Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Health Canada response to section 56 exemption request and March Overdose statistics prompt drug user activists response and distribution of tested and regulated heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
Federal and Provincial inaction on unending drug poisoning deaths across BC and Canada has prompted yet another demonstration of the importance of community-led drug market regulation initiatives.
Vancouver, BC - Drug user activists once again distributed safer heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine to commemorate the British Columbians who died of overdose in March 2022. This distribution also coincides with DULF’s response to a recent letter from Health Canada, dated April 21, 2022, which advised DULF of Health Canada's intention to deny our August 31, 2021 request for a s. 56(1) an exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) to operate a Safe Supply Fulfilment Centre and Cocaine, Heroin and Methamphetamine Compassion Clubs in Vancouver. The distribution also follows the rejection of DULF’s 2021 SUAP application, which occurred March 29, 2022.This collaborative action by the Drug User Liberation Front (DULF) and the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society (WAHRS), took place today at a closed meeting for WAHRS board members. By giving away safer drugs, the WAHRS and DULF continue to demonstrate the life-saving potential of a community-led response to the overdose crisis.
This action follows the BC Coroners Service report on Illicit Drug Toxicity Deaths in BC, and is in direct response to the deaths of another 165 members of our community. Our friends, family, and neighbours continue to die, while the government ignores our plea to be able to operate a community led drug regulation body, in absence of much needed and extreme intervention.
"This is ridiculous that there's so many deaths that are still happening because people are getting poisoned by the bad drugs. It really needs to stop today. It's crazy, our people are all dying everywhere, 6 people every day, especially down here. The government needs to get their heads out of their asses and help the people. Because if not, we take it into our own hands and try to make a difference, try to make it good for everybody. We need safe supply. We need it now. Not later. Now."
Delilah Gregg, Vice President, Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society
We once again ask the federal government that they act with urgency to do the right thing – the thing that will actually protect the health and safety of Canadians: follow the evidence, follow the recommendations of countless experts including BC’s Coroner and work with us instead of against us to enable a safe supply to those at risk of dying from the toxic supply.
About Drug User Liberation Front
Formed in response to the ever-mounting overdose deaths in BC and across Canada, the Drug User Liberation Front looks to provide tangible solutions to this devastating crisis.
About Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society
The Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society (WAHRS) is a group of urban Aboriginal peoples who live, work, and play in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. All of our members are current or former illicit drug and/or illicit alcohol users, and we come from all nations – Ojibwe, Cree, Mohawk, and more. We work to give our members a voice, teach advocacy, to empower our people to fight for themselves, and to educate different people about our members’ strengths and challenges.