Pallister government votes against NPD bill to fight fentanyl crisis

Today, the Pallister government voted down an NDP bill to fight the Fentanyl crisis that would have limited the ownership and possession of pill presses, Health Critic Matt Wiebe said today.

“Manitobans are dying from fentanyl and carfentanil overdoses and we should do everything we can to keep pill presses out of the hands of dealers,” Wiebe said. “Why would the Pallister government vote against a bill to limit ownership and possession of pill presses?”

Pill presses are cheap and easy to obtain and dealers are using them to make pills laced with the deadly drugs, Wiebe noted.

“Fentanyl overdoses are reported in Manitoba almost every day,” Wiebe said. “Keeping pill presses out of the hands of dealers would be one more tool in dealing with this crisis.”

About 20 deaths in Manitoba last year were linked to fentanyl overdoses. It’s believed that number will double this year and at least eight deaths in the past month are suspected of being linked to fentanyl.

Overdoses can occur when a dealer slips fentanyl or carfentanil into another street drug, such as heroin, cocaine or meth, as a cheap way to boost the intensity of the product and increase profits.

“While street drugs can be distributed in various forms, pills are the preferred method for many,” said Wiebe, who introduced the bill restricting possession of pill presses. “It’s distressing that the Pallister government refused to pass this bill to help keep pill presses out of the hands of dealers.”