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.
The preventable overdose deaths of 215 people in Vancouver - and 914 across BC in 2016 - is staggering and heartbreaking. We desperately need more health care support for people suffering from addiction to truly break the cycle and keep people alive during this public health emergency.
It’s hard to believe it’s almost the end of 2016 – and what a year it’s been! From building thousands of new homes to meeting many of our Greenest City targets, I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished together this year. We know affordability remains a top concern for many Vancouverites, and we’re struggling with a devastating fentanyl overdose crisis in our city, but we’ve got big plans for at City Hall in 2017. But first, let’s take a moment to celebrate some of the highlights from the past 12 months:
Staff presented an update to Council yesterday on the Transportation 2040 Plan and specifically addressed the goal to have zero transportation fatalities. Transportation 2040 is a long-term strategic vision for the city that guides transportation, land use decisions, and public investments for the years ahead.
Today City Council approved Vancouver’s 2017 Budget, which offers a broad range of services using a limited range of revenue sources. The 2017 Budget makes a record investment in affordable housing, provides new funding to improve city services like permits and licensing, and adds targeted funding to address the fentanyl overdose crisis that is putting a huge strain on City police and fire services.