Furstenau Demands Answers about Homelessness and Addiction

The Cowichan Valley Green Party MLA Sonia Furstenau was in the legislature today, looking for answers on behalf of the Cowichan Leadership Group.

“At the end of December, we had two violent deaths in Duncan and another unrelated stabbing last week, our homeless outreach staff is fearful for their safety, other frontline workers expressed despair about the outlook of an epidemic that’s showing signs of growing,” said Furstenau.

She added, “Residents are frustrated and angry. What is the government’s plan today for the unprecedented problems arising from substance abuse in Cowichan?”

Furstenau, like Staples, is a member of the Cowichan Leadership Group and said the provincial health officer has indicated the need for a drug supply program like the one that was denied.

“Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry is quoted saying, ‘decriminalization and pharmaceutical options for those who are dependant on street drugs is something that needs to be considered,’ ” said Furstenau.

“This is exactly what the Cowichan Leadership Group is asking for, we need access to safe drug supply, temporary treatment facilities, and transitional housing for people coming out of treatment and we need it urgently,” said Furstenau. “We are in crisis and we need a crisis response.”

My Cowichan Valley Now, February 16, 2020

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