Mr. Speaker, I do not question the member's concern on this. Obviously, all of us are concerned about the crisis. There were 900 fatalities in her province last year. She says that it has to be community consent. It is community consult. The amendment states that there be a 45-day consultation period with the community. It is not asking for a consensual agreement. The senate has asked that communities be given the opportunity of 45 days before safe injections sites are brought to their communities. Again, it is almost like the heavy hand of Ottawa coming down saying it knows best in every community across this land. I disagree with that.
However, I do agree that we need to look for ways we can adequately move forward and recognize the significance of what we see. This issue did not begin 10 years ago under our government. In 2001-02, I was on that non-medical drug committee when we travelled the country and the issue was there. We have new opioids being brought forward almost monthly. It might be a bit of an exaggeration, but if it is not OxyContin, it is fentanyl. If it is not that, it will be something else, many of which are concocted in the basements of homes and garages. Like Senator White, I hate to use the word “drugs”. They are poison in some cases.
The fact is that the safe injection site is not the answer to the problem. It may be an answer, but it is not the answer, especially a safe injection site that cannot give counsel to the individual, the third amendment. The shameful part is not bring forward measures that would simply keep the issue going as it is now, the status quo, but that seeing some effective changes.
I am disappointed the member is so anxious, it seems, to open these safe injection sites, but says we do not need counselling within them.