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Pierre Poilievre says he'll try to forbid illicit drug use in Canada's hospitals

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre rises during question period, Tuesday, April 16, 2024 in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld) Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre rises during question period, Tuesday, April 16, 2024 in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
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VANCOUVER -

Federal Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre says the Conservatives will put forward legislation that would forbid Ottawa from "ever" granting provinces exemptions to allow illicit drug use in hospitals.

Poilievre made the announcement in Vancouver on Tuesday, saying the Conservatives will introduce a private member's bill in Parliament to end the federal health minister's power to grant exemptions that would allow the use of illicit drugs in a hospital setting.

Private member's bills from individual MPs rarely make it all the way through the legislative process, but Poilievre says the situation in British Columbia hospitals has grown dire since the province's drug decriminalization project was enacted in 2023.

B.C. has recently requested to again prohibit the use of illicit drugs in most public spaces, including hospitals, which was approved by the federal government a week ago.

In response to Poilievre's characterization of B.C.'s drug decriminalization as "reckless and radical," Premier David Eby says the province "has an obligation" to people struggling with addiction to give them every chance to get into treatment.

Eby says arresting people instead of providing support is not the right approach.

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