BC NDP’s response to drug crisis under fire by Liberals
Posted February 2, 2023 4:45 pm.
Last Updated February 2, 2023 7:41 pm.
The BC Liberals are criticizing the governing New Democrats’ overall response to the toxic drug crisis, accusing the NDP government of dismissing treatment in favour of harm reduction.
“Harm reduction can be part of the spectrum of services that we provide. My concern with this government is they are entirely focused on going down the harm reduction path and frankly minimizing or dismissing treatment and recovery,” Opposition Leader Kevin Falcon said.
But Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, says this isn’t the case.
“It’s interesting that Kevin Falcon should say that about harm reduction, it’s actually not true. We are spending more money on treatment than harm reduction,” D’Eith said.
Falcon’s comments come just a day after the decriminalization of small amounts of hard drugs for personal use took effect in the province.
If Falcon was in charge, he says he would use $1 billion over three years to expand treatment availability.
“Right now, people can wait days for detox, weeks for a treatment bed,” Falcon said.
The NDP aggress that wait times need to improve, but Falcon says harm reduction should be part of the spectrum of care.
Premier David Eby said this week in Ottawa that the focus of the program is keeping people alive, so they have the chance to get support and treatment when ready.