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A used empty needle syringe on the ground of an empty street in an alleyway in downtown VancouverShutterstock

OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre spared no words yesterday in describing what he thinks Vancouver has become due to a lax federal and provincial government policy toward hard drugs, saying the city has turned into “hell on earth.”  

“Decriminalization has been in place in BC since about 2017, in reality. The results are in, the debate is over. It has been a disaster, an absolute, abject failure,” Poilievre told reporters yesterday.  

“You only need to take a walk down the streets of East Vancouver, where addicts lay face first on the pavement, where people are living permanently in tents and encampments.” 

Poilievre made the comments on the same day the province of British Columbia’s decriminalization of hard drugs policy went into effect, which will remain in place until January 26, 2026. The current NDP government in the province has been a staunch supporter of relaxing federal drug laws, claiming it will help addicts.  

Starting February 1, Trudeau’s federal government began allowing people within the province to possess up to 2.5 grams of hard drugs without criminal penalty, but selling drugs will remain a crime.   

B.C.’s controversial plan to decriminalize drugs comes in the form of an exemption allowed by Health Canada under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Youths ages 17 and under are not part of the exemption.  

The allowance of hard drugs without penalty also comes amid record-breaking overdose deaths in the province. 

In 2021, 2,224 people in B.C. died as a result of illegal drug overdoses, pushing the total to just under 10,000 deaths since 2016. 

Poilievre said Wednesday that the data shows a 300% increase in drug overdose deaths in British Colombia “since Trudeau took office eight years ago.” 

“The Trudeau NDP approach is on open display in Vancouver. It is a complete disaster. It is hell on earth,” he said. 

Poilievre then promised that if he becomes prime minister his government will “reverse that policy (of allowing drugs to flow freely) and we’re going to reverse it.” 

“We’re going to replace it with recovery and treatment. That’s what works,” he said. 

Despite calls by activists to decriminalize drugs nationwide, a bill put forth in June 2022 by the NDP seeking to make that situation a reality was handily defeated in a 248-71 vote. 

The bill failed after many Liberal MPs joined Conservative MPs in opposing the measure, with the vote taking place just one day after the Trudeau government announced B.C.’s forthcoming policy.