LOADING...

Posts Tagged "motion"

13Sep

Municipalities back Vancouver motion to push Ottawa for safer drugs

by admin

https://vancouversun.com/


Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart joined Dr. Patricia Daly, Chief Medical Officer for Vancouver Coastal Health, and Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service’s Capt. Jonathan Gormick to discuss the epidemic of drug-related deaths, at a press conference in Vancouver on Friday, September 6, 2019.


Jason Payne / PNG

Local governments across Canada will press the federal government to increase access to safer drugs, and declare a national health emergency in response to the fentanyl-driven overdose crisis, after a motion by Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart was passed Friday.

Stewart’s motion, drafted with his overdose emergency task force, was approved by city council in July. Coun. Rebecca Bligh brought it to a Federation of Canadian Municipalities executive meeting this week.

The motion requires the federation to call on Ottawa to support health authorities, doctors, their professional colleges and provinces to “safely provide regulated opioids and other substances through a free and federally available Pharmacare program.”

The federation will also demand that the federal government declares a national public health emergency and provides exemptions to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, so that cities and towns can run pilot programs which prioritize a move toward a “safe” drug supply.

Stewart said Friday that there was some division among the federation’s membership over the motion but it passed following an effective speech by Bligh. He hopes it will “shift the national dialogue toward a safe supply” during the federal election.

He wants the substances act exemptions to allow health professionals with a non-profit organization to distribute diacetylmorphine, which local research has shown can be an effective treatment for chronic, relapsing opioid dependence.

Stewart met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau two weeks ago and told him what Vancouver needs in order to replace fentanyl-tainted street drugs with a safer, regulated supply, he said.

“It was a private conversation but I can say that I left the conversation in good spirits,” Stewart said. “I was definitely heard and that was very important.”

Stewart said front line responders are fatigued, people are experiencing multiple overdoses and suffering brain injuries, and the city and province desperately need the federal government to step up.

“We’re going to have to take it to the next level here. We’re reducing overdose deaths but overdoses are increasing. Just not dying isn’t good enough,” he said.

“It’s got to be life and hope for people.”

Karen Ward, a drug user and advocate for others who use drugs, helped with the motion and was pleased the municipalities passed it.

“If a province is a bit hesitant, the idea is that this will give a city the power to take rapid action — and individual doctors, in fact,” she said.

“It’s a necessity to have safe supply at this point because the supply has become so contaminated everywhere.”

Ward said the federation can now send a clear message to Ottawa that municipalities want the power to treat the overdose crisis “like a real” public health emergency.

“This is one way to get them to talk about it, face it squarely and acknowledge this massive disaster, and say look, we need to change our (approach),” she said.

“We need to take it as seriously as possible. It’s a health issue. It’s also a justice issue.”

According to the federal government, there have been more than 9,000 apparent opioid-related deaths across the country since 2016.

Illicit drugs killed 1,533 people in B.C. in 2018 and 538 in the first half of 2019, according to the B.C. Coroners Service.

[email protected]

twitter.com/nickeagland

12Sep

Delta council to vote on motion opposing Uber and Lyft

by admin

https://vancouversun.com/


FILE PHOTO: Long-time former City of Delta mayor and current councillor Lois Jackson wants her colleagues to back a plan to suspend the introduction of ride-hailing in B.C.


Ric Ernst / PNG

Longtime former City of Delta mayor and current councillor Lois Jackson wants her colleagues to back a plan to suspend the introduction of ride-hailing in B.C.

On Sept. 16, at the regular meeting of City of Delta council, Jackson will present a motion opposing the ride-hailing rules introduced by the Passenger Transportation Board on Aug. 19. Jackson will also ask that an emergency resolution be presented at the Sept. 23-27 Union of B.C. Municipalities conference calling for all municipalities to oppose the regime of rules that she believes are unfair to existing taxi companies.

The move comes as Surrey mayor Doug McCallum has promised there will be no ride-hailing in his city, and as taxi drivers pursue legal action to override the set of rules introduced by the board.

Taxi drivers are particularly upset with the rules that limit where they can drive, while ride-hail cars can cover a wider area, that there will be an unlimited number of ride-hailing cars, while taxi numbers are limited, and that ride-hailing operators will be able to charge what the market will bear during busy times.

In Jackson’s motion she also points out that taxi companies are legally obliged to provide wheelchair accessible vehicles in their fleet, while ride-hailing companies are not. The motion states that the Passenger Transportation Board did not consult with municipalities, regional districts, public transit agencies or disability groups when they came up with their rules.

Staff at the City of Richmond have also recommended that the city ask the provincial government to look at the discrepancies between rules governing taxis and those governing ride-hailing. The recommendation was approved by council on Sept. 9.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure issued a statement that the City of Surrey could not prevent ride-hailing companies from operating in within its boundaries.

Jackson is one of seven persons on council. In last October’s municipal election Jackson was one five elected that ran under the Achieving For Delta banner.

Globally, ride-hailing is dominated by Uber and Lyft. In April, May and June this year, Uber lost $5.2 billion, while Lyft lost $644 million – both off increased revenues.

Related

[email protected]

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.