Madam Speaker, we were here to talk about tourism and the importance of tourism, which was exciting to my heart as a member representing one of the most popular tourism destinations in Canada, the Niagara region, where 15 million people visit annually. However, the hon. member did not really pose any questions in regard to that.
I will speak to the issue. I wish he had brought this up earlier so that I could have better information. It is disappointing to hear from Conservatives, not only here but in our provincial legislatures as well, in terms of harm reduction, the view that people who are addicted should be treated as criminals and there is no desire to reach out, provide assistance and use programs that work.
I was very happy to see the Doug Ford government break an election promise in St. Catharines, when it allowed for the creation of a supervised injection site. We have seen the incredible work that is being done. I am sure the hon. member on the other side would scoff and say that we are giving needles to addicts, looking down on the most vulnerable people in our society.
However, the people at Positive Living Niagara who are operating this supervised injection site are saving lives. It is disappointing to see the misinformation being spread by the Conservatives in terms of preventative measures on health. We should look at addiction as a health concern. It is disappointing to see our Conservative friends thinking that police action could solve the problem.
We are seeing thousands of Canadians die every year from the opioid crisis. I believe it was 4,000 last year. We need partners from the Conservative Party to stand up and say that we need evidence-based solutions. I cannot speak specifically to the program that the member has brought up, but I know that the needle exchange in my community is working. It is saving lives. It is helping people. It is stopping the spread of diseases, like HIV and hepatitis C which is on the increase in a place like St. Catharines.
It is truly disappointing. I wish we had a partner in the Conservatives to say that there are science-based solutions to help stop this epidemic. It is sad that we do not have that.
Perhaps there will be a tourism question coming afterwards, and I will be happy to answer it.