In BC alone, more than 13,000 people have died from overdoses and drug poisonings related to the unregulated and systemically toxic drug supply since April 2016. In 2021, the Drug User Liberation Front (DULF) submitted a request to Health Canada to operate a Compassion Club as an urgent response to the drug toxicity crisis. Their submission was rejected in 2022 but is now under Judicial Review.

As the election approaches, we can expect the assault on harm reduction to grow and metastasize as a lurid wedge issue, fed from Conservative Canada’s deep well of racism and anti-poor resentment. And while Poilievre reaps electoral gains from fanning the flames of the drug war, those whose lives depend on harm reduction services will face dire, deadly consequences.