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B.C. chief coroner Lisa Lapointe retiring, saddened by overdose crisis policy

BY The Canadian Press, Dec 6, 2023 8:35 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

British Columbia's Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe has announced she is leaving her post after 13 years. (Photo :The Canadian Press)

British Columbia's Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe has announced she is leaving her post after 13 years, deeply saddened the province has been unable to reduce the "tragic impacts" of toxic drugs on thousands of people.

Lapointe says in a statement today the coroners service has been forever altered by the public health emergency that continues to take the lives of people of all ages in communities throughout B.C., including more than 2,000 people so far this year.

Lapointe says recommendations by coroners service death-review panels, including providing a safe supply of drugs without prescription, are needed to end the overdose crisis, but she was "unable to influence the essential change necessary" to do so. The B.C. government rejected the recommendations last month, minutes before Lapointe was set to deliver a report on them at a news conference. Lapointe, whose third term ends with her retirement on Feb. 18, 2024, says she's had the honour of serving the people of B.C. for the past 30 years.

She says the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General will initiate a recruitment process to choose her successor.

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