Mr. Speaker, I rise today, presenting a petition with approximately 900 signatures on it. These individuals are calling on the government to take a different approach to current drug policies than what we have.
In particular, the petitioners are asking for the government to look at decriminalization as a form of treating the opioid epidemic that exists in our country right now. They note that, between January 2016 and June 2021, there have been roughly 25,000 deaths in Canada related to this particular problem. They also note that over 30 countries have implemented some form of decriminalization and studied the impacts. The petitioners also note that Canadian health, human rights and law enforcement sectors have endorsed decriminalization options. Therefore, they are calling on the government to take a different approach and decriminalize the use of drugs for personal use so that this can be treated as a health crisis.