As a Member of the Standing Committee on Health, I am immensely proud of the swift action that our Government is taking to save the lives of thousands of Canadians through Bill C-37. I was pleased to see this Bill pass in committee this afternoon, where it will return to the House of Commons for a third reading. This bill takes a harm reduction approach to solving Canada’s opioid crisis, making it easier for affected communities to work in partnership with the federal government. Our Government knows that more must be done to stop the flow of illicit drugs, while strengthening the systems in place for licensed controlled substances facilities.
Hearing from dozens of expert witnesses on this issue, it is clear that this Bill takes appropriate action to combat the crisis. In 2016, over 900 people died from drug overdose, an 80% increase from 2015. This tragic crisis continues to move eastward in Canada, with increasing drug seizures of fentanyl and carfentanil across the country. Bill C-37 continues our Government’s response to this crisis in a way that is comprehensive, collaborative, and compassionate.
We will continue to work with our colleagues in the House of Commons, and our partners across the country to bring forward evidence-based solutions to save lives, and to ensure that 2017 is the year that marks a turn on this national public health crisis. I will be supporting Bill C-37 for its monumental approach to solving this public health crisis.