Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre announced that if elected, a Poilievre government would launch a $44 billion lawsuit against Big Pharma companies for allegedly causing the opioid epidemic.
Poilievre spoke with reporters on Tuesday, saying his lawsuit would target companies such as Purdue Pharma – seeking reparations for several damages, including impacts to border security, impacts on the criminal justice system and reductions in tax revenue.
“The opioid epidemic has ravaged our communities,” a release from his office stated. “Today I am announcing that a Poilievre government will go further in seeking justice for our people.”
Poilievre’s lawsuit would address the unscrupulous marketing and promotion behaviour of companies such as Purdue – and if successful, proceeds would go towards reversing damage caused to Canadians.
“Money recovered from this massive lawsuit will fund treatment and recovery programs for people struggling with addiction. We will make sure that all Canadians can access treatment and recovery programs.”
The $44 billion suit would seek $3.9 billion for Canada’s healthcare costs caused by the opioid epidemic, $3 billion for federal costs, $10.2 billion in criminal justice costs and $27 billion in lost tax revenues.
The Trudeau government recently decriminalized possession of small amounts of hard drugs including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine will be decriminalized in British Columbia.
Canadians over the age of 18 are able to possess up to 2.5 grams of opioids, methamphetamines and MDMA. Those found to possess such substances will not be subject to arrest or having the drugs seized.