A veteran politician says communities need to be more involved in health care services.
Libby Davies, who is retiring as a Vancouver NDP MP after 18 years, was in Vernon Friday to discuss health care and seniors issues with non-profit agencies.
“It should be something decided in the local community,” she said of available programs.
Instead, she says federal authorities have got in the way of programs favoured by communities, such as the safe injection facility in Vancouver.
“It turned out to be a battle all of the way to the Supreme Court because the federal government fought it,” she said, adding that treatment is offered by the facility.
“It’s not about enabling drug use. It’s about chronic drug users and where they are at (in life). It’s about setting boundaries and understanding people, and making health care accessible.”
She also said Ottawa should not stand in the way of communities having medical marijuana outlets.
“We need to have proper standards. People need to know what the product is.”
Davies called on agencies and all levels of government to work with marginalized individuals to address key concerns.
“These are real people. We make these awful generalizations but we need to refocus the health care system so there is equity.”
Davies also touched on the need to improve access to housing across the country.
“How can anyone make something of their life without stable, supportive housing?” she said.
Davies was joined by North Okanagan-Shuswap NDP candidate Jacqui Gingras.