Politicians search for national solution to Canada’s opioid crisis at summit in Ottawa

Canadian government to take action against ‘public health crisis’ of opioid, fentanyl overdoses
WATCH ABOVE: Health Minister Jane Philpott and Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale announced Thursday the government will be hosting a conference to tackle the “public health crisis” of opiodis and fentanyl. Both ministers said the increasing amount of overdoses and deaths are a problem and will be taken “very seriously.”

OTTAWA – Canada’s opioid epidemic will be front and centre today in Ottawa, where politicians will meet with members of the medical community with the common goal of curbing drug addiction and saving lives.

The two-day summit meeting is being co-chaired by federal Health Minister Jane Philpott and Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins, both of whom are doctors themselves.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan has highest rates of opioid poisoning in Canada: report

Hoskins says the summit will reinforce the need for leadership right across the country to confront Canada’s opioid epidemic.

He says the problem is affecting different parts of Canada in different ways, but it demands a national solution.

READ MORE: Canada’s surging opioid crisis: ‘hodgepodge’ overdose tracking leaves true magnitude unknown

Philpott says the federal Liberal government has been very active on the file, adding that Canadians are dying everyday due to opioid use and abuse.

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She says she has made it “very clear” she is unhappy with a lack of data and surveillance programs that could shed light on how many opioids are prescribed, where they are coming from and how many people are overdosing and dying.

VIDEO: Premier Christy Clark is in Ottawa today, seeking the federal government’s support dealing with British Columbia’s overdose crisis.

B.C. premier appeals to Ottawa for help dealing with opioid crisis
B.C. premier appeals to Ottawa for help dealing with opioid crisis