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Vancouver seeks safe drug supply, more funding in overdose battle

FILE - Registered nurse Sammy Mullally holds a tray of supplies to be used by a drug addict at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday May 11, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

Mayor Kennedy Stewart says immediate action needs to be taken to prioritize a safe, regulated drug supply

The task force is also seeking more than $3 million in additional federal funding

VANCOUVER – A task force created by the mayor of Vancouver to address the ongoing drug overdose crisis has made eight more recommendations, including a call for the federal government to ensure a safe drug supply and provide more money to help those at risk.

Vancouver council approved 31 recommendations from the Mayor’s Overdose Emergency Task Force in December and received a progress report Tuesday.

The staff report says 14 actions have been completed and progress has been made on 16 more, while the eight new recommendations come from a specialized team of front-line workers, residents and city officials.

Those proposals include issuing a statement declaring a “drug poisoning crisis,” as well as support for drug policy reforms that could pave the way for creation of a safe drug supply.

The task force is also seeking more than $3 million in additional federal funding to bolster existing overdose prevention strategies in Vancouver.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart says immediate action needs to be taken to prioritize a safe, regulated drug supply while also increasing investments in services aimed at preventing overdoses.