Chelsa Meadus, BC Liberal candidate for the riding of Maple Ridge-Mission, listens to Leader Andrew Wilkinson, as he addresses the topic of drug addiction during a campaign stop in Pitt Meadows on Thursday. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

Chelsa Meadus, BC Liberal candidate for the riding of Maple Ridge-Mission, listens to Leader Andrew Wilkinson, as he addresses the topic of drug addiction during a campaign stop in Pitt Meadows on Thursday. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson addressed the issue of drug addiction and public safety today during a campaign stop in Pitt Meadows.

Saying this would be one of the top priorities for his party, he didn’t mention exactly how the BC Liberals plan to tackle the problem.

Flanked by Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows candidate Cheryl Ashlie and Chelsa Meadus, candidate for Maple Ridge-Mission, Wilkinson started by acknowledging the record number of people in the province who have died from a drug overdose this year.

As of the end of July the number of deaths from illicit drugs in B.C. topped 900.

Wilkinson said not enough is being done to combat the problem.

“We’ve seen the ravages of drug addiction and the people who suffer from drug addiction right here in Maple Ridge. The NDP’s approach has basically been to provide nothing more than a roof over people’s heads,” said Wilkinson outside The Pitt Meadows Seniors Activity Centre along 119B Avenue.

RELATED: Fatal overdoses continue to spike in B.C. as July sees 175 illicit drug deaths

“It’s warehousing people. It doesn’t work,” he said.

Wilkinson talked about needing more effective approaches to deal with the issues related to people suffering from drug addiction.

“If it’s your sister, your mother, your daughter, you would want something to be done to assist a person with drug addiction to get off the drugs,” continued Wilkinson.

RELATED: Maple Ridge overdoses spike in first half of 2020

“We also need to talk about prevention because not nearly enough is being done in that regard,” he said, adding he would have more to say about that next week.

Wilkinson concluded by saying in order to prevent the harm you’ve got to treat the cause, which he said, applies to people with drug addiction, homelessness and to the level of growing crime in the province.

Wilkinson’s visit came on the heals of BC NDP Leader John Horgan, who was at the CEED Centre earlier in the day to announce his promise of more $10 per day child care spaces aimed at benefiting middle and low-income families.

Wilkinson has been critical of Horgan calling a snap election in the middle of a pandemic, calling it a “power grab”.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC politicsBC Votes 2020Pitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson talks about drug addiction during a campaign stop in Pitt Meadows Thursday afternoon. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson talks about drug addiction during a campaign stop in Pitt Meadows Thursday afternoon. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson talks about drug addiction during a campaign stop in Pitt Meadows Thursday afternoon. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson talks about drug addiction during a campaign stop in Pitt Meadows Thursday afternoon. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

Just Posted

Lorne Seifred (seen here with his dog Char-Lee on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021) and friends Elaine and John Sowik launched Chilliwack Pet Food Bank and More with the hopes of helping pet owners who are struggling to provide their furry family members with food. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Animal owners launch pet food bank in Chilliwack

‘Anywhere we can help, whether it be elderly or someone down on their luck or homeless’

Sam Darkoh in his music video ‘Ruby Fever’ which was shot in Yarrow. (Sterling Gold Production)
VIDEO: Yarrow, Chilliwack backdrop for professionally shot music video of Aldergrove rapper

Lots of hospitality, kind people while filming Ruby Fever, says hip-hop artist Sam Darkoh

Brian VanGarderen is one of four candidates running in the Chilliwack School Board byelection on Feb. 13, 2021. (Submitted photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack byelection candidate would like to see district-wide connections

Brian Vangarderen hopes Chilliwack school board will focus on policy making and positive connections

Chilliwack is expected to be among the province’s hottest real estate markets in 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Chilliwack housing market projected to be among B.C.’s hottest in 2021

B.C. Real Estate Association projects Chilliwack and District to grow by 17.1 per cent

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon. (Submitted)
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon funding equity and social change scholarships

One of the scholarships is open to any graduating student in the Chilliwack-Kent electoral district

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
B.C. ramping up screening for faster-spreading COVID-19 ‘variants of concern’

B.C. has sequenced about 11,000 COVID-positive samples since last February

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
B.C. teen ‘locked inside,’ battling to regain speech after severe brain bleed

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Most Read