Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and privilege to table this petition on behalf of constituents from Courtenay, Parksville, Qualicum and Port Alberni. They are concerned about the over 12,500 Canadians who have died as a result of an opioid overdose or fentanyl–poisoned sources. The number of preventable deaths has surpassed the total number of deaths of all public health emergencies in the last 20 years, including SARS, H1N1 and Ebola. The current war on drugs has been costly and grossly ineffective. The petitioners cite that it has resulted in a widespread stigma toward addiction and those who use illicit drugs.
First, they are calling on the government to declare the current opioid overdose and fentanyl-poisoning crisis a national public health emergency under the Emergencies Act in order to manage and resource it, with the aim to reduce and eliminate preventable deaths.
Second, they would like to reform current drug policy to decriminalize personal possession.
Third, they would like to create, with urgency and immediacy, a system to provide safe, unadulterated access to substances so people who use substances experimentally, recreationally or chronically are not at imminent risk of overdose due to a contaminated source.