Poilievre will introduce 'Safe Hospitals Act' to strengthen sentencing for bringing weapons or illegal drugs into hospitals

It will also 'take away the discretion from the federal health minister under the Controlled Substances Act to decriminalize illicit drugs like fentanyl, meth, crack, and heroin in hospitals,' said Poilievre.

Poilievre will introduce 'Safe Hospitals Act' to strengthen sentencing for bringing weapons or illegal drugs into hospitals
The Canadian Press / Ethan Cairns
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Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre made an announcement in British Columbia on Tuesday that he would make it harder for addicts and criminals to bring in drugs and weapons into hospitals.

Poilievre laid out his Safe Hospitals Act, which he says will "create an aggravating factor for sentencing for anyone who brings an illegal and unauthorized weapon into a hospital."

"It will take away the discretion from the federal health minister under the Controlled Substances Act to decriminalize illicit drugs like fentanyl, meth, crack, and heroin in hospitals," said Poilievre.

Poilievre's announcement comes a month after the BC Nurses' Union distributed a memo directing nurses and staff on how to deal with hard drugs in hospital settings.

Nurses were warned not to measure, weigh, or test substances. They were also told not to monitor substances or quantities for legal purposes, and should avoid touching the substances.

In a statement, the BC Nurses' Union told Global News that health authorities were not doing their job in making employees feel safe.

“Decriminalization doesn’t mean that consumption should take place in a hospital setting. I think that just needs to be considered and needs to be addressed,” Adriane Gear of the BC Nurses’ Union said. “Ultimately, from our perspective for our members, this is becoming a health and safety issue.”

There was one instance where a mother and her newborn baby sat next to someone smoking meth.

“How many more nurses have to be put at risk and infants exposed to illicit hard drugs in our hospitals before the premier puts an end to the reckless decriminalization experiment?” Shirley Bond, the BC United Health Critic questioned.

Poilievre recounted these concerns.

"The immense financial strain that people are under is contributing to the drug crisis that has exploded over the past nine years... We cannot ignore the fact that Trudeau and the NDP have imposed radical policies that made everything worse," he said.

Poilievre called the now-recalled BC decriminalization pilot a "mistake," and criticized tax-funded opioids "provided by the same companies that caused the crisis in the first place."

Along with taking away the discretion of the health minister, the act will also forbid all drugs, whether illegal or decriminalized, from being brought into hospital settings.

"We will also push for the immediate passage of common sense Conservative MP Todd Daugherty's Bill C-321, which will create an aggravating factor for assaults committed against health care workers and first responders," said Poilievre. "If you attack a nurse, a paramedic, or a doctor, you will go to jail for longer."

The Safe Hospitals Act would not apply to any prescribed drugs.

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