Montreal public health director wants small amounts of illegal drugs decriminalized in city – Yahoo News Canada

Montreal’s public health director says she wants to follow in the footsteps of British Columbia, which will see the decriminalization of small amounts of illicit drugs as of next year.
“We want to make sure … that we have this tool in our harm reduction strategy for Montreal,” said Dr. Mylène Drouin in an exclusive interview with Radio-Canada.
Just over a week ago, Ottawa announced that British Columbians 18 and older will be able to possess up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA within the province as of Jan. 31 next year.
Drouin said decriminalization is needed in Montreal as it has an important impact on drug users.
Having a criminal record means “they will have difficult access for work, [it] may have [an] impact on their family, on their revenue,” she said.
“We believe that [decriminalization] could allow consumers to use drugs in much safer contexts and avoid all the prejudice associated with judicialization.”
B.C.’s move is in direct response to a surge in drug overdose deaths in the province throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. B.C. saw 2,224 suspected toxic illicit drug overdose deaths in 2021 and more than 9,400 since 2016.
The new drug policy means that there will be no arrests, charges or seizures for personal possession at or below the 2.5-gram threshold.
While decriminalization advocates have said this is a step forward, they also say 2.5 grams is far too low, particularly when targeting serious drug users.
‘We need to act fast’ 
Drouin said Montreal saw a near 25 per cent spike in deaths linked to overdoses during the pandemic. While numbers have returned to pre-pandemic levels this year, fatal overdoses are still occurring, she said.
Drouin said she doesn’t want drug use in the city to get as bad as it did in B.C. before acting.
“We’re working with the city of Montreal, the [police] and community partners to look at what can be done in Montreal,” she said.
But Isabella Fortier, a member of Moms Stop the Harm — a network of Canadian families that advocate for decriminalization and a safe supply of drugs— said Drouin’s words concerning decriminalization come too late and fall short.
Fortier lost her 24-year-old daughter to a fentanyl overdose in 2019. She said the stigmatization of using drugs killed her because she felt the need to hide her dependency.
“If she hadn’t been scared of her problem, she’d likely have gone to consume drugs in a supervised injection site. If her drugs hadn’t been contaminated, she wouldn’t be dead,” she said.
Fortier said Montreal can’t wait to see the results of B.C.’s pilot project three years down the line to act.
“We need to act fast,” she said. “If we don’t move, if we don’t change the laws, if we don’t make concerted, brave actions, it’s our loved ones that die.”
Drouin noted that Ottawa is open to receiving other requests for federal exemption for decriminalization, although Montreal has not made such a request.
Policy not needed in Quebec: premier
Last week, without going into further detail, Premier François Legault said he didn’t think the drug policy was necessary in Quebec.
But Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante seemed to disagree. She said last week that the city has always been sensitive to people with drug addictions and has supported supervised injection sites.
“We have shown interest in talking with the federal [government] because we’re seeing people struggling and suffering and we want to put the right tools together to support these people while making sure our communities are safe for everybody,” she said.
In the province, there were 339 deaths caused by drug overdoses between January and September in  2021. This is less than the number recorded during that same period last year but remains above pre-pandemic levels.
Louis Letellier de St-Just is an advocate with CACTUS Montréal which, among its services, offers a supervised injection site for drug users.
He said the situation in Montreal is also alarming, despite lower numbers here than in B.C.
“The opioid crisis is also raging in Montreal. Differently, but it’s something we have to deal with every day,” said de St-Just.
He said B.C.’s drug policy is a great move for the province, but because overdoses are a national crisis, “we should also have the opportunity to live such an experience, to start such an experience here in Montreal.”
Keanu Reeves and artist Alexandra Grant first went public with their relationship in November 2019, when they made their red carpet debut together
MONTREAL — A tentative agreement has been reached between Molson Canada and the union representing some 425 workers in the Montreal area who have been on strike since March. Both the Teamsters union and the Montreal-based beverage company confirmed the deal today. Details of the tentative agreement are not being disclosed before they are presented to members. The dispute has focused particularly on wages amid rampant inflation, along with pension and work scheduling issues. Local union president
Sir David Attenborough was on Wednesday knighted for a second time as he received a prestigious honour traditionally reserved for diplomats.
Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, and Aly Raisman sued the FBI over its handling of the Larry Nassar abuse case. Who is his ex-wife Stephanie and where is she now?
Zach Nunn will face incumbent Cindy Axne in race for Iowa's 3rd Congressional District
Uploaded a video to Facebook, but lost it on your device? Here is how to download a video from Facebook.
While many lawmakers rally to craft bipartisan legislation focusing on gun safety, some prominent Republicans remain firm in their stance that semi-automatic rifles are a vital part of American living
Three people were killed Wednesday after at least a dozen vehicles collided in different spots along heavily-traveled Interstate 30 in southwestern Arkansas, state police officials said. (June 9)
Canadian border officers have been reprimanded for hundreds of acts of misconduct over the past two years, including preferential treatment and associating with criminals.
An archeological assessment will be done at the site of a planned Regina General Hospital parkade, after ground-penetrating radar discovered anomalies at the site. John Ash, the Saskatchewan Health Authority's executive director of acute care in Regina, said the anomalies could be old foundations, building structures or the results of other historical excavation activities — or they could be historical burial sites. "It is because of the potential for historical burials that we are operating out
Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Catherine Zeta-Jones were flying high at the premiere of movie "The Terminal" in Los Angeles. (June 9)
Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey offered an emotional eulogy to victims of last month's rampage in Uvalde, Texas. and called on Congress to "reach a higher ground" and pass gun control legislation in honor of the shooting victims. (June 7)
Dozens of scholars have accused the UN human rights chief of ignoring or contradicting academic findings on abuses in Xinjiang in her statements after visiting the region.
The City of Ottawa has laid out its first-ever strategy aimed at tackling racism as it seeks equality in everything from who gets appointed to boards, to who seeks city contracts, to what types of affordable housing are built. The plan aims to "create a fundamental shift in how we do work at the city," according to Suzanne Obiorah, the city's director of race, equity, inclusion, Indigenous relations and social development. Obiorah pointed to many examples of systemic racism throughout society ov
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol played out for the world to see, but the House committee investigating the attack believes a more chilling story has yet to be told — about the president and the people whose actions put American democracy at risk. With personal accounts and gruesome videos the 1/6 committee expects Thursday's prime-time hearing to begin to show that America’s tradition of a peaceful transfer of presidential power came close to slipping away.
A man drove a car into pedestrians in a popular Berlin shopping district on Wednesday, killing at at least one person and injuring at least eight others, rescue services said (June 7)
Yellowknife City Council agreed to sign a memo Monday night that earmarks Tin Can Hill as the intended site for a future Aurora College polytechnic university campus. The motion passed with six votes in favour of signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the college and the territorial government. Coun. Stacie Smith was the only one who opposed the decision, and Councillor Niels Konge was not present. Tin Can Hill is a much-loved green space that runs alongside Yellowknife Bay, an arm o
News bulletin 2022/06/09 08:11View on euronews
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who has elevated her national prominence through a hands-off approach to pandemic restrictions, won the Republican primary on Tuesday against a former legislative leader who accused her of using the office to mount a 2024 White House bid. The first-term governor’s primary win against former South Dakota House Speaker Steve Haugaard gives her a commanding advantage as she seeks another term in November against Democratic state Rep. Jamie Smi
At a cracked, old concrete foundation called "the slab," skateboarders are flying up metal ramps, sliding across rails and trying new tricks. It's a busy spot in Esgenoôpetitj First Nation overlooking the dark blue waters of Miramichi Bay. After a fire burned the reserve's band hall to the ground, skaters repurposed the remaining foundation into a place for their sport. Frank Johnson is one of a dozen skaters flying back and forth across the park. He started skateboarding here when he was 11. "I


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *