May 29th, 2024

Conservatives push federal Liberals on drug decimalization after B.C. reverses course

By The Canadian Press on April 29, 2024.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre rises during Question Period, Wednesday, April 17, 2024 in Ottawa. The federal Conservatives are pushing the Liberals to end allowing drug use in public places after British Columbia announced it wants to scale back its pilot on decriminalization. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – The federal Conservatives are pushing the Liberals to end allowing drug use in public after British Columbia announced it wants to scale back its decriminalization pilot project.

B.C. Premier David Eby says the province is looking for an “urgent” change to a Health Canada exemption so that police can step in if they see drug use in public.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre often points to public drug use in cities like Vancouver as examples of a “dangerous experiment” by Eby’s NDP government and the federal Liberals.

Ottawa allowed B.C. to decriminalize small amounts of hard drugs like heroin and fentanyl starting in January 2023, saying it was a way to destigmatize drug use and address the overdose crisis.

Health workers and police have since mounted concerns about the policy’s effect on public safety.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is requesting that the House of Commons hold an emergency debate on the issue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2024.

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