B.C. moves to ban drug use in public spaces, taking more steps to keep people safe

bc news

B.C. is taking action to make illicit drug use illegal in all public spaces, including inside hospitals, on transit and in parks.

It’s part of several new measures introduced by the Province, focused on providing police with more tools to address public safety while offering support and access to treatment for people living with addictions.

“Keeping people safe is our highest priority. While we are caring and compassionate for those struggling with addiction, we do not accept street disorder that makes communities feel unsafe,” said Premier David Eby. “We’re taking action to make sure police have the tools they need to ensure safe and comfortable communities for everyone as we expand treatment options so people can stay alive and get better.”

The Province is working with the federal government to make changes to the legality of possessing drugs in B.C. This will provide police with the power to enforce against drug use in all public places, including hospitals, restaurants, transit, parks and beaches. Guidance will be given to police to only arrest for simple possession of illicit drugs in exceptional circumstances.

When police are called to a scene where illegal and dangerous drug use is taking place, they will have the ability to compel the person to leave the area, seize the drugs when necessary or arrest the person, if required.

This change would not recriminalize drug possession in a private residence or place where someone is legally sheltering, or at overdose prevention sites and drug checking locations.

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