Mr. Speaker, over 10,000 Canadians have died from overdoses in the last three years alone. There are few communities in Canada that have not felt the scourge of the opioid crisis.
Unfortunately, my riding of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford is not one of them. I want to recognize the efforts of community organizations and individuals who are on the front lines. They include the Westshore AVI Health Centre in Langford, the Our Cowichan Community Health Network and our brave first responders. They include people like Will Arnold, the owner of Experience Cycling, who is leading efforts in community cleanup; and the staff at the City of Duncan's overdose prevention site, which has reported thousands of visits with no deaths since operations began in 2017.
We need a federal government with the courage to declare a national emergency and explore the decriminalization and medical regulation of substance use. Using a criminal justice approach to tackle this health crisis has been an abject failure. We must do better. We can do better.