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B.C. communities want a slice of $150 million Purdue Pharma Canada settlement

UBCM delegates say drug crisis is chewing up more local resources than they have
Local governments are asking Victoria to give them a share of a recent settlement with a drug company. (Black Press file photo)

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.

RELATED: Jurisdictions looking to decriminalize small amounts of drugs to curb overdose deaths

RELATED: B.C. sees record high 1,095 toxic drug deaths in first 6 months of 2022

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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