would help to break down systematic barriers that deter people from calling 911 in the event of an overdose.

Evidence indicates that individuals are too often afraid to call for medical help in the event of an overdose. This is due to a number of concerns, one of which is fear of arrest or criminal charges. Bill C-224 would help to address this issue by providing those who experience or witness an overdose, call 911, and stay at the scene with immunity from minor drug possession charges. In other words, Bill C-224 is a harm reduction measure.

Our government is committed to protecting the health and safety of all Canadians. We recognize that problematic substance use can have devastating impacts on individuals, their families, and their communities. This is why our government is taking a balanced, comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, and evidence-based approach to addressing the serious issue of problematic substance use. It is an approach that aims to protect both public health and public safety.

The term “harm reduction” often elicits strong reactions from people. I believe this is at least partly because it is misunderstood. I would like to take a moment to explain what it means to our government.

In general, harm reduction refers to policies, programs, or initiatives that aim to reduce the negative health and social impacts associated with problematic substance use on individuals and communities, without requiring abstention as an immediate goal. Our government has demonstrated strong support for evidence-based harm reduction measures that have been proven to help prevent the harm associated with problematic substance use, including overdose death.

However, I want to make it clear that this does not mean that harm reduction and abstention are mutually exclusive. In fact, while abstention is not the primary goal of harm reduction initiatives, harm reduction can act as a first step to meeting longer term goals such as reduced problematic use of drugs and full recovery. In other words, harm reduction measures can help pave a path to recovery by meeting people where they are in their lives right now.

Another common myth is that a focus on harm reduction is inconsistent with the objectives of drug control. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is our government's view that harm reduction is part of a comprehensive policy continuum and can complement and reinforce prevention, treatment, and enforcement initiatives. It is part of a holistic approach to addressing drug-related crime and problematic substance use.

Bill C-224 reflects these values. It melds public health and public safety interests and would provide an opportunity for law enforcement to build trusting relationships with individuals who use drugs, relationships that would help to reduce fears of calling 911 to save the life of someone experiencing an overdose.

I do not want to sell Bill C-224 as a solution that would prevent all overdose deaths. It will not. We do no favours to Canadians suffering from addiction when we debate a drug policy in black and white terms. Problematic substance use is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive response. Just like any other drug policy, Bill C-224 must work in conjunction with other initiatives to address the full scope of issues associated with problematic substance use.

That is why our government recently announced a new opioid action plan. The plan focuses on five key areas: better informing Canadians about the risks of opioids, supporting better prescribing practices, reducing easy access to unnecessary opioids, supporting better treatment options for patients, and improving the national evidence base upon which policy decisions are made.

Two of the action items under the plan were an expedited review of naloxone nasal spray, a more user-friendly version of the overdose-reverse drug, as well as an interim order to buy bulk stocks of the drug from the United States during the review process. I am pleased to say that Health Canada has completed its review and has authorized naloxone nasal spray for non-prescription use.

With federal market authorization, the manufacturer is now able to take the necessary steps to bring this drug to the Canadian market. This is a key step in helping to reduce overdose deaths, as the two crucial actions that can be taken to help save a life during an overdose are calling 911 and administering naloxone.

Also, next month the Minister of Health will be hosting a summit on opioids to bring together experts, patient groups, governments, and regulators to discuss the current crisis and identify actions for moving forward.

In conclusion, Bill C-224 supports and complements our government's approach to drug policy and will help save lives. That is why we are supporting this extremely important piece of legislation.

As a registered nurse, I am extremely concerned about the opioid crisis occurring across Canada. We know that addressing this issue will require a comprehensive and evidence-based public health approach. Bill C-224 would be a welcome addition to our government's efforts, and I hope colleagues from all across the House will continue to support it. As many members have already stated, every life matters, and we have a duty to do what we can to help prevent these tragic accidental deaths from taking place.

This is an issue that requires a whole-of-government approach, and we are dedicated to working with our provincial and territorial counterparts, as well as experts across the country, to address this devastating crisis. As a country, we know we are facing an opioid crisis, and together, we will find a way to address this tragic situation.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak in support of Bill C-224, the good Samaritan drug overdose act. I thank the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for introducing this important piece of legislation.

In my riding of Edmonton West, similar to many parts of the country, we have seen a growing crisis with fentanyl and opioid use. According to the CBC, there have been 338 deaths from fentanyl overdoses in Alberta alone this year. If we think about that, it is equivalent to every member sitting in the House of Commons being wiped out since January. The numbers continue to rise, with no indication of its slowing down. It has become so bad that even the Alberta Health Services' web page cannot keep track of the number of fentanyl deaths. In Edmonton alone, there have been 102 overdose deaths since January. Even more deadly is the opioid W18, which is now showing up in Edmonton. Ironically, it was created at the U of A, but it is now hitting the streets. Recently, we have had a drug bust with enough W18 to wipe out half of the population if it were taken individually. Drugs like fentanyl and W18 are taking their toll on our cities and communities. Perhaps the most heartbreaking aspect of this crisis is that many untimely deaths could be prevented.

Dr. Charmaine Enns, chair of the Health Officers Council of British Columbia, has said, “Every year, psychoactive substances...are linked to greater than 47,000 deaths and many thousands more injuries and disabilities.... Sadly much of this carnage is preventable.”

I hope no Canadian is prevented from taking action when necessary because they fear the consequences of doing so. It is my hope that if anyone is ever in a situation in which they need to act to save someone's life, they can act without fear of repercussions, to spare a family the agony of losing a loved one, and to be able to act in the best interest of someone who needs help and in the best interests of their community. In a previous career, I experienced this first hand. I was a young hotel manager, and as I was living closest to the hotel, I would often get the first call when there was an emergency. I received a phone call from a frantic night auditor at four in the morning. I went the hotel and found four people suffering from overdoses. One had died. When the police arrived, once the people were revived, they said they had seen their friend writhing and dying but did not contact anyone for fear of being arrested. This is something that is still happening today. Therefore, I support this bill by our member.

As elected officials and lawmakers, we are obligated to take action in areas in which there is a clear and present need. In the case of unreported overdoses, it is my belief that the good Samaritan drug overdose act would fill this legislative gap.

Combatting drug-related crime requires a collaborative approach between municipal, provincial, and federal partners. Together, we must ensure that our levels of governments send a strong message to drug traffickers, while not penalizing users who are at their most vulnerable and in an overdosed state. While this bill will not change the rates of drug-related crime, something that our party has consistently taken a tough, clear stance on, it may help encourage people to take action and call emergency professionals in life-and-death situations, potentially saving the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of Canadians from coast to coast.

As the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam mentioned in committee, as I think has been noted more than once throughout the debate on this bill, there is often a barrier to accessing help in the time needed to prevent a potentially fatal situation due to fear of the consequences or legal ramifications for the person making the call. While these findings are indicative of a separate, albeit related, issue facing Canadians, namely access to banned substances, it is important that our efforts to remain tough on crime and drugs do not come at a human cost. We as lawmakers truly believe that life is worth protecting, and we need to ensure that the Canadians who need help get it.

According to the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council, “Fear of arrest weighs heavily on this life or death decision. People legitimately fear the police showing up, being criminally charged for drug possession, and for mothers, having their children taken away.” By removing the possibility of criminal charges against those who call emergency professionals, we are encouraging people to take life-saving action. This is especially true now, with deadly fentanyl and W18 on the streets, where ever moment's delay in receiving the miracle drug naloxone can literally lead to death.

On the issue of W18, this drug is reported to be 100 to 1,000 times more deadly than fentanyl. Oddly enough, it is just now being regulated as a controlled drug under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, and until recently could be manufactured freely. Like others in the House, I would encourage the government to work faster on this and other W series drugs.

I would also urge the government to take steps similar to the Government of Alberta to restrict access to the pill presses used to make illegal drugs. By limiting the purchase of pill presses, table machines, and pharmaceutical mixers to only pharmacists and licensed professionals, we would take the necessary steps as Canadians to protect our communities.

Now as to the bill, it is not, as some critics have said, condoning drug use. This would ensure that drug users and addicts, in some regard the victims of drug trafficking, are provided with support and assurance that their lives still have value, and that a person acting in the injured person's best interest would not be penalized for saving a life.

I am pleased to support the bill and hope my colleagues in the House will support the bill as well.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, once again, I appreciate the multi-partisan support across the House for the bill. I look forward to the opportunity to pass this along to the other place.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Is the House ready for the question?

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

All those opposed will please say nay.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Pursuant to Standing Order 98, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, November 2, 2016, immediately before the time provided for private members' business.

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until Monday next at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 2:15 p.m.)