Original language of petition: English
We, the undersigned residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons in Parliament Assembled to the following:
Whereas over 4000 Canadians died in 2017 and over 2,800 in 2016 due to preventable opioid overdose resulting from fentanyl-poisoned sources. The number of preventable deaths has surpassed the total number of deaths of all other Public Health Emergencies in the last 20 years including SARS, H1N1, and Ebola. Those who have died as a result of a preventable opioid overdose from fentanyl-poisoned sources were valued citizens of this country; our children, siblings, spouses, parents, family members, clients, friends.
And whereas Substance use is a normal part of human experience; documented across centuries and all over the world. The current war on drugs has been costly and grossly ineffective and resulted in widespread stigma towards addiction and against those who use illicit drugs. Criminalization of particular substances has resulted in the establishment of a drug trade that now traffics dangerous and lethal products, such as fentanyl. Regulating to ensure safe sources, with proper measures and bylaws, will reduce the criminal element associated with street drugs. Problematic substance use is a health issue and is not resolved through criminalizing personal possession and consumption. Decriminalization of personal possession is associated with dramatically reducing overdose deaths in the countries that have modernized their drug policy.
Therefore, We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada call upon the Government of Canada to:
The Government of Canada is deeply concerned about problematic substance use in Canada, including the ongoing opioid overdose crisis and the devastating impact it is having on the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Tragically, there were 13,319 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada between January 2016 and June 2019.
The Government of Canada is using the broad range of powers at its disposal to address this complex public health crisis.
The Government of Canada is committed to taking a public health approach to substance use through the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy. The Strategy includes four pillars – prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement – and is designed to be comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate and evidence-based. The Government is placing particular focus on:
The Government of Canada recognizes that the overwhelming majority of deaths caused by the opioid overdose crisis are due to a street drug supply that is contaminated with highly toxic substances, such as fentanyl. The Government is taking a series of actions to address this issue, including:
The Government of Canada has made substantial investments to address the overdose crisis. Recent examples of key federal investments in this area include:
In order to prevent and reduce the harms of problematic substance use, including to enable access to evidence-based treatment and support recovery, the Government has undertaken a broad range of policy, legislative and regulatory actions, including:
We are focusing on a safer supply and building the evidence base for this public health intervention. The use of pharmaceutical-grade opioids to treat opioid use disorder is an established medical practice, supported by research and peer-reviewed clinical guidance. The federal government has taken steps towards increasing access to pharmaceutical-grade medications, including making prescription opioids used in the treatment of severe opioid disorder more easily accessible to healthcare practitioners, reducing regulatory barriers, and funding national clinical guidelines for the management of opioid use disorders.
Certain programs, sometimes referred to as “safer supply”, build on these established models in an attempt to reach a wider range of people at risk of overdose and create additional pathways to health and social services. The federal government is supporting pilot projects to increase access to pharmaceutical-grade medications as a safer alternative to the contaminated illegal drug supply. As part of its approach, the federal government is also supporting a comprehensive evaluation of the pilot projects to develop valuable evidence on effective service models and help develop best practices.
To protect the health and safety of all Canadians, any prescription-grade medications, including those that may be used in safer supply programs, may only be provided with the appropriate oversight of a qualified healthcare provider (e.g., a physician or a nurse practitioner), as per the parameters of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and its regulations, as well as applicable provincial, territorial, and professional regulatory requirements.
In Canada, our circumstances require that we undertake a comprehensive and collaborative approach across all provinces and territories. No single organization or level of government alone can solve the opioid overdose crisis. All levels of government, a wide range of stakeholders and all Canadians who are impacted by opioid use must work together to reduce opioid-related overdoses and deaths, and improve the health and well-being of Canadians who use drugs.
Through the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy, the Government of Canada remains firmly committed to addressing all forms of problematic substance use with a public health approach that is comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, and evidence based.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
Petitions identical to 431-00041 (Health)
|Identical Petition||Presenter||Date of Presentation||Signatures|
|431-00041||Gord Johns||January 28, 2020||147|
|431-00130||Gord Johns||March 9, 2020||27|
|431-00100||Gord Johns||February 21, 2020||26|
|431-00081||Alistair MacGregor||February 18, 2020||25|
|431-00046||Gord Johns||January 30, 2020||63|