B.C. Breaks Federal Law to Address Opioid Crisis
Canada's unprecedented opioid crisis has forced the British Columbia government to ignore federal law concerning safe injection facilities and open 5 new facilities in the lower mainland. These facilities are illegal, but reflect the dire situation many communities are facing. In the words of Terry Lake, Minister of Health for British Columbia:
“We can’t wait for federal changes in order to save people’s lives. We know people are using in alleys, they are using in their rooms, and they are not where the people who can help them are. And so in the face of this crisis, we really just wanted to do more.”
BC's move seems to have pushed the federal government to take additional action to address the public health crisis by proposing legislation that will make it easier for these facilities to open. The legislation will be introduced on Monday and make changes to drug laws in Canada around supervised use of drugs.