Should BC cities get Big Pharma settlement money to address the opiod crisis? -Poll

Poll: Lawsuit money

Castanet Staff – | Story: 385235

Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) delegates want the BC government to hand over part of the $150-million settlement from the Purdue Pharma Canada lawsuit.

The annual UBCM conference, held in Whistler, brings together local government officials to identify key policy issues.

In June, a proposed $150-million settlement with Purdue Pharma Canada covering all provinces and territories was reached for the recovery of health-care costs related to the sale and marketing of opioid-based pain medication. The class-action case was brought forward by BC in 2018.

It’s the largest settlement of a government health-care cost claim in Canadian history, BC MLA and NDP leader hopeful David Eby said at the time.

On Wednesday, a number of UBCM resolutions were rolled into one item. It called on the province to use the cash from the class-action lawsuit to help deal with the unintended consequence of the opioid emergency response.

Municipal leaders said they want help ensuring supervised injection and inhalation sites are secure and clean as part of the response.

“There are financial consequences due to the opioid and overdose crisis that are currently being covered by local budgets, and local police, fire and by law departments,” one resolution said.

Moreover, said a second resolution, “some individuals who utilize the services of the overdose prevention sites and safe injection sites leave under the influence of drugs which can lead to disorderly behavior, urination, defecation, illegal camping, and safety issues, which have a negative impact on businesses and residences in the surrounding area.”

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