New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart. (Facebook)

New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart. (Facebook)

Emergency task force calls for safe supply of drugs in Vancouver to prevent ODs

Dr. Patricia Daly says more people are dying alone in the city than elsewhere in the province

Vancouver’s mayor says he will direct staff to look for sites where drug users can access safe opioids to prevent overdoses as part of a plan recommended by an emergency task force calling for more services for people who are dying alone.

Kennedy Stewart says the number of overdose deaths has remained about the same as last year despite the best efforts of front-line workers, first responders and health professionals who seem to be fighting a losing battle.

The sites where hydromorphone may be supplied are part of an approved research project involving the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, which had already suggested making the opioid available in vending machines.

READ MORE: New in-depth report sheds light on who in B.C. is dying of drug overdoses

Dr. Patricia Daly, the chief medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health and a member of the task force, says more people are dying alone in the city than elsewhere in the province because of the high number of single-room occupancy hotels and shelters, and they need alarm systems, apps or other ways to get help.

Stewart formed the task force last month shortly after taking office.

He says the report that also calls for $2.7 million in funding from the province and $770,000 from the federal government will go before city council on Thursday for approval.

The B.C. Coroners Service recorded 369 deaths in Vancouver last year and by September this year, 297 people had died.

Stewart says he has discussed Vancouver’s overdose crisis with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who seemed to be deeply sympathetic about the issue.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Canada’s Janet Leung steals second base during playoff action at the Softball Americas Olympic Qualifier tournament in South Surrey on August 31, 2019. Leung and her teammates have not been back to Softball City since, as the 2020 and now ‘21 Canada Cup tournaments have been cancelled. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck photo)
Canada Cup softball event cancelled for second straight year

Travel restrictions, health and safety concerns cited as reasons for cancellation

A Grade 8 student at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Teachers demand ‘urgent action’ as parts of Surrey see 20% positivity rate

26 schools in the hardest-hit region of the city had 105 exposure notices April 23-29

Children walk back to their classroom while wearing masks and physical distancing at St. Barnabas Catholic School in Scarborough, Ont., in October, 2020. A group of B.C. teachers has issued an open letter calling for the relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions for children in B.C. schools. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)
Group of B.C. teachers calls for easing of pandemic measures for students

Teacher group says ‘response to COVID is out of balance to the cost our youth are paying’

Deb Jack was named Surrey’s Good Citizen of the Year in 2012. (File photo)
Environmentalists’ delegation takes aim at Bear Creek Park road project

‘Bear Creek Park is ours – a natural heritage,’ Deb Jack says

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Boats in the Fraser River launched from Barrowtown and Ft. Langley on May 12 to search for the missing fisherman. (Steve Simpson)
Boats search the Fraser River for missing Abbotsford fisherman

Anyone with ‘a boat, time, or a drone’ to help bring Damian Dutrisac home was asked to help

Vancouver court on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Defence lawyers call foul as Crown counsel granted access to COVID-19 vaccines

Defence attorneys are pushing the province to extend inoculation access to workers in courtrooms across B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Fraser Health still unsure if 333 cases of COVID among students, teachers were acquired in school

88 cases of 267 cases the health authority considers to be school-acquired lead to spread outside of school

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two police shootings of members of a small First Nations community in three months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Indigenous leaders call for clarity, investigation into RCMP after B.C. shooting

The RCMP declined to comment on the requests by Indigenous leaders

Colleen Price, Vancouver Island University’s bachelor of science in nursing program chairperson, says she is impressed with how students have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Next generation of B.C. nurses already showing resilience

University program head says learning had to be adjusted amidst pandemic

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Most Read