IN THE NEWS- NDP and Liberal MPs getting first-hand look at Portugal's drug decriminalization

IN THE NEWS- While many MPs spend their summer break visiting constituents or attending meetings with local stakeholders, New Democrat Gord Johns and Liberal Brendan Hanley travelled to Portugal this week to see what lessons Canada can learn from the former heroin overdose capital of Europe following its decision to decriminalize all drug use more than two decades ago. 

Johns (Courtenay–Alberni, B.C.), his party’s mental health and harm reduction critic, said in a July 6 interview he hopes to learn from the country’s policymakers, as well as frontline health-care and harm-reduction service providers “on what they did right and the challenges they faced in implementation.” 

“I also want to get their thoughts on evaluating our approach in Canada, because getting an outside perspective is also critical,” Johns said. “My goal is to bring back some some good suggestions for a good approach that Canada can take, and then apply pressure on the government to do just that.”

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