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Jagmeet Singh addresses opioid crisis in Address to B.C. NDP at party convention

05 Nov 17
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Jagmeet Singh says he has witnessed the devastation of British Columbia’s opioid overdose epidemic and it breaks his heart.

The federal New Democrat Party leader said he visited with an overdose prevention site in Vancouver this week where he saw people struggling with addiction and learned how to administer the overdose-busting medication Naloxone.

Singh told about two thousand delegates attending the B.C. NDP conference on Saturday that Canada’s drug laws must reflect that drug addiction is a social justice issue and not a criminal justice issue. He called on the national government to announce opioid addiction a national catastrophe.

Singh drew a standing ovation when he said the New Democrats would decriminalize personal possession of all drugs, not just marijuana.

“I found that people’s lives are being ruined while the national government does little or nothing and it breaks my heart,” he said. “I saw with my own eyes the devastation of the opioid crisis.”

Singh said dependence is rooted in problems of poverty and mental health.

“To me poverty, mental health and addictions do not sound like criminal justice issues,” he said. “They seem to me like a social justice issue. That’s why I am calling for the decriminalization of personal possession offences in regards to drugs to make a difference in the lives of individuals and really bring real change{}”

Singh, elected NDP leader last month, said the federal New Democrats must become the party that represents the lives and hopes of Canadians.

“We get it,” he said. “We’re the party that hears the tales of individuals, the struggles. We have to be the party that inspires Canadians. This makes their hearts beat faster{}”

Before, B.C. Premier John Horgan told delegates the provincial party is observing forming authorities after 16 years of Liberal administrations, but serious conclusions about the Site C dam and Kinder Morgan pipeline are forward.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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