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Police chiefs, public health authorities, NDP, Greens increasingly united around calls for drug decriminalization amid overdose uptick

By Mike Lapointe      

'In the pandemic, during the lockdowns, people are using alone a lot more, which is partly why we’ve seen a big spike in overdose deaths,' says Green Party MP Paul Manly, who also pointed to increases in tainted drugs during COVID-19 supply-chain disruptions.

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam pictured speaking with reporters at a media availability on Aug. 4 in West Block to update Canadians on the response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Amid increasing calls from MPs, police chiefs, and public health authorities for the decriminalization of illegal drugs in the midst of a rapidly worsening overdose epidemic, the Trudeau government have made recent moves on safe supply and supervised-consumption sites, while stopping short of promising further movement on decriminalization.

Mike Lapointe

Mike Lapointe joined the The Hill Times in June 2019 and covers the federal public service, deputy ministers, the Privy Council Office, public service unions, the Phoenix pay system, the machinery of government, and the Parliament Hill media.
- mlapointe@hilltimes.com


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‘Six systemic crises’ confronting Canada, and politicians, policy-makers, health-care professionals need ‘systems thinking’ to tackle them, says public policy expert

News|By Mike Lapointe
Global Brief magazine editor Irvin Studin says politicians and policy-makers' thinking is 'too small, it’s too linear, it’s too path dependent, and it looks increasingly absurd as these systemic crises.'

Canada needs a new ‘fiscal anchor’ and Freeland needs to share financial plans, says PBO Giroux

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux says he's found it 'much more difficult to get information out of the minister’s officer' since Parliament returned with Chrystia Freeland in charge of the nation's finances.

House emergency debate on Nova Scotia lobster conflict underway, as feds say Indigenous people ‘let down,’ more police deployed to ‘keep peace’ amid rising tensions

News|By Palak Mangat
'Because these criminal actions and violence have escalated, the response from the police in Nova Scotia has by necessity also escalated,' says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.

Demolition work well underway in the Centre Block

Workers are currently removing the painted canvas that lined the ceiling of the House of Commons Chamber and stained glass from the Memorial Chamber for restoration.

Senators zip lips on Meredith deal that includes gag order for harassed former staffers

Senators on the Internal Economy Committee have little to say about approving a deal to bind Don Meredith's harassment victims to silence in order to receive compensation for their treatment.

MPs, Taiwanese envoy highlight opportunities to strengthen relations between Taiwan, Canada amid COVID-19 fallout, China tensions

News|By Mike Lapointe
Liberal MP John McKay says closer cooperation with Taiwan in the current environment represents a ‘massive opportunity with little or no downside’

NDP open to Tory special committee on WE scandal, says MP Julian, as Liberals slam the proposal

News|By Palak Mangat
Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez would not rule out turning next week's possible vote into one of confidence, which the NDP called ‘very bizarre.’

A parliamentary recognition of Uyghur genocide will be met with a ‘strong reaction,’ says Chinese ambassador

News|By Neil Moss
'We will take resolute measures to safeguard our sovereignty, national security, and the development interests,' Chinese Ambassador Cong Peiwu says.

Senate art group turns focus to restoration, finding gaps in Indigenous representation

‘We can do it in small steps and make big impacts,’ says Senator Patricia Bovey of a plan to broaden the Indigenous works the Chamber highlights, and help with reconciliation.
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