Mr. Speaker, there are two pandemics in the country right now. We have COVID and and opioid pandemic. The opioid pandemic is very similar to COVID, in cutting across all sectors of society: rural, urban, rich and poor. I want to ask my hon. colleague about what he has seen in his community.
We know that in our Far North, the communities in Treaty 9 are so desperate to stop the opioids that they have people at the airports trying to stop the drugs from coming in because they have no other supports. In the city of Timmins, the police are working with mental health workers on the streets, trying to deal with this because they recognize that this is beyond criminal. This is a massive mental health crisis and we are seeing deaths, suffering and families being broken apart from the devastation from these drugs. We really want to be able to stop the pushers who are making these drugs, particularly fentanyl and its destructive nature, but we need to have measures of support to get people out of the nightmare of opioid addictions.
What has my hon. colleague seen on the west coast and what steps can we take in this Parliament in the midst of this COVID pandemic to deal with the other pandemic, the opioid crisis?