Mr. Speaker, I want to reiterate this, because I am not sure everyone has fully comprehended the severity of this crisis in British Columbia. Based on the number of deaths that have occurred in the first three months of this year, if trends continue there will be 1,400 deaths from overdose in British Columbia. This is a serious matter. We see no end in sight, and we have to make sure we use all measures within our jurisdiction to respond to it.
As the member says, of course it is important to respond to the community to make sure there is a demand for these sites, that there is a need for these sites, and that there is appropriate community consultation. I trust that the member is aware that those were among the five factors the Supreme Court gave us. It required, even within Bill C-37, that the Minister of Health take them into consideration in recognizing the need for a site. Clearly, that need has to be demonstrated, and the community must have the opportunity for input. It is at the discretion of the Minister of Health to determine whether further consultation is required.
We know there is a huge demand for this. I speak on a very regular basis with people in these communities who are desperate to have supervised consumption sites.
Community consultation includes consultation with the members of the community who are seeing their friends, family members, and young people dying. They need the opportunity for input too. These are the members of society I hope members of this House will take into consideration when they are considering this bill.
As it relates to the matter of having a citizen oversight body, no other health facility has a legislative requirement for that. We know that some health facilities like to have community oversight bodies, but having a legislative requirement, as I said in my remarks, would further stigmatize a population whose members are dying because of the stigmatization of their community. It is important that we not introduce any further barriers to making sure we save people's lives.