The City is bringing forward additional measures to support front-line workers battling the fentanyl opioid crisis. This includes $220,000 that will support harm reduction to prevent overdose deaths in Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels and shelters, where a quarter of overdose deaths occur; an additional $150,000 is allocated for mental health training and support for first responders.
I am saddened and horrified by yesterday’s attack in a Quebec City mosque, and join the Muslim community’s shock and disbelief by this desecration. This baseless attack affects us all in Vancouver as we strive to be a beacon of diversity and inclusion. We have to keep speaking up against intolerance and hatred.
Vancouver is known throughout the world for our remarkable diversity. We have a longstanding commitment to welcoming refugees and their families in times of need. This proud history of helping refugees start new lives with hope, security, and freedom is at the heart of what makes Vancouver such an inclusive and compassionate city.
Today, Vancouver City Council approved the first round of new investments out of $3.5 million allocated to address the fentanyl opioid crisis. The new funding comes on the heels of new data from Vancouver Coastal Health showing Vancouver had the highest number (215) and highest rate of deaths of all BC cities in 2016.
City Hall’s first public hearing of 2017 saw progress on delivering over 300 new homes in partnership between the City and non-profit sector: Vancouver Masonic Centre (149 new homes), Fair Haven United Church (137 new homes) and Covenant House (75 new shelter spaces). All three projects approved are being developed in partnership with BC Housing.
Today Council heard the latest update from City staff and Vancouver Coastal Health on how the fentanyl opioid crisis is affecting all corners of Vancouver. We had the highest number (215) and highest rate of deaths of all BC cities last year - first responders at Firehall #2 alone responded to nearly 3,000 overdose calls, nearly triple the number than in 2015.