'Hold China accountable' for fentanyl, Andrew Scheer says

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says the federal government needs to "hold China accountable'' for the flow of illicit fentanyl that has fuelled Canada's opioid crisis.

Speaking to municipal leaders at a convention in Quebec City, the opposition leader said opioid addiction and overdoses are both a health problem and a public-safety problem, and part of the solution is to restrict the supply.

Chinese labs are thought to be the source of much of the powdered form of the synthetic drug that has displaced less potent opioids in Canada's street-drug supply.

Fentanyl is more powerful than morphine or heroin and can be transported, cut with other substances, and sold as its less potent pharmaceutical cousins.

But because it's so strong, a very little extra can mean a lethal overdose.

At the beginning of May, under pressure from the United States, China designated all varieties of fentanyl as controlled substances, adding some slight chemical variants of the drug to its existing regulations.