Lake urges feds to take action on opioid crisis

By The Canadian Press
November 19, 2016 - 11:15am Updated: November 19, 2016 - 11:46am

OTTAWA —  B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake is urging the federal government take additional action to address Canada's opioid crisis, including setting up a nationally co-ordinated surveillance system to track overdoses and other drug-related harm.

British Columbia says 622 people overdose deaths have happened in that province since January _ more than double the number of people who died in car crashes last year.

Lake's comments come after health ministers and other experts gathered in Ottawa to discuss the country's opioid crisis.

In a joint statement released today, Health Canada committed to issuing an update on its opioid action plan by February 2017, including a promise to better inform Canadians of opioid risks.

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott says she is committed to taking additional steps to combat the crisis at the federal level, including reducing barriers for supervised injection sites.

Lake says B.C. wants the federal government to repeal Bill C-2  legislation passed by the previous Conservative government to ensure the sites can be established sooner.

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