Pathway to Hope instead remains a pathway to hopelessness
“Where was the necessary money needed to expand existing programs, or create new ones to provide immediate beds for young people seeking help?”
While the province today announced that: ‘treatment and recovery providers who have been financially challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic are benefiting from grants to ensure ongoing support for people struggling with addictions’, Conservatives are again calling out Premier John Horgan’s NDP government for failing to provide the full scope of what is needed.
“Since 2016, when this issue was first declared a public health emergency, continued band-aids have been applied to the situation. This has resulted in overdose deaths continuing to spike”, stated Conservative BC leader Trevor Bolin from his home in Ft. St. John. “We need to be doing more than just providing for the financial needs of facilities already in place.”
“Far too often those who have made the decision to seek treatment are finding that nothing is available to them, and they end up back on the street in a frantic search to feed the addictive craving they are suffering from.”
One week ago, Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne announced: ‘more children and youth will benefit from strengthened mental health and substance use services and support programs’ through an investment of $833,293. This in fact was far from the truth. Instead, much of that money as outlined in her release to the media, went to renovations at one facility including, the installation of a shower, changing area, and washer and dryer at another, the purchase of a passenger bus, and for equipment upgrades.
Asked Bolin, “Where was the necessary money needed to expand existing programs, or create new ones to provide immediate beds for young people seeking help?”
In 2019, then Mental Health and Addictions Minister, Judy Darcy, outlined the steps needed for what she called a ‘Pathway to Hope’.
“For thousands sadly, without government providing the necessary capital to create new facilities for mental health and addictions counselling, a safe environment for recovery, job skills training and education -- that pathway to hope instead remains a pathway to hopelessness.”
“The immediate need remains; a commitment to funding that will provide real -- and direct-- mental health and addictions services. When will government make the commitment to that?” Bolin concluded.