Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty chairs an opioid crisis working group pushing for policies to stop the flow of illicit drugs in Canada. (Victoria Police Department photo)

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty chairs an opioid crisis working group pushing for policies to stop the flow of illicit drugs in Canada. (Victoria Police Department photo)

‘The opioid crisis impacts all of us’: Cariboo Prince Geroge MP Todd Doherty

Todd Doherty is co-chair of Conservative Party caucus opioid crisis working group

Every community across Canada is being impacted by the opioid crisis, said Cariboo Prince George MP Todd Doherty.

“It has a profound effect on mental health challenges, homelessness and the real crime issues that we have in our communities,” he told Black Press Media. “It touches all of us and no one is immune.”

Eighty-one per cent of drug overdoses in 2020 were found to have fentanyl components in the drugs, said Doherty who co-chairs an opioid crisis working group within the Conservative caucus along with MP Foothills MP John Barlow.

Structured in the fall of 2020, the group has about 48 caucus members from all across Canada tasked with developing policy.

Doherty said the group has been pushing the Liberal government to show leadership, work with provincial counterparts, police agencies and Canada Border Services to make sure increased resources are being provided to deal with the illegal flow of fentanyl into the country.

“The sheer volume of this drug that is still flowing into our borders is shocking,” he said, noting the major drug bust that was done by Victoria police in December of last year recovered more than 12 kilograms of fentanyl which was the highest potency ever recovered in a drug bust.

Read more: Police bust fentanyl supply chain, netting drugs, firearms, in Victoria and Lower Mainland

Treatment and rehabilitation programs are needed as well as working with the medical community around the issue of prescribing of opioids for pain medication or pain treatment, Doherty noted, adding legislation is required to update regulating the chemicals and equipment used to make illicit drugs.

“It is not enough to just focus on one area,” he said.

B.C. Emergency Health Services confirmed the number of overdose calls continue to be on the increase in the Williams Lake area.

In 2016 there were 53, in 2017 there were 52, in 2018 there were 72, in 2019 there were 78 and in 2020 there were 114.

So far in 2021, there were 12 in January and seven in February, compared to the same months in 2020 when there were nine calls in January and six calls total in February.

In 2020, BCEHS paramedics responded to more than 27,000 overdose calls.

The total number of responses to overdoses of 27,067 represented an increase of 12 per cent over the previous year.

Paramedics are responding to an average of 74 overdose calls a day in B.C.

Read more: Pandemic aggravates opioid crisis as overdoses rise and services fall out of reach

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

federal governmentopioid crisis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four young women prepare to model Magic Wand dresses at a fashion show. Magic Wand provides grad dresses and tuxedos for a nominal fee. (Submitted File Photo)
Nominations available for Cindrella Dreams Program in Vanderhoof

New organizer excited to help graduates with formal wear

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

District of Vanderhoof municipal office. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof district rejects FOI request for business name

Officials will release more information about the restaurant on May 21

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Most Read