Vancouver Island physicians, healthcare staff sign open letter on political weaponization of workplace safety

The BC NDP are dangerously misrepresenting our workplaces in healthcare settings as an electoral strategy.

Vancouver Island physicians, healthcare staff sign open letter on political weaponization of workplace safety
Adrian Dix making an announcement in Nanaimo on May 26, 2023, by Province of BC.

As physicians and allied healthcare professionals working on Vancouver Island, we share concerns brought forward in the recent Drug Data Decoded editorial, “BC NDP are weaponizing drug law to cover their healthcare and housing failures.  

We applaud our colleagues in Vancouver and Surrey for taking the time to shine a light on both the panic-driven misrepresentations in media about our workplace safety, as well as the lack of action on the drug supply and other real issues in healthcare settings, such as staff shortages, income insecurity, and a corresponding housing crisis that sees our patients often discharged into dangerous situations. 

Let us be clear: drug use in healthcare settings does not justify re-criminalization of possession for personal use.

Like our colleagues, we support and express gratitude for the Harm Reduction Nurses Association challenging the increase of criminalization embedded in Bill 34. We are concerned with the new legal tools being handed to police and how they will be used to criminalize our patients already most marginalized by the state, and at highest risk of overdose death during a public health emergency.

Are you a healthcare worker in BC? You can sign on here!

The overdose crisis has been a formal emergency for eight long years. We grieve for the patients we have lost to these preventable deaths – and request that all levels of government come together to solve the crisis rather than use it as electoral fodder.

Signed (alphabetically),

Vancouver Island
Adrienne Carruthers MSW RSW, RM, Victoria, Island Health
Aimee Long-Innes, Housing Support Worker, Lekwungen Territory
Alex Marshall, NP(F), unceded Lekwungen territory
Dr. Amanda Whitten MD, CCFP
Dr. Ami Brosseau MD, CCFP
Dr. Andrew Kwasnica MD, Family doctor, Saanich Peninsula
Audi Lewis Registered Nursing Student Year 5, Lekwungen Territories
Dr. Bilal Bagha MD CCFP, Lekwungen Territory, Victoria
Brianna-Robin Lis RN, South Island AVI
Brooke Bianchi RN(c), Lekwungen/WSÁNEĆ territory
Cass Sutherland, Full Spectrum Birthworker, Snuneymuxw Territory, Nanaimo
Dr. Emily Stuart MD, Lekwungen Territory, Victoria
Emmy Price, Clinician MHSU, Island Health
Dr. Erika Kellerhals MD CCFP, Campbell River
Dr. Evan Ailon MD, FRCPC
Fairahn Reid RSW, BSW, Vancouver Island Health Authority
Fraser MacPherson RN, Huu-ay-aht territory, Bamfield
Hannah Roy RN(C), Lekwungen Territory, Victoria
Jack Cooper, Counsellor, Lekwungen Territory
Jacquie Brown RSW MSW, Lekwungen Territory, Victoria
Jennifer Smith LPN, Snuneymuxw Territory, Nanaimo
Jeremy White, PHRW, Island Health
Dr. Jessica Tamura-Wells, MD, CCFP, Lekwungen Territory, Victoria 
Dr. Jessica Wilder MD, CCFP, Snuneymuxw Territory, Nanaimo
Dr. Jessie Flear MD, CCFP
Joe McMurray, Peer Support Worker, Victoria
Karen Mills, Indigenous Addiction Recovery Worker, Island Health, Victoria
Dr. Kelsey Roden MD, CCFP(AM)
Kim Collier RN, Snuneymuxw Territory, Nanaimo
Lorna Mace RSW, Lekwungen Territory, Victoria, BC
Dr. Marc Likarovich-Fournier MD, CCFP
Marnie Boers RN, Snuneymuxw Territory, Nanaimo
Meaghan Brown RN PhD, Lekwungen/WSÁNEĆ territory
Dr. Meara Tubman-Broeren MD, CCFP
Dr. Neil Webb MD CCFP
Dr. Patricia Caddy MD CCFP(AM) CISAM
Phoebe Ramsay RSW, MSW, Victoria
Dr. Ryan Herriot MD, CCFP, CISAM, Lekwungen Territory, Victoria
Rylee MacKenzie, Emergency Medical Responder, Lekwungen Territory, Victoria
Sara Brioschi, 3rd year Bachelors of Nursing Student
Sarah Lovegrove RN, Snuneymuxw Territory, Nanaimo
Sarah Wojcik RN, Lekwungen Territory, Victoria
Dr. Stefan Sereacki MD, CCFP
Stephanie Stinchcombe, Harm Reduction Worker, Victoria

Northern Health Region
Cassandra Baker RN(c), Northern Health
Hanna Embree RN, BSN, Northern Health
Natahna McKay RN, Lheidli T'enneh/Prince George
Torie Beram RN, Prince George

Interior Health Region
Cheryl Cruz RN, Interior Health

Fraser Health Region
Heather Tunold, Coordinator, Surrey
Justin Alenius, Indigenous Outreach Support Worker, Fraser Health

Vancouver
Abby Rolston RN, Vancouver
Aimee Parisien, Employed Student Nurse, Vancouver Coastal Health
Amber Kelsall NP, Vancouver
Ayan Salad, Social Worker, St. Paul’s Hospital Vancouver
Blake Edwards, Outreach Worker, BScN Student, "Vancouver"
Ben Fussell RN, Vancouver, BC,
Beshele Caron RSW, Vancouver
Danielle Lee RN, Vancouver Coastal Health
Dan Korotchenko RN, “Vancouver”
Ellery Cleveland RN, Vancouver Coastal Health region
Evan Shafer, Vancouver
Frances Beswick RN, Providence Health Care
Hayley Lambert RN, Vancouver
jasmine veark, Health Promotion Care Manager, Vancouver
Jenn McDermid, Vancouver
Kahlied Salem, Housing Outreach Worker, Vancouver Raincity Housing & Support Society
Kara Jo Schultz RSW, MSW, "Vancouver"
Kelsey Murdoch RN, Vancouver Coastal Health
Kerre King, Vancouver Coastal Health
Dr. Mei-ling Wiedmeyer MD, CCFP, Vancouver
Montana Allen RN, PHSA, Vancouver
Nathan Knowles, Mental Health Worker, Vancouver
Nicole Payer, Outreach Worker, Vancouver
Quinn Roseblade, Social Worker, Vancouver Coastal Health
Sana Kotadiya, Social Worker, Vancouver
Scott Bowlsby, Vancouver
Shaun MacDonald, Providence Health
Siobhan Fox, Vancouver
Sydney Illerbrun RN, Vancouver
Tara Myketiak RSW, MSW, Vancouver
Vic Ord, Social Worker, Providence Health Care/Vancouver Coastal Health

Around BC
Caitie Zukowski RN
Jasper Moedt, Occupational Therapist, ACT
Michael Smith, Occupational Therapist
Stephanie Saville, Substance Use Therapist
Sidney Adams RN, BSN, PHSA

Read more