Health Minister hesitant to declare national emergency on opioids

Photo credit Melinda Trochu

Leaders across Canada are calling on Ottawa to take temporary control of all health services to fight the opioid crisis.

Minister of Health Jane Philpott says there is no need to implement a bill that allows the federal government greater power in a national crisis.

“To meet the criteria to enact the emergencies act legislation, means that the provinces and territories have literally come to the end of their capacity and require the federal government to step in and take over the delivery of health services, which is not at that state. The territories are working hard to address this. The good news is that there is nothing that the emergency act would give us that we don’t already have.”

Yellowknife RCMP have made it clear that China is the main source of opioids coming into Canada. Minister Philpott says this does not harm the close relationship between the two countries.

“The minister for public safety is working with the government of china to address how we can recognize the importation of substances. But there is also alot of work that needs to be done on the treatment side. When we do find that people have developed a dependency called opioid use disorder that we get them as rapidly as possible into treatment.”

Philpott says the liberal government is in the process of submitting legislation that would make it easier for communities to have supervised opioid consumption sites.

About the Author

Brandon Maher
Brandon Maher is a feature reporter with CKLB who comes from the muggy-air filled streets of Cambridge, Ontario. A graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Niagara College, Brandon has also worked with Rogers TV in Kitchener and Shaw TV in Calgary. For questions, concerns and story ideas contact Brandon at 867-446-6417.

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