As the nation’s opioid crisis spirals to uncontrollable measures, it is evident that current mechanisms for substance reduction are ineffective and in desperate need of reforms. Therefore, many institutions, such as Indigenous communities, respective provincial governments, and non-profit and advocacy organizations have devised their recommendations for the Federal government.

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BC’s Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, Minister Sheila Malcolmson, source:


Current Liberal Government Stance on Decriminalization:

According to the article, **Trudeau urged to make decriminalization of illicit drugs a priority.**

These organizations want Federal funding to ensure “low-barrier access” to a safe supply of drugs. This is in response to the nearly 23,000 Canadians who have died from opioid overdoses between January 2016 and March 2021. These groups claim that these deaths were fuelled by “a contaminated drug supply and stigma associated with drug use. ”They claim that these things are only reinforced by the criminalization of drugs and drug users. However, Trudeau has rejected the idea of decriminalizing simple drug possession and consumption.

Jagmeet Singh vows to decriminalize petty drug charges at NDP debate

If elected, a federal New Democrat leadership candidate has committed to make it party policy to legalize minor drug possession, echoing requests from a rising number of health experts who believe it would help remove the stigma associated with addiction. Jagmeet Singh made his promise at an NDP leadership discussion in Vancouver, a city where almost 250 suspected overdose fatalities had been reported by the end of August. From January to July of this year, 876 individuals died in British Columbia as a result of an illicit drug overdose.

"I worked in the criminal justice system for a number of years and I can tell you that people who are charged with personal possession offences are often those who are poor, are often those who have mental health issues and are often those who are addicted," he said.

"That does not sound to me like a criminal justice problem; that sounds to me like a social-justice problem and a health-care problem. I would call for the immediate decriminalization of all personal possession offences when it comes to drugs, period."

Mr. Singh was asked about Portugal's drug policy, which decriminalized the purchase, possession, and use of all psychoactive substances for personal use in 2001, and claimed that if elected, he would immediately follow suit.

Proposals by the Federal Government in the 2021 Elections

Recommendation by Indigenous Communities