Involuntary care not the answer, says BC NDP leadership hopeful

Involuntary care 'wrong'

David Eby’s suggestion that drug users and those with mental health challenges be forced into involuntary care is being called “uncompassionate” and “wrong” by his challenger.

Climate activist Anjali Appadurai is running against Eby for the premier and leadership of the BC NDP. On Monday, she criticized him for comments he made during a swing last week through the Okanagan.

“Last week in the wake of the violence in the Downtown Eastside, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with experts who are working close to the ground on these issues,” Appadurai said in a statement.

“It’s clear to those affected by this crisis that the idea of involuntary care is an uncompassionate response and the wrong response. What we are seeing is the consequence of a series of policy choices. Choices that have left people behind and vulnerable. We need to correct this, by putting power back into the hands of the people; providing safe housing, gainful employment, and by protecting our shared future.”

In an interview with Castanet News last week, Eby said involuntary mental health and addiction care would give those struggling at least “a chance to survive.”

The BC government shelved plans earlier this year to involuntarily treat youth after overdose after pushback from experts and drug users.

Appadurai said the only way to stop the overdose crisis is by providing a safe supply of clean drugs.

“A regulated safe supply saves lives, reduces costs and tackles a number of issues like crime, poverty rates and mental health,” she said.

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