April 21st, 2024

B.C. auditor to release reports on overdose prevention, safer-supply programs

By The Canadian Press on March 19, 2024.

British Columbia's auditor general is expected to release two independent audits on government programs aimed at curbing the death toll from the toxic drug crisis. Michael Pickup appears at the legislature in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

VICTORIA – British Columbia’s auditor general is expected to release two independent audits on government programs aimed at curbing the death toll from the toxic drug crisis.

Michael Pickup’s office has conducted reports on the government’s overdose prevention and supervised consumption services and the first phase of the prescribed safer-supply implementation.

The safer-supply program has generated criticism since its implementation, including from federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, who both claimed that drugs from the program were being diverted into the rest of Canada.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said last week that there’s no evidence of widespread diversion of the safe-supply drugs.

B.C. public health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a report in December that there was a lack of evidence to determine if the problem was pervasive, although there were concerns from clinicians that the drugs were being diverted.

There are just under 50 overdose prevention sites across the province and the BC Coroners Service says there has been one death in the province at a site this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2024.

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