Speaking to municipal leaders at a convention in Quebec City, the opposition leader said opioid addiction and overdoses are both a health problem and a public-safety problem, and part of the solution is to restrict the supply.
Chinese labs are thought to be the source of much of the powdered form of the synthetic drug that has displaced less potent opioids in Canada’s street-drug supply.
WATCH: The suspected kingpins of fentanyl in Canada
Fentanyl is more powerful than morphine or heroin and can be transported, cut with other substances, and sold as its less potent pharmaceutical cousins.
But because it’s so strong, a very little extra can mean a lethal overdose.
At the beginning of May, under pressure from the United States, China designated all varieties of fentanyl as controlled substances, adding some slight chemical variants of the drug to its existing regulations.
A Global News investigation in 2018 revealed that in British Columbia, where the crisis has hit hardest, investigators believe the fentanyl trade revolves around a powerful crime network called the Big Circle Boys, which is directed from mainland China.
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asserted that China is working with Canadian officials to “take measures” on the flow of fentanyl into Canada, sources have told Global News that the flow of the drug into the country from China “is going to get worse.”