Federal Liberal Budget Ignores Opioid Crisis: MP Davies

VANCOUVER – NDP Health Critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) today expressed deep disappointment at the Liberal budget’s failure to combat the emergency opioid crisis.

“Even though Canada is facing a national health crisis with thousands dying from opioid overdoses, this Budget allocates precisely zero emergency funding to fight this epidemic,” Davies said. “That is a shocking omission and a particular failure for British Columbians who stand at the epicentre of this crisis.”

The Liberals’ Canadian Drugs and Substance Strategy is $110 million over five years, but that is an 80% cut of the $556,468,517 that the previous Conservative government planned to spend from 2017 to 2022 on the National Anti-drug Strategy.

The federal Liberal budget also makes deep cuts to addictions treatment in the middle of the opioid crisis. In 2012, the Conservatives cut funding for addictions treatment by approximately 20 percent, allocating $150 million over five years. But that’s $40 million more than the Liberals’ entire allocation for the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy.

“Too many Canadians have died and too many lives are at risk every single day due to opioid addiction,” added Davies. “Canadians don’t need more empty words and broken promises; they need support from the federal government to finally curb the opioid crisis.”

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