Federal NDP leader witnesses opioid overdose crisis, break his heart


VICTORIA — Jagmeet Singh says he’s witnessed the devastation of British Columbia’s opioid overdose epidemic and it breaks his heart.

The federal New Democrat Party leader says he visited an overdose prevention site in Vancouver recently and learned how to administer the overdose-busting medication Naloxone.

Singh told about two thousand delegates attending the B.C. NDP convention on Saturday that Canada’s drug laws should reflect that drug addiction is a social justice issue not criminal justice.

He called on the federal government to declare opioid addiction a national crisis and says the New Democrats would decriminalize personal possession of all drugs, not just marijuana.

Singh’s speech drew a rousing ovation, saying the federal NDP must become the party that inspires Canadians and makes their hearts beat faster.

Earlier, B.C. Premier John Horgan told delegates the party is celebrating forming government after 16 years of Liberal administrations, but serious decisions about the Site C dam and Kinder Morgan pipeline are ahead.

The Canadian Press