White Rock is a wonderful place to live, with friendly people, and I am glad I retired here.
However, it is a very sad situation with our neighbours in Surrey who are experiencing a drug-overdose epidemic. There have been 33 deaths in the first quarter of this year alone and the numbers continue to rise.
Due to the seriousness of this matter, StatsCan compiled a report after collecting data from the 332 deaths that took place in Surrey from 2011 to 2016. They found that the majority of deaths were men that had not been in contact with the police department and had held employment two years prior to their fatal overdose. They were ordinary people – what happened?
StatsCan also recommended identifying primary risks and developing interventions to prevent future overdoses and save lives.
Over the past three years, Back on Track has provided clean, safe homes for 1,200 men. There have been no fatalities at any of their homes and they are affordable to a person and, in many cases, to that loved one’s family. They are clearly acting on the federal government’s recommendation through StatsCan and accomplishing success that might save a family’s grief when their loved one dies a senseless death to this overwhelming drug crisis.
To Shane Simpson, minister of social development and poverty reduction, may I ask you, with all due respect, why are you not allowing Back on Track the registration required to continue this service that is so desperately needed in our community?
Burke Elizabeth Austin, White Rock