Feds to supply Vancouver Downtown Eastside addicts with safe drugs during pandemic - InfoNews

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Feds to supply Vancouver Downtown Eastside addicts with safe drugs during pandemic

A man injects himself at a bus shelter in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. The Mayor of Vancouver has announced the federal government has given the green light to provide a safe supply of drugs to those struggling with addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
March 26, 2020 - 5:38 PM

The Mayor of Vancouver has announced the federal government has given the green light to provide a safe supply of drugs to those struggling with addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart made the announcement at a press conference today, March 26, while giving out details of measures the city will take to help residents of the Downtown Eastside during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m grateful to the federal government for enabling safe supply to roll ahead,” Stewart said, describing the move as "unprecedented."

Details of how people who would normally use illegal drugs would access the new safe supply weren't given, and the mayor said more details would follow as the plan was rolled out by the province.

"To properly battle the COVID-19 epidemic we must tackle the (poisonous) drug epidemic," Stewart said.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has called for a safe, regulated supply of drugs to help stem the opioid crisis.

Specifics on how the provincial and federal government will roll out the plan have not yet been provided, nor are there any details as to how the program would be extended to the rest of the province.


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