The City is bringing forward additional measures to support front-line workers battling the fentanyl opioid crisis. This includes $220,000 that will support harm reduction to prevent overdose deaths in Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels and shelters, where a quarter of overdose deaths occur; an additional $150,000 is allocated for mental health training and support for first responders.
I am saddened and horrified by yesterday’s attack in a Quebec City mosque, and join the Muslim community’s shock and disbelief by this desecration. This baseless attack affects us all in Vancouver as we strive to be a beacon of diversity and inclusion. We have to keep speaking up against intolerance and hatred.
Today, Vancouver City Council approved the first round of new investments out of $3.5 million allocated to address the fentanyl opioid crisis. The new funding comes on the heels of new data from Vancouver Coastal Health showing Vancouver had the highest number (215) and highest rate of deaths of all BC cities in 2016.
The preventable overdose deaths of 215 people in Vancouver - and 914 across BC in 2016 - is staggering and heartbreaking. We desperately need more health care support for people suffering from addiction to truly break the cycle and keep people alive during this public health emergency.
It’s hard to believe it’s almost the end of 2016 – and what a year it’s been! From building thousands of new homes to meeting many of our Greenest City targets, I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished together this year. We know affordability remains a top concern for many Vancouverites, and we’re struggling with a devastating fentanyl overdose crisis in our city, but we’ve got big plans for at City Hall in 2017. But first, let’s take a moment to celebrate some of the highlights from the past 12 months: