One year later: B.C.’s first public health emergency continues

Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall reflects on the past year of the deadly overdose crisis

Thursday marks one year since the province declared its first public health emergency, in response to the steadily climbing overdose deaths in B.C.

A total of 914 lives have been claimed from opioid-related deaths since the declaration was made April 14, 2016 by Health Minister Terry Lake and provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall.

At that time, January 2016 was marked as the month where the largest number of overdose deaths had occurred since 2007 – when 76 people died – that number was quickly beaten.

For the past four months more than a hundred people have died each and every month, including a record 142 lives lost in December – close to double that of January.

The most recent statistics show an average of seven people dying every two days across the province.

In a statement Thursday, Kendall acknowledged that the deaths are continuing, despite the heroic efforts of volunteers, family members and first responders, as well as awareness campaigns from health authorities and the use of naloxone kits that have reversed “thousands” of overdoses.

“While the continued toll is discouraging, we must also acknowledge that because of these actions, hundreds of people are alive and hundreds more are now in treatment and recovery who would not be there if not for these interventions,” he said.


Just Posted

Influx of funding means new projects, upgrades coming to Bella Coola and Central Coast

The Central Coast Regional District confirmed it will be receiving just over $6 million in funding

Three percent accommodation tax approved for Bella Coola accommodation providers

Only fixed-room accommodation providers with four rooms or more are required to charge the tax.

U.S. consulate general to visit Northwest

Trip part of the region’s first-ever pop-up consul for American residents

B.C.’s north heats up to record highs

Bella Bella, Masset, Prince Rupert and the Cassiar Area all broke records

Sealed DNA in Phillip Tallio murder case must be released, orders Judge

A unanimous decision by B.C. Court of Appeal judges has ordered the release of a sealed DNA sample

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

Walking from Argentina to Alaska

Holly ‘Cargo’ Harrison is now in northern B.C. on his journey from Argentina to Alaska.

PHOTOS: Students exhibit stunning paper couture dresses

22 paper made gowns will be on display at Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre until March 27

Most Read