Information received from Moms Stop the Harm (https://www.momsstoptheharm.com/actions).
As you may know, the opioid crisis continues to be one of the most devastating public health emergencies of our lifetime, with a death taking place about every two hours on average and an overall death toll of 17,602 (January 2016 to June 2020). As if this wasn’t bad enough, COVID-19 has led to a significant increase in opioid and other drug related fatalities and harms across our country. If we assume that the death rate for the remainder of 2020 is similar to the April to June 2020 rate, then approximately 20,800 people have died in the last five years alone. I think, and I hope you agree, that it is time to ask the federal government to do more to end the overdose crisis, as requested in the MSTH resolution
Thank you for considering this request and for any information you are able to provide.
Petition to Municipalities on the Overdose Crisis
Whereas the opioid crisis is one of the largest public health emergencies of our lifetime, with a death on average about every two hours and a death toll of over 16,360 since 2016 (January 2016 to March 2020).
Whereas other countries have significantly reduced drug-related fatalities with reforms such as legal regulation of illicit drugs to ensure safe supply and decriminalization for personal use.
Whereas the federal government has indicated it is premature to discuss these measures until there are comprehensive supports for people to get well.
Whereas supports are needed, but measures that save lives are essential if people are to survive and access supports.
Whereas the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has stated that they agree the evidence suggests “decriminalization for simple possession as an effective way to reduce the public health and public safety harms associated with substance use”, causing the government to indicate that it is now “deliberating” over decriminalization.
Whereas the overdose crisis rages, showing few signs of abating.
Be it resolved that the Government of Canada declare the overdose crisis a national public health emergency so that it is taken seriously and funded appropriately.
Be it also resolved that the Government of Canada immediately seek input from the people most affected by this crisis and meet with provinces and territories to develop a comprehensive, pan-Canadian overdose action plan, which includes comprehensive supports and full consideration of reforms that other countries have used to significantly reduce drug-related fatalities and stigma, such as legal regulation of illicit drugs to ensure safe supply of pharmaceutical alternatives to toxic street drugs, and decriminalization for personal use.