Canada's opioid epidemic shows no signs of abating, and a sense of urgency is clearly gripping law enforcement.
In recent months, police have begun laying manslaughter charges against drug dealers for allegedly selling fatal doses of fentanyl and other dangerous synthetic opiates.
It's happened in Alberta and Ontario, and is forecast to become more common. The prosecutions are a signal that Crown attorneys and police see the need to act purposefully in the face of a crisis that will cost more than 3,000 lives this year.
Stiff trafficking penalties already exist and clearly aren't working – an outcome supported by research. One summary of the findings by experts at the University of Toronto in 2014 concluded that "crime is not deterred, generally, by harsher sentences."