NDP MPs Charlie Angus of Timmins- James Bay and Carol Hughes Algoma-Manitoulin – Kapuskasing are backing the party’s first initiative in the new parliamentary session – a private member’s bill that would help families dealing with loved ones who use or are addicted to drugs.
Angus says if passed, among other things the NDP’s bill would decriminalize drug possession for personal use and expand access to crucial harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services.
He adds practically everyone living in Northern Ontario has been touched by the opioid crisis in some way.
Hughes adds it is time to stop treating people who are addicted like criminals and get them the help they need adding the bill will save lives.
Last year, Toronto and the province of BC applied to the federal government for the decriminalization of drugs for personal use, a step recommended by the Liberal government’s own Expert Task Force on substance use.
In 2020 alone, the opioid crisis claimed 4,395 lives in Canada, which is equivalent to 12 deaths a day.