BC Liberals: NDP ignores emergency deadlines instead of taking action on drug toxicity crisis

THE BC Liberals said on Tuesday that the heartbreaking tragedy of B.C.’s overdose crisis continues to deepen as the government fails to meet the first deadline set out by the BC Coroner’s Death Review Panel report.

“Today’s updated Illicit Drug Toxicity report is a clear reminder that urgent action is needed to help save lives to overdose here in B.C.,” said Trevor Halford, Opposition Mental Health and Addictions Critic. “With 174 people lost to overdose in February 2022, there is a pressing need for [Premier] John Horgan and the NDP to act. The latest Death Review Panel outline provides clear deadlines, yet the first one has already passed without any action. It’s shocking that this NDP government not only refuses to accept the panel’s recommendations, but outright rejects this urgent timeline.”

The 2022 Death Review Panel called on the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to prioritize a set of actions ​by April 11, 2022, that include completing a substance use system of care framework. This specific recommendation, once prioritized, is to be completed by June 9, 2022.

“I continue to urge John Horgan and his government to immediately accept all 23 of the panel’s recommendations and ensure a coherent, province-wide strategy is adopted throughout B.C. so when someone reaches out for help, they can immediately get the services they need in their community. Indefensibly, month after month, people in need still aren’t getting that from this government,” said Halford. “The NDP’s patchwork approach is not working. It’s time for John Horgan to prove his government takes this crisis seriously. We simply cannot continue to let these deadlines lapse with no action taken to get people the help they need.”