The motion, presented by Wildrose MLA Ron Orr, would have set parameters for a study of Alberta’s opioid crisis, including access to treatment, evaluation of public awareness campaigns and overdose reporting, and a study of whether there is adequate preparation and funding to create safer communities.
“By voting down this motion that was focused solely on addressing our province’s opioid crisis, it has become all too apparent that both the PC and NDP caucuses aren’t willing to get to work and find solutions,” Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Drew Barnes said. “It’s our job as MLAs to talk to experts and create solutions. Instead the NDP and PC members chose to abstain or vote against a motion intended to help address the growing crisis drugs like fentanyl and other opioids are having in communities across our province.”
Had both PC MLAs joined with the Wildrose and Liberal members to support the motion it would have passed, as the NDP members of the committee were outnumbered due to the late attendance of one NDP committee member.
“Legislative committees should be considering the issues that are important to Albertans. This refusal to study the opioid crisis, so that elected officials can hear directly from the experts to inform their decision-making, shows that Alberta’s committee system is not working,” Barnes said. “Only Wildrose is putting forward common sense solutions to save lives. We will continue to urge the NDP government to do everything possible to turn the tide on this crisis.”