Harm reduction advocates and concerned community members from across the Lower Mainland gathered at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre to speak out against the PROSPER Conference, an event organized by the US-based Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions. The Foundation changed the event’s venue to Richmond’s Westin Wall Centre at the last minute.

On March 7th, lawyers for organizers Eris Nyx and Jeremy Kalicum will appear in Federal Court to challenge Health Canada’s 2022 decision to deny an application by DULF (Drug User Liberation Front). In 2021 DULF requested permission to legally operate a compassion club through an exemption from Canada’s drug laws. The upcoming Judicial Review is expected to shed critical light on governmental obstruction of lifesaving action on the overdose crisis.

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.