Officials struggling near the front lines of B.C.’s overdose crisis want the province to use a recent $150 million windfall to help them in their battle.
Delegates at the 2022 Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) passed a special resolutions Wednesday that calls on the provincial government to share a $150 million settlement from Purdue Pharma Canada with local governments.
They want the money to help deal with the financial consequences caused by the opioid and overdose crisis currently covered by local police, fire and bylaw departments and paid for out of municipal coffers.
The resolution points out that communities are facing what it calls “unintended financial and social consequences” related to overdose prevention and supervised injection and inhalation sites, including additional security needs, cleanup of needles, drug paraphernalia, garbage and human waste, as well as impacts on surrounding businesses.
Almost 1,100 people in B.C. died of toxic drug overdoses in the first half of this year, the highest number ever recorded over a six-month stretch.
The UBCM — which represents 189 local governments — is hosting its annual convention this week in Whistler.
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