Mr. Speaker, the member's question gives me an opportunity to speak to what is taking place in Surrey. Indeed, I was in Surrey not very long ago addressing this very issue.
Surrey is one of the municipalities where I saw a tremendous amount of collaboration from members of the community. I met with the mayor and with a number of health providers in that community to hear what they are doing.
One of the things I was very impressed with is that they have done exceptional work in terms of gathering data. For instance, they were able to share with me the number of overdoses that were determined to have taken place in Surrey last year. The emergency medical services in Surrey have evidence of over 2,000 overdoses that took place. Some very interesting information came out of the work that was done in Surrey. We found that these overdoses are not just taking place in the downtown core, but are taking place all throughout the city.
I could give the member all kinds of examples of other things that are being done which would reassure the people of Surrey, but while we are on the topic of data, perhaps I could share that one of my concerns is about the lack of good data across the country, and the tremendous need to co-operate with multiple orders of government and other agencies.
One of the things I have asked the Public Health Agency of Canada to do, for example, is to launch an epidemiologic study, and to do so immediately. That will give us better information in understanding who is taking drugs, what drugs are being taken, the causes of the overdoses in these communities, and where they are taking place. They will begin that work immediately. There are a number of other initiatives that we are taking to make sure we are working with coroners, medical examiners, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Statistics Canada, and multiple organizations, to get the data we need that will drive the change to save lives.