Canada & China Working to Stop Illegal Fentanyl
On Thursday, November 24, 2016, RCMP announced that they will work with China’s Ministry of Public Security to fight the importation of fentanyl into Canada.
This week, in Ottawa, Bob Paulson, RCMP Commissioner, met with Chen Zhimin, MPS Vice-Minister. They discussed and created an agreement which aims to “strengthen coordinated law enforcement actions” in order to minimize the movement of opioids from China into Canada.
Bob Paulson commented on the fentanyl epidemic, saying that, “Fentanyl and other opioids pose a grave threat to the safety of Canadian communities. Our meeting this week was an important step forward and highlights the commitment between our two organizations to enhance operational collaboration, identify key areas of concern, and work towards a coordinated approach to combat fentanyl trafficking.”
In the past week, Christy Clark, B.C. Premier, urged Ottawa to take steps to stop the flow of fentanyl from China to Canada. Fentanyl prompted British Columbia to declare a public health emergency in Spring 2016. B.C. is on the front line of the fentanyl problem in Canada.
Jane Philpott, Federal Health Minister, spoke to her colleagues and said that she was pleased to observe this conversation taking place between the RCMP and China. “As you know, we held an opioid conference last week and discussed the fact that it has to be a whole of government, a whole of society response to the opioid crisis.”
Ralph Goodale, Public Safety Minister, commented that Canada and China are striving to stop the dangerous substance at its source. “That will take a full, across the board diplomatic effort. To this point, the Chinese authorities have indicated agreement and cooperation on this front. We just need to continue to work with them and all others to make sure we can stop this in the best way possible.”
Read more: Fentanyl FAQ
Fentanyl Facts in Canada (as of 2016)
- In British Columbia, there were 622 overdose deaths from illicit drugs in the first 10 months of 2016 (332 were linked to fentanyl).
- 338 people in Alberta died from opioid-related drug overdoses (193 were linked to fentanyl).
Lindsey Locke, Columnist for SOS Safety Magazine