NDP CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION IN OPIOID CRISIS

 


OTTAWA – Across the country, too many Canadian families are tragically losing parents, siblings, and children to the public health emergency caused by opioids. Today, the NDP called on the Liberals to launch an investigation into the role drug companies may have played in fueling the opioid crisis in Canada, and to seek meaningful restitution for the public costs of this crisis.
 
“From downtown neighbourhoods to our most remote communities, there is significant and growing concern about the reach of these highly addictive and dangerous drugs,” said NDP Leader, Jagmeet Singh. “It’s time for the federal government to take decisive action to bring justice to families, and take steps to attempt to recoup the enormous cost to the public of addressing the opioid crisis.”
 
This summer, the NDP government of British Columbia filed a civil lawsuit against drug companies to recoup the enormous costs incurred by that province in addressing the crisis. The US Department of Justice has already secured criminal pleas and, along with dozens of states, over $600 million in damages from opioid manufacturers for misbranding offences in that country. Yet the federal Liberals have not taken any steps to investigate potential violations of Canadian law or pursue civil damages.
 
“There are legitimate concerns that opioid manufacturers may have marketed these products to Canadians and doctors in a manner inconsistent with federal law,” added NDP Health Critic, Don Davies. “The fact that the US government has taken steps to pursue criminal and civil damages provides a strong basis to do so in Canada.”
 
“It’s time to launch a federal investigation to determine whether criminal charges are warranted against opioid manufacturers and distributors for their alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis,” concluded NDP Justice Critic, Murray Rankin. “The Liberal government can and should immediately seek an investigation into the conduct of these companies and take action, if warranted, under federal law.”
 

  – 30 –