As Canadians get ready to head to the polls on October 21st, we realize how far drug policy has come, yet also how much there is left to do. We look with pride at the fact that federal parties are directly addressing harm reduction in their platforms – something we couldn’t have said three elections ago.

Still, with this election feeling like the most important one yet, we hold our breath in anticipation of what the outcome will be, and what this will mean for harm reduction across the country. We are currently in a state that is nothing short of a crisis, a crisis that requires political courage, listening, and immediate action. The election will happen just after Canada celebrates one year of non-medical cannabis legalization – a huge step forward for sensible drug policy which shows us that Canada can be a global leader of compassionate, evidence-based policy. So what can we expect moving forward?

To help you understand what each group has committed to, we graded each party on four key aspects of their drug policy platform:

  • Changes proposed to Canada’s justice system
  • Plans to address opioids and the associated overdose and contamination crises
  • Harm reduction
  • Cannabis regulation

CSSDP members rated each of the parties, focusing on these elements, and we compiled and averaged the votes. The Greens and the NDP came out on top, getting an overall grade of A and A-, respectively, closely followed by the Liberals who took home an overall B grade. The Conservatives did not perform nearly as well, attaining a final grade of F.

You can find out more about each party’s platform by going to their website, which collaborator Marilou Gagnon compiled here.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, but we ask that you please exercise that choice and VOTE on October 21st! If you’re confused about the process or which riding you’re in, Elections Canada can help with that.

No matter what, CSSDP will continue to fight for better drug policies and sensible immediate action. See you at the polls!