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e-3004 (Health)

Initiated by Berit Beattie from Toronto, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Since January 2016, there have been over 16,500 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada;
  • For the first time in 40 years, our country’s life expectancy has stalled, attributed by Statistics Canada to the opioid crisis;
  • The overdose crisis in Canada is a public health emergency, as has already been declared by British Columbia's Provincial Health Officer and several municipalities across Canada;
  • Organizations such as the Canadian Public Health Association and the Police Chiefs of Canada as well as health officers including Dr. Theresa Tam, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and Dr. Eileen De Villa endorse full decriminalization. Further, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations have recommended drug decriminalization in a call for more progressive drug policy; and,
  • In light of the COVID-19 pandemic with the implications of isolation, economic hardship, and worsening toxicity of drugs on the street due to a disrupted illicit drug supply chain, the opioid crisis is worsening with an accelerating death rate.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to create an evidence-based diversion framework to ensure that police and prosecutors only proceed with criminal charges if it is inadequate to issue a warning or to refer individuals in need to health care services;
2. Reframe the overdose crisis in Canada as a health issue rather than a criminal issue; and,
3. Remove barriers to seeking treatment.
Open for signature
December 3, 2020, at 2:31 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
April 2, 2021, at 2:31 p.m. (EDT)
Photo - Nathaniel Erskine-Smith
Beaches—East York
Liberal Caucus
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