On May 4th, 2017, my Private Member’s Bill, The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (Bill C-224) came into law. Bill C-224 provides limited immunity from drug possession charges to those who call 9-1-1 to save someone who is experiencing a drug overdose.
I originally proposed this bill as a response to one of our generation’s most pressing health issues- the unprecedented opioid crisis. BC was, and remains at, the frontline. I knew that we needed to take preventative measures to decrease fatalities, increase access to help, and destigmatize drug addiction.
The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act garnered huge support from government officials and community organizations alike. It received unanimous support across party lines in the House of Commons, and was seconded by NDP MP Jenny Kwan. In the community the bill was endorsed by the Hon. Mike Farnworth, the Hon. Selina Robinson and Mayor Greg Moore. Local leaders, such as Dr. Barry Buzza, Pastor of Northside Foursquare Church, and Jeff Thompson, Pastor of New Hope Church also lent their support.
The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act is just one of many initiatives that our government is implementing to create a comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, and evidence-based response to Canada’s opioid crisis. For more information on what the Government of Canada is doing to combat the opioid crisis, please visit Canada.ca/opioids.
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