Local MP’s bill passes through HOC, off to Senate
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
Bill C-224, a harm-reduction bill better known as the Good Samaritans Drug Overdose Act, passed its third reading in the House of Commons on November 2.
Ron McKinnon, the Member of Parliament for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam, is the person behind the bill. The bill is meant to encourage people—particularly those involved in drug use—who are around someone overdosing from drugs to call emergency services in order to save their life. Under the current laws, drug users could be arrested for possession if an overdose was called in. However, if the bill passes, they cannot be arrested (with the exception of traffickers and those driving under the influence).
“We can’t waste any time in taking action on the opioid crisis in Canada,” McKinnon said to the Tri-City News.
The bill was introduced in February, and has slowly but unanimously been making its way through the House of Commons.
McKinnon explained to the Tri-City News that he was surprised by “the groundswell of support that came out shortly after the bill’s first reading.”
“Groups and individuals from every part of Canada called and emailed telling me how much this legislation is needed. I thank them for that. That support motivated me even more to make sure this bill becomes law,” McKinnon continued.
There is no set timeline for how the bill will make its way through the Senate, although one could speculate that it may pass just as easily as it did through the House of Commons.