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Parliamentary committee accepting input on drug toxicity, overdose crisis

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:12 PDT, Wed June 29, 2022

The Select Standing Committee on Health is now accepting input on B.C.'s drug toxicity and overdose crisis.

British Columbians are invited to provide written comments before 3 p.m. on Aug. 5.

The committee began holding public hearings in May 2022. Committee 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. The committee will consider all input received as it prepares its report.

"This overdose crisis has been tragic for so many individuals, families and front-line workers in British Columbia," said committee chair Niki Sharma. "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. Many key organizations and individuals have already provided valuable information, but we also want to ensure that British Columbians across the province have an opportunity to participate in this process and provide us with their input."

For details on the consultation and how to participate:

• Visit the committee's website: leg.bc.ca/cmt/health

• Contact the parliamentary committees office by email: healthcommittee@leg.bc.ca

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

To read transcripts, view presentation materials and listen to audio recordings of what the committee has heard, to date, as part of its examination of this ongoing crisis, British Columbians are also invited to visit the committee's website: leg.bc.ca/cmt/health

The Select Standing Committee on Health is one of 10 permanent parliamentary committees established to undertake work on behalf of the legislative assembly. The committee, made up of members from all parties represented in the legislative assembly, was provided its terms of reference for this examination on April 4, 2022, and must submit its report by Nov. 2, 2022.

The members of the committee are:

• Niki Sharma, MLA, Vancouver-Hastings

• Shirley Bond, MLA, Prince George-Valemount

• Pam Alexis, MLA, Abbotsford-Mission

• Susie Chant, MLA, North Vancouver-Seymour

• Dan Davies, MLA, Peace River North

• Sonia Furstenau, MLA, Cowichan Valley

• Trevor Halford, MLA, Surrey-White Rock

• Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA, Courtenay-Comox

• Doug Routley, MLA, Nanaimo-North Cowichan

• Mike Starchuk, MLA, Surrey-Cloverdale

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