It has been a year since public health authorities in B.C. declared drug overdose deaths to be a public health emergency. (file photo)

Mayors urge more action to combat addiction crisis

Better data on opioid plague urged

VANCOUVER — Mayors from 13 cities across Canada are calling for a national standard on the collection and sharing of data on overdose deaths along with medical treatment for addiction.

A task force they created has released its initial recommendations to the federal government as British Columbia marks a year since declaring a public health emergency over soaring overdose fatalities.

The cities represented include Vancouver, Surrey, B.C., Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Montreal, and the Ontario cities of Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, London and Kitchener.

“Fentanyl is the leading cause of drug overdose death in one third of the Canadian cities represented by the task force, but there are huge challenges in collecting and accessing basic data, let alone ample and timely access to addictions treatment and care,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who chairs the group.

Only Vancouver and Surrey receive monthly overdose data from local health authorities, the task force said in a news release.

It said just six of the cities — Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Montreal — have access to the most recent information, from last year.

“We need a strong national response to fix this data problem and scale up an immediate increase in medical solutions to save lives,” Robertson said.

“The glaring gaps in drug overdose data mask the seriousness of the fentanyl crisis and are a dangerous barrier to addressing the horrific overdose death toll impacting families across Canada.”

Robertson also called for addiction treatment with medications, such as the painkiller hydromorphone or injectable heroin.

The Crosstown clinic in Vancouver is the only facility in North America to offer such treatment for people who have not succeeded in combating their addiction through other methods.

Task force members have met with the federal ministers of health and public safety to discuss the need for standardized data collection, the release said.

“We can’t end this crisis without clear data on what’s happening on the ground and involving cities is the solution,” Robertson said.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Trail councillors will all be acclaimed

One Trail candidate has withdrawn, leaving six remaining candidates to fill the six council seats

Under the Trail big top

The Trail Sk8 Park broke ground in July, completion is expected next month

RCMP: Trail wildfire investigation continues

The fire broke out behind KBRH the late afternoon of Sept. 11

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it to editor@trailtimes.ca

Storm the Stairs and Trail Kidney Walk this weekend

Grapevine: Events in the Trail area for the week of Sept. 20 to Sept. 26

Fashion Fridays: Rock some animal print

Kim XO, lets you in on the latest fall fashion trends on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Legal society poster seeks complainants against two cops on Downtown Eastside

Pivot Legal Society became aware of allegations made against the officers after a video circulated

Jury to deliberate in case of Calgary man accused of murdering woman

Curtis Healy could be convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter

House arrest for man who abused disabled B.C. woman, then blamed her

‘Groomed complainant’ and ‘violated position of trust,’ judge says

Liberals want to know what Canadians think of legalized weed

The federal government will comb social media for Canadians’ pot-related behaviour

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen boasts of aiding Mueller investigation

Cohen could provide information on whether Trump’s campaign co-ordinated with Russians

Landslide forces evacuations of Philippine villages

More than 1,200 people in villages near the landslide-hit area were forcibly moved by authorities

Students asked about the positive effects of residential schools

Alberta’s education minister apologized after hearing about the online social studies course

Permit to give B.C. deer birth control on hold until consultation with First Nations

Complexity of consultation will depend on level of First Nations support for the project

Most Read