Contamination of street drugs with fentanyl is killing our neighbours, family members, and friends. More than ten thousand lives have been lost since the provincial government declared this a public health emergency six years ago. This is a devastating consequence of Canada’s drug prohibition.
OneCity will deepen Vancouver’s commitment to harm reduction, work to bring a safer supply of drugs to everyone who needs it, and treat substance use as a health and social issue, not a criminal one.
While many decisions rest with higher levels of government, there is plenty Vancouver can do to keep people safe. OneCity will listen to and work with people who use drugs who know what must be done to keep them alive. We will work to give them access to drugs that won’t kill them, and supports to feel a part of their community.
Vancouverites have been responding to overdoses and poisoned drugs for more than two decades. Frontline first responders, often volunteers from the community, have saved countless lives. They have experience reversing drug poisonings. We should learn from their efforts and make sure they have the resources they require.
Vancouver cannot end the drug poisoning emergency on its own. OneCity will use our voices as municipal leaders to advocate to higher levels of government for swift and decisive action. Half measures are clearly not enough to stop thousands of our residents and neighbours dying every year.