Thornthwaite joins outcry of mayors demanding more resources for municipalities to tackle addictions

NORTH VANCOUVER (September 27, 2019) – Mental Health and Addictions Critic, MLA for North Vancouver Jane Thornthwaite convened a roundtable at UBCM yesterday regarding the immediate need for government action to help municipalities around the province deal with addictions and the opioid crisis.

“Thank you to all who attended the mental health and addictions roundtable yesterday at UBCM,” said Thornthwaite. “I sympathize with those who raised concerns over ‘compassion fatigue’ in communities throughout B.C. The overdose crisis has not only impacted people in major cities, but all around the province, and has saddled municipalities with rising costs.”

Needle and garbage clean-up in city parks and school playgrounds, rising safety costs, and increased crime levels are just a few of the issues affecting communities around B.C. Resources such as action teams may be useful, but they are not enough to help municipalities with crippling costs, and they do nothing to end the cycle of addiction and get people into recovery.

“The roundtable discussion reinforced calls for the NDP government to act immediately to invest in a continuum of care for mental health and addictions in B.C.,” concluded Thornthwaite. “Long-term options such as publicly-funded recovery beds are critical to ending the cycle of addiction that has been intensified by the opioid crisis. We need a mental health system that is able to act early, save lives and help people into long-term recovery.”

The number of people overdosing is not going down, British Columbians deserve action and municipalities deserve a true partnership to tackle the crisis effectively. Only when John Horgan and the NDP invest in a seamless mental health and addictions system province-wide can we expect to see an improvement in health outcomes, which will have a ripple-effect to easing the significant issues being faced across all municipalities.

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