BC Liberals mislead the public about their stance on drug policy: NDP

THE NDP on Tuesday slammed the BC Liberals for saying one thing in Chinese and the opposite in English on drug policy.

It pointed out that in a TV interview on February 8, BC Liberal MLA Teresa Wat made a false statement about her party’s position on safe-injection sites. She said, in Mandarin, “We are totally against so-called safe injection sites.” (Video clip)

But BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon supported the opening of safe injection sites when he was Health Minister. And he recently confirmed he still supports them as well as safe supply and drug decriminalization. He said, in English, “I was one of the ministers that went through many of the trials that allowed for replacement drug therapy. I was a supporter of safe injection sites. So my record is clear.”

When he was Health Minister, he said safe injection sites are “a program that has received very widespread independent medical journal support for the outcomes.”

The NDP said that Wat also falsely claimed that the BC Liberals were never asked their views on decriminalization and safe supply: “we, as an oppositional party, never got a chance to discuss in the Legislature.”

In fact, Kevin Falcon’s BC Liberals participated in a legislature committee and they voted to “support the successful implementation of decriminalization” and to “fund measures to ensure a prescribed safer supply of substances is available in all areas of the province.”

“The BC Liberals are misleading our community by saying one thing in Mandarin and saying the opposite thing to reporters in English,” said NDP MLA Henry Yao. “Instead of fostering understanding and trust between communities, the BC Liberals are causing friction by taking advantage of language barriers.”

“The BC Liberals shouldn’t be lying to people about their party’s position,” said Yao. “Decriminalization and safe injection sites are supported by all political parties including the BC Liberals as well as experts including the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. I am disappointed that the BC Liberals are not being honest with the public about their stance on drug policy.”

Video Wat’s full comment is available here.