Ottawa- On Tuesday night, NDP Mental Health and Harm Reduction critic Gord Johns will head to Portugal, where he will meet with government officials, and harm reduction groups including Canada’s Ambassador to Portugal, Elise Racicot, and João Goulão who spearheaded Portugal’s safe supply and decriminalization policy.
“The toxic drug crisis is devastating. Each year we’re seeing more deaths from toxic drug poisonings than from the year before. Clearly, the approach Canada’s been using isn’t enough,” said Johns. “The government should be learning from others who’ve seemed to handle substance use, and prevention better than Canada has. Like, Portugal, which was once one of Europe’s worst countries for substance use. Yet they’ve seen a sharp decline in overdoses, and substance use, because they had the political will to make necessary investments and policy changes.”