Surrey’s overdose crisis needs immediate action from the Christy Clark government

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Police-SirenVICTORIA—New Democrats have tabled legislation that would take action on Surrey’s overdose crisis, but Christy Clark continues to delay, calling for action from the federal government.

“Just weeks ago, people in Surrey saw 36 overdoses in 48 hours. But still the Christy Clark government thinks it’s good enough to call for action from the federal government,” said Sue Hammell, New Democrat MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers.

“When lives are at stake, that’s just not good enough. The premier is prepared to wait. New Democrats aren’t.”

New Democrats are calling for immediate action on the crisis. Yesterday, New Democrat public safety spokesperson Mike Farnworth tabled provincial legislation to restrict the use of pill presses and other equipment. Pill presses can manufacture 3,000 pills of fentanyl hourly, while commercial tablet machines can produce 10,000 to 18,000 pills per hour.

“Alberta passed similar legislation with all-party support just a few months ago. I hope the B.C. Liberals will see the urgency of this crisis and support this legislation,” said Harry Bains, New Democrat MLA for Surrey-Newton.

“The Christy Clark government should be using every tool it can to combat this crisis. Instead, the premier is waiting for action from the prime minister. Surrey can’t wait. We need action today.”

In the first half of this year, this province lost 371 British Columbians to overdoses.

“This week, drug-user support groups became so frustrated with government inaction, they set up a makeshift supervised injection site in Surrey,” said Bruce Ralston, New Democrat MLA for Surrey-Whalley.

“They know that this is a public health crisis and action is required now, and so do people in Surrey whose neighbours, friends and family members could be at risk. But Christy Clark just doesn’t get it.”