IN THE NEWS - Globe and Mail - CBSA misses deadline to provide ArriveCan invoices to parliamentary committee

At the end of the two-hour meeting with the federal departments and agencies connected to the app, the committee unanimously approved a motion from NDP MP Gord Johns asking the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman to review the government's contracting work related to the app.

Mr. Johns said the Ombudsman may be able to review the matter more quickly than the Auditor-General, who has also been asked to examine the issue via a House of Commons vote earlier this month.

IN THE NEWS – The Star - Ottawa working to regulate drug supply in ‘super significant’ move as deaths remain high

Gord Johns, the NDP mental health and harm reduction critic who proposed the decriminalization bill, said in a statement that Bennett’s words were “encouraging,” but needed to be accompanied by “real, rapid action in order to stop the harms the toxic drug supply is causing on a daily basis.

“New Democrats will keep pushing the Liberals to adopt a comprehensive emergency response to turn the tide on this public health crisis,” he said.

IN THE NEWS – National Post – Global Affairs Canada admits some costs on nearly $100k in flight catering tab for GG trip were “problematic”

The federal government admitted certain items on the nearly $100,000 in-flight catering bill for the Governor General’s eight-day trip to Dubai last March were “problematic” and is working to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

NDP MP Gord Johns said it was “shockingly high” and “unacceptable.”

IN THE NEWS- The Liberals are jeopardizing our planet by leaving the door open for deep-sea mining

NDP Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Critic, Lisa Marie Barron and Deputy Critic Gord Johns made the following joint statement:    
"Oceans play a massive role in maintaining our climate and ecosystem - nearly 50 percent of the Earth is international seabed. For coastline and Indigenous communities, Canada's oceans are fundamental to our lives and economy. Yet, our government is doing nothing to fight against deep-sea mining in international waters that would threaten Canada's oceans.   
The International Seabed Authority is tasked with protecting the seabed, but Canada has been missing in action. The Liberals only sent a delegate to the International Seabed Authority this year after missing six opportunities in six years – this is beyond appalling. The decisions being made now impact Canada’s future.    
The international seabed is the last untouched area on earth – and the Liberals are leaving the door open for it to be mined by rich companies. While Canadian mining companies are seeking to pillage this global commons, other nations are raising the alarm. 
Seabed mining completely disrupts delicate ocean ecosystems – and the consequences are devastating. Deep-sea mining creates plumes of metal particles, which travel across our oceans – polluting vast areas and ecosystems. But the Liberals would rather protect potential profits over our oceans.     
By staying quiet during the ongoing United Nations Ocean Treaty discussions, the Liberal government and Minister Murray are doing nothing while pretending to be environmental leaders. New Democrats know that real climate leadership is about prioritizing our oceans instead of hypothetical profits for rich mining companies. Time is running out to protect our oceans.
Canada needs to be a global leader in ocean protection by calling for a moratorium on deep-seabed mining through the application of the precautionary principle and an increase in research being conducted into the harm it will have on our oceans, coastlines and ecosystems.

The NDP will always fight to protect our oceans instead of corporations – we will keep pushing the government to protect our oceans by safeguarding ecosystems, transitioning to renewable energy and a green economy.”    

IN THE NEWS – RED DEER ADVOCATE - Ottawa yet to create system to source safe supply to reduce overdoses

Referencing the government's work to procure COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic, Johns asked why it is not doing the same for safe supply.

"It's because it lacks political will, it's not their priority, and they lack courage," he said.

Bennett's office did not directly respond to a question about whether she and Tassi have been working together to procure a safe supply of opioids.

"The provision of contracts for a safer supply of opioids is primarily a provincial and territorial responsibility," Bennett's office said in a recent statement.

Health Canada is currently supporting 17 safer supply projects in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick, for a total investment of more than $64 million, her office said.

IN THE NEWS – Toronto Star - More measures are needed, says Portugal addictions head

Gord Johns, a New Democratic MP from Vancouver Island, was behind a bill in Ottawa aiming to allow drugs for personal use right across Canada.

 The Liberal government granted the exemption to B.C. just before the house was due to vote on Johns bill, ultimately rejecting it. Johns called the move "cynical" and slammed Ottawa for doing little else to try to save lives nationwide: "Twenty-seven thousand people have died as a result of toxic overdose, they haven't tabled any comprehensive legislation to respond to this crisis."

Johns said his bill drew on suggestions from the government's Expert Task Force on Substance Use

IN THE NEWS – Brandon Sun - Bereavement Day bill passes, but much work lies ahead

The hope Bill 217 and the federal Bill C-216 would pass was shared by the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network, said coordinator Solange Machado.

Bill C-216, a private member's bill tabled by NDP mental health and harm reduction critic Gord Johns, who is MP for Courtenay-Alberni in B.C., as meant decriminalize simple possession, provide a pathway for people convicted of simple possession and create a national policy to create a safer supply of drugs.

IN THE NEWS – CP24 - Canada announces decriminalization plan for drug users in B.C.

However, Bennett said she "will not be voting" today for a private member's bill introduced by New Democrat MP Gord Johns to decriminalize possession of small amounts of drags across the country. She said the bill lacks "guardrails" around implementation. "It has been an important bill, but I think that starting with British Columbia is a prudent way to go," Bennett said.

Johns, who represents a riding on Vancouver Island, stood in the House of Commons Tuesday and called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to end an "irresponsible" patchwork approach involving the national overdose crisis.

Over 27,000 people across the country died from opioid-related overdoses between 2016 and September 2021.

'There are thousands of families burying their loved ones outside of B.C. Provincial and local governments shouldn't have to fill the void of federal leadership. Lives are at stake," Johns said, asking if the government would support his bill.

IN THE NEWS- NDP MPs fighting against toxic drug-related deaths while Liberal ignore expert advice

VANCOUVER – Today, NDP MPs from Vancouver were joined by NDP mental health and harm reduction critic Gord Johns to meet with local organizations advocating for better drug policies. Johns has been touring the country to promote his private members’ bill which would require the federal government to adopt a health-based approach to reduce drug-related harms and stop preventable deaths. All parties will vote on this initiative to help save Canadians’ lives on June 1st

The national drug poisoning crisis has led to more than 27,000 deaths in just six years. In British Columbia, 2,224 people died in 2021. Johns' proposal follows the overwhelming evidence and advice of public health experts to decriminalize personal possession, expunge criminal records and create a national substance use strategy to provide a low barrier, regulated safe supply, prevention, education and universal access to treatment.

"After six years of inaction, the Liberal government is still not listening to its own public health experts," said Johns. "People are dying and will continue to die if nothing changes. On Wednesday, the Conservatives and Liberals have a choice to make. If they do not act to stop criminalizing and stigmatizing people who use drugs and rapidly improve access to support, the crisis that we're seeing will only get worse. And they’ll have to explain their inaction to families who continue to bury their loved ones.”

IN THE NEWS – ‘What are they afraid of?’ Liberals urged to support bill to decriminalize drugs

“They’re going to have blood on their hands on Wednesday when they vote against this bill,” said NDP MP Gord Johns, who tabled the private member’s bill.

“How can any politician in this country not vote to send this bill to committee to listen to the experts? What are they afraid of? They’re afraid of hearing the truth from the experts?”

Experts, advocates and people who use drugs have long called for decriminalization as one necessary tool — along with a safe drug supply and treatment services — to tackle the opioid epidemic, in order to erase stigma and ensure that people aren’t using drugs alone or fear seeking help

Liberals and Conservatives stand up for rich oil corporations while Canadians try to make ends meet

OTTAWA– Last week, the Liberals and Conservatives teamed up to vote down an NDP proposal to stop giving billions of taxpayer dollars to profitable oil and gas companies and instead reinvest that money in Canadians struggling to make ends meet. In the last year, big oil and gas companies have made record profits – Imperial Oil made its largest profit in thirty years and Cenovus’ profits increased sevenfold. Yet, families across the country are getting gouged at the pumps and are struggling to pay the bills – gas prices have surged past 2 dollars per litre.

“Canadians should not have to sacrifice seeing loved ones because of unaffordable gas prices or cut back on groceries just to pay the bills," said NDP MP Gord Johns (Courtenay – Alberni). "The Liberals, with the support of the Conservatives, keep helping big oil and gas companies, not British Columbians. New Democrats know Canadians deserve better, and we will keep fighting for Canadians to have the support they need to make ends meet.” 

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