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Public input sought as committee examines B.C.’s toxic drug crisis

10-member committee includes NDP, Liberal and Green MLAs
Dean Anderson holds up a sign before a march on the first National Day of Action to draw attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C. in 2017. Currently, B.C.’s Select Standing Committee on Health is seeking public input on the crisis. Deadline to submit is Friday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

If you have special insight into the ongoing toxic drug and overdose crisis, B.C.’s Select Standing Committee on Health would like to hear from you.

British Columbians are invited to provide written comments before Friday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m.

The 10-member committee, which includes among its ranks members of B.C.’s NDP, Liberal and Green parties, formed in early April and began holding public hearings in May. Its report is due Nov. 2.

Surrey-White Rock MLA Trevor Halford, Official Opposition critic for Mental Health and Addictions, is among three BC Liberal members with a seat on the committee.

According to a release issued this week, members will continue to hear from organizations and individuals, including government representatives, public health officials, experts, people with lived and living experience and other stakeholders.

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“This overdose crisis has been tragic for so many individuals, families and front-line workers in British Columbia,” said Niki Sharma, committee chair.

“This committee wants to ensure that all British Columbians have an opportunity to share their perspectives on the response to this crisis. Their input will be critical to forming our recommendations to government.”

Shirley Bond, deputy chair, said: “Recognizing the urgency of the overdose crisis, the committee began its work immediately in order to better understand the complex issues that have led to the current situation in our province.”

Other committee members are:

• Pam Alexis (Abbotsford-Mission, NDP);

• Susie Chant (North Vancouver-Seymour, NDP);

• Dan Davies (Peace River North, Liberal);

• Sonia Furstenau (Cowichan Valley, Green);

• Ronna-Rae Leonard (Courtenay-Comox, NDP);

• Doug Routley (Nanaimo-North Cowichan, NDP); and

• Mike Starchuk (Surrey-Cloverdale, NDP).

For details on the consultation and how to participate, visit the committee’s website: or contact the Parliamentary Committees Office by email:

Call (250) 356-2933 or 1-877-428-8337 (toll-free in B.C.).