IN THE NEWS- The opioid crisis is killing our loved ones: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Gord Johns introduced the NDP's first initiative

OTTAWA – Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP Critic for Mental Health and Addictions, Gord Johns, introduced the NDP's first initiative in the new parliamentary session – a private member's bill that would help thousands of families dealing with loved ones who use or are addicted to drugs. If passed, among other things the NDP’s bill would decriminalize drug possession for personal use and expand access to crucial harm reduction, treatment and recovery services.

“Justin Trudeau has allowed the stigma around drug use to persist instead of taking real action to save lives. The longer the Liberals drag their feet the more lives that will be lost,” said Johns. “We need to decriminalize immediately and save lives by providing access to a regulated safer supply of drugs for users. Besides these necessary steps, this bill would also require the government to remove barriers to employment, housing and travel for thousands of Canadians by expunging their criminal records for simple possession of drugs. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. I am hopeful that parliamentarians from all parties will support our bill so we can get people the help they need.”

IN THE NEWS- Gord calls for the need from Liberals to fund healthcare to make sure Canadians are supported

OTTAWA– Healthcare workers on Vancouver Island and in coastal communities have been working tirelessly over the past two years. Even before the pandemic, they have been dealing with burnout due to staffing shortages. Today, local NDP MPs Gord Johns (Courteney-Alberni) and Rachel Blaney (North Island – Powell River) have joined their party’s calls for the Liberals to strengthen the country’s healthcare system, to keep people healthy and safe.

“Nurses, care workers and doctors have been working long days, under immense pressure with few breaks, to care for our loved ones during this pandemic. They can’t be expected to continue under these conditions forever. The Liberal government owe health care workers better than that,” said Johns. “The Trudeau government cannot wait to fix the gaps in our healthcare system, they need to invest now. Canadians cannot afford to wait any longer.”

IN THE NEWS – The Star - Canada missing from global conversation on deep-sea mining

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has to finalize regulations, standards and guidelines for deep-sea mining before June 2023, but so far, Canada has been largely absent from these discussions, said NDP MP Gord Johns.

“Why isn’t this a priority of the government?” asked Johns.

“We’ve got the longest coastline in the world, we keep seeing the prime minister standing with people like President Macron of France, touting his track record and passion for protecting the world’s oceans, but they’re absent … they missed six opportunities for submission since 2015.”

New plan for spot prawn fishery is a win for harvesters: NDP Gord Johns says

NANAIMO – NDP critic for fisheries and oceans Lisa Marie Barron and deputy critic Gord Johns say that the newly-announced plan for prawn and shrimp fisheries from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is a victory for B.C. prawn harvesters. This decision comes after months of uncertainty and proposed regulation changes by the Liberal government, which would have threatened the livelihoods of independent harvesters.

“Prawn harvesters have finally had their voices heard, and a common-sense solution was found,” said Johns. “Key stakeholders have been working together for months to raise these concerns; they shared petitions and appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.  But the Liberals should not have put harvesters through this stress and uncertainty in the first place. It's good to see that the right solution was found in the end.”

NDP MP Gord Johns introduces a bill to tackle the overdose crisis and save lives

OTTAWA – Over 20,000 Canadians have died of overdoses in the last five years and, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid overdose epidemic has gotten even worse. Yesterday, the NDP’s critic for mental health and addictions, Gord Johns, introduced a private member’s bill to tackle this emergency by decriminalizing personal possession and taking a health-based approach to substance use.
“While Canadians have been living through the COVID-19 pandemic, another pandemic has also been impacting our communities.  Despite what they say, the Liberals have continuously ignored calls from health experts, police chiefs and big Canadian cities to treat the opioid crisis like a health crisis,” said Johns. “The bill I put forward will make sure those suffering with substance abuse issues are not treated like criminals. It will make it easier for people to get the help they need without the stigma and unsafe supply those struggling with addiction have always faced.”

IN THE NEWS- Gord asks when government will finally take action on overdose deaths

OTTAWA — Member of Parliament Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni) rose in the House of Commons today to ask the Prime Minister when he will finally take action to prevent overdose deaths in Canada. 
“The Public Health Agency of Canada reported an 88% increase in opioid related deaths last year,” MP Johns said, “The Prime Minister has repeatedly said we need to listen to public health officials to get through the pandemic but when it comes to the overdose crisis, he is ignoring those same health officials.”

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