Statement from Mayor Gregor Robertson on Overdose Deaths

January 18, 2017 | Safer Communities

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 has never been more urgent to act.  The intensity and frequency of the emergency calls is putting a severe strain on our first responders, and is not sustainable. Better access to addictions treatment and detox on demand is a crucial to save lives and reduce the intense burden on front-line workers.

The Fentanyl crisis is affecting all corners of Vancouver. Next week City Council will vote on next steps to intensify our front lines of response, including establishing a new Community Policing Centre in Strathcona, continuing to support the mobile medic unit, and more naloxone training for City staff working in the community. The City continues to do more than its share in addressing this public health crisis and we will keep pressuring the BC and Federal governments to take immediate action for more treatment, education, and drug policy reform to save lives and solve this public health emergency.

-Mayor Gregor Robertson