Iliajah Pidskalny, an award-winning Geology graduate from Saskatchewan, set out on January 1, 2021 — on his bicycle and carrying a tent — and he cycled from Saskatoon to Vancouver, arriving on Friday January 29. Iliajah cycled to raise awareness of the ongoing — and worsening — drug overdose crisis in Canada. That crisis has been overshadowed by COVID-19, but it continues to claim lives across the country.

“It’s time (long overdue) for humanity to change its approach on drug policies. Let’s look at the research and realize that the war on drugs has been a complete failure. It’s time to stop criminalizing people for needing help. It’s time to start asking ourselves, “why are drugs being used in the first place?” and to shed light on the socioeconomic and psychological factors which coerce people into a life of drug abuse and crime, if not suicide.” — Iliajah Pidskalny, Cycle to Stop the Harm GoFundMe

Iliajah also raised over $25,000 (as of February 7, 2021) in support of two organizations — the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition and Moms Stop The Harm. He says that Canadian culture needs to be more open-minded, compassionate, and empathetic to save lives and improve the quality of life for many.

Iliajah Pidskalny appeared on People First Radio and spoke about his incredible journey, a couple of days after his arrival in Vancouver. Listen and/or download below.

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Image (top): Iliajah Pidskalny arrives in Vancouver, B.C., after cycling across western Canada during January 2021.