The City of Vancouver is set to kick off council meetings later this month and Councillor Kerry Jang says fighting the overdose crisis is at the top of the list.
A 0.5 per cent tax increase was voted in last month to fund resources in the city.
But an advocate working in the down eastside hopes the money will be put in the right places.
Advocate Sarah Blythe says while more support from firefighters can help, she says the city’s first line of defense should be training.
“All our city staff, parks rangers, anyone who is working on the front lines should be trained in Narcan because any of those frontline workers could come upon anyone who has overdosed.”
She says everyone should know how to save a life.
“Even including schools. Getting people understanding that this is just the way that it’s going to be, well all need to be trained if we know someone in our lives that is a user.”
And addressing poverty for people who slip through the cracks should be next.
“Warm places for people to come off the street and use drugs supervised.”
Meanwhile, Councillor Kerry Jang says Mayor Gregor Robertson, city staff, and councillors have been in Constant contact with the federal government to discuss resources and funding plans.
And Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services says its meeting with the city at the end of the month to discuss a plan for a proposed medical unit in the downtown east side.