IN THE NEWS- Liberals are failing Canadians mental health by refusing to deliver on mental health supports

In response to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) calling on the Liberals to implement a mental health care transfer payment to the provinces and territories, NDP Mental Health and Harm Reduction Critic Gord Johns made the following statement:

Across the country, people are suffering because they don’t have access to the mental health services they need. With the rising cost of living and long waitlists it’s almost impossible for people to get support when they need it. The provinces and territories have time and time again asked the Liberal government to step up on health care funding, but they haven’t acted.

IN THE NEWS- With the cost-of-living skyrocketing for working families, Justin Trudeau is turning his back on them

OTTAWA – With Thursday’s Fall Economic Statement it’s become clearer – that the Liberal government is working for rich bosses, not for you and your family. The same week where studies revealed that 20% of families are cutting meals to make ends meet, that Loblaws made an extra $ 1 million a day in excess profits and that people have never taken on so much debt to get by – Justin Trudeau’s Liberals chose to protect profits instead of giving respect to British Columbians feeling the crunch.

“Families in British Columbia, and across Canada are having to make really tough choices about what bills they can pay and what bills they just can’t afford. And costs are only going to get higher as we head into the winter,” said NDP MP Gord Johns (Courtenay – Alberni). “The Fall Economic Statement only showed how out-of-touch Justin Trudeau is with the realities of working families – and the Conservatives don’t want to help you, they only want to slash your pension and cut employment insurance. We could be giving families more support – instead they Liberals are giving $15 billion to fill the pockets of rich investors. It’s wrong.”

IN THE NEWS- Gord calls on Liberals to finally fight the mental health crisis

OTTAWA – Today, In Question Period, NDP MP Gord Johns (Courtenay – Alberni) called on the Liberal government to actually follow through with their promises by helping Canadian workers with their mental health. Johns also called for all parliamentarians to support an urgently needed Canada Mental Health Transfer, to help provinces tackle a growing need for mental health services.
Here is Johns question:
“People in Canada are struggling with their mental health – and accessing help is almost impossible. Yesterday, a report found almost all Canadian workers have experienced mental distress. And for many it’s only getting worse.
Years ago, this government said it would amend the Canada Labour Code to protect workers, but the Liberals have failed to follow through.
Just like they haven’t delivered on promised new funding for mental health supports.
When will the government finally do what’s right by delivering on their promises to protect the mental health of workers?”
New Democrats will continue to pressure the Liberals to deliver needed mental health supports for those you and your family.
Click here to listen to Johns’ question in the House of Commons.
Click here to read Johns’ call for mental health supports.

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.

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