NDP minister refuses to reject Horgan’s comment, ‘Addiction is a choice’: B.C. Liberals

B.C. Liberals on Friday said that Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy has refused to confirm if she agrees with Premier John Horgan who told British Columbians on Thursday he thinks addiction starts as a choice.

“Premier Horgan’s remark that addiction starts as a choice is one of the more upsetting comments I’ve heard from this government since beginning my role as Critic for Mental Health and Addictions,” said Jane Thornthwaite, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour. “The fact that Minister Darcy did not wholeheartedly reject or apologize for the Premier’s words after being given multiple opportunities, is equally as hurtful.” 

June was the deadliest month for drug overdose deaths on record in British Columbia’s history with overdose deaths amounting to roughly 5.8 deaths per day. 

“For the last three years, I’ve listened to countless stories from families who have lost loved ones to the disease that is addiction,” said Thornthwaite. “If the Minister won’t reject the Premier’s suggestion that people suffering from addiction chose this path, then she shouldn’t be leading this important file that, frankly, should be of much greater priority for this government.”

Premier John Horgan commenting ‘Addiction is a choice’ June 16: https://youtu.be/knArzDjqFHs

Mental Health and Addictions Minister response to the Premiers comment ‘Addiction is a choice’ during budget estimates debate for the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, June 16: https://youtu.be/0TOgsHH-BC0​