Trudeau to recriminalize narcotics in BC after intense backlash

As part of what they called a “pilot project,” the NDP government in that province requested an exemption in 2022 to federal drug laws, decriminalizing possession of small amounts of certain illegal drugs.

After a week of relentless questions in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that his government would recriminalize the public use of hard drugs in BC

During the daily Question Period, in response to another query from Official Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre about the status of BC’s request to reverse the drug policy, Trudeau revealed that the Liberal government approved the request on Monday.

“Mr. Speaker, we see the extent to which the Leader of the Opposition will make attacks on the backs of the most vulnerable people in this country. We actually only received a completed request from British Columbia, Friday, last week and got approved the following Monday, three days later, Mr. Speaker, we will always respond quickly, in a science-based way when people's lives are on the line. The Leader of the Opposition is continuing to spread falsehoods, Mr. Speaker, instead of actually following the facts and caring for Canadians”

As part of what they called a “pilot project,” the NDP government in that province requested an exemption in 2022 to federal drug laws, decriminalizing possession of small amounts of certain illegal drugs, including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine.

At the time, then-federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett claimed the exemption would be a step forward in arresting BC’s escalating drug epidemic because “Eliminating criminal penalties for those carrying small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use will reduce stigma and harm and provide another tool for British Columbia to end the overdose crisis.”

Poilievre expressed concern that Trudeau would next approve a request from Toronto to decriminalize drugs within its city limits, saying Trudeau “refuses to rule out repeating this disastrous experiment that killed 2500 British Colombians, because he strongly supports decriminalization. And if he got a chance he would do it all over again in Toronto, Montreal and anywhere else.”

“Mr. Speaker The final question, therefore is even the radical NDP government in BC asked for him to reverse his decriminalization. Why did it take him 10 days and 66 more deaths to do it?”

On Monday, Poilievre recounted how the BC Soccer Association had written a letter entitled “A Cry for Change.”

“Volunteers with the organization have found dirty needles that can puncture innocent children in the playing field. Other BC fields have had women raped and overdose [and[ have found addicts naked, have had pets actually overdose because there's so much drug contamination on this site. Are they thinking over there?” Poilievre asked.

Trudeau suggested Tuesday in response to Poilevre’s questions that Toronto’s request for drug decriminalization would not be approved without the concurrence of the Ontario provincial government. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has indicated that he will fight any such policy “tooth and nail.”
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