Tracey demands action on opioid crisis for Essex

    Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my NDP colleagues and I have been asking for immediate and effective action on the opioid crisis over and over again. Thirty-seven families throughout my riding of Essex are mourning the losses of those they love from opioid overdoses. Our losses are more than one and a half times higher than the provincial average. Families continue to struggle, desperate to get their loved ones the help they need to overcome their addiction. Sadly, to date, the government has failed to provide real leadership on this crisis. Not only has it chosen not to declare this is a national public health emergency, it has failed to hold opioid manufacturers to account for their role in this epidemic.

    Today, I stand with my NDP colleagues and call on the government to launch a criminal investigation into the role played by drug manufacturers in fuelling and greatly profiting from the opioid crisis. The government must also pursue substantial compensation from these manufacturers for the cost of addiction to our public health system and communities. This crisis takes a heavy emotional toll on families, friends, neighbours, and loved ones. Immediate action is needed before any more lives are lost to this deadly drug.