Addiction and Mental Health

FOCUS ON DRUG CRISIS, ADDICTIONS & MENTAL HEALTH - MEDIA RELEASE - MARCH 10, 2017.

BC’s new political party, the BC Citizens First Party, today announced a comprehensive program to immediately address the current opioid drug crisis, as well as a singular focus on addiction, mental health and the homeless. The Leader of the Party Mr. Phillip Ryan, announced a range of vitally important public policy initiatives including:

1. A NEW ‘BC CENTRE FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH’ (CAMH): As St Paul’s Hospital moves to its new False Creek site, our party will convert the entire old St Paul’s Hospital into a large specialist BC Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for access to free specialist health care services for those suffering from addiction and mental health issues. This downtown facility will provide 1,000 beds of support after current administrative offices are converted into accommodation beds. The centre will bring together specialist doctors, nurses, psychologists, counselors and other medical specialists with a singular focus on addiction and mental health. The Centre will takes an enormous amount of pressure off other hospital emergency departments and Intensive Care Units whose resources are currently being stretched having to cope with massive increases in drug addiction and mental health patients. These addiction and mental health services will be provided free of charge to all BC Citizens.

2. THIS NEW CENTRE will provide a singular addition and mental health focus for people with drug, alcohol and gambling addictions, psychosis and drug impaired mental health issues, as well as those in need of mental health support for depression including post partum depression and PTSD. The Centre and its Regional BC Annexes will support drug withdrawal programs using global best practices as well as provide safe injection services. CAMH will aim to bring patients off the street and into complete recovery through elimination of their addictions, returning them to a more fuller and rewarding life in society. It will aim to greatly reduce demand for illicit drugs in BC.

3. CREATING REGIONAL ANNEXES OF CAMH ACROSS BC: Annexes of CAMH will be created in Surrey, Victoria, Coquitlam and Kelowna for access by all regional patients in need of specialist addiction and mental health services. Funding of $1,000 million will be immediately provided over the next 4 years to establish central and regional CAMH annexes. Last year there were 20,000 drug overdoses across BC resulting in almost 1,000 deaths across the province.

4. CAMH ‘PARENTS PANEL’: Parents of past deceased BC drug addicts will be encouraged to provide input into proposed and ongoing CAMH procedures through their official participation in a ‘Parents Panel’ which will be formally recognized as part of CAMH’s operations.

5. IMMEDIATELY RE-OPEN RIVERVIEW HOSPITAL IN COQUITLAM: Whilst awaiting the relocation of St Paul’s Hospital to False Creek we will immediately fund the re-investment and re-opening of Riverview Hospital which has 244 acres of property and 75 buildings comprising 153,640 square metres (1,653,767 square feet) of space. In its heyday, Riverview handled 4,306 mental health patients in 1956 which was reduced to only 800 beds by the BC Liberals in 2002 and was finally closed by the BC Liberals in 2012. The currently dormant East and West Lawn Buildings as well as other key buildings will be funded with $150 million of immediate renovation and renewal costs and operational costs will come from the $1,000 million CAMH budget allocation.

6. HOMELESS ACCOMMODATION AND SUPPORT. Homeless accommodation will be provided at CAMH and all of its Regional Annexes, as well as at Riverview Hospital, with an initial focus on those homeless who are concurrently suffering addiction and mental health issues. These people need to be immediately taken off the streets where they cannot attack students in schools, private citizens on our streets, and other short term residents of homeless shelters, nor abuse citizen or visitor pedestrians in our cities.

7. WHOLE-OF-GOVERNMENT FOCUS ON SUPPORT:  In addition all Ministry and Government Authorities and Crown Corporations in BC will be required to focus all of their donation, sponsorship  and philanthropic funds into the areas of addiction and mental health and homeless services across BC for the next 4 years, with an initial and immediate focus on Greater Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria, Kelowna, Abbotsford, Kamloops and Langley.

8. REGISTRATION AND SUPERVISION OF ALL DRUG REHABILITATION SERVICE PROVIDERS: We will require all private and public drug rehabilitation service providers to be registered and audited by the BC Government.

9. NEW BC DIGITAL POLICE FORCE: Online attempts to sell or receive illegal drugs over the internet  or dark web will be scrutinized by the new BC Digital Police Force as previously announced by the BC Citizens First Party.

10. RANDOM ROADSIDE ILLICIT DRUG TESTING will be introduced across BC in order to significantly reduce the risks of illegal drug-impaired drivers being on our roads. Severe penalties will be introduced for offenders.


Contact Party Leader: Phillip Ryan,  604-355-4069, p.ryan@bccitizensfirst.ca. Party Headquarters: 170-422 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2Z4. An Elections BC Registered Party


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Video Message - Party Leader

Message to the people of Vancouver-False Creek from Phillip Ryan, Party Leader