Evidence of meeting #136 for Health in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was opioids.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Alexandre Jacques
Lisa Lapointe  Chief Coroner, Office of the Chief Coroner, British Columbia Coroners Service
Katrina Hedberg  State Health Officer, Oregon Health Authority
Susan Burgess  Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health
Robert-Falcon Ouellette  Winnipeg Centre, Lib.

February 26th, 2019 / 4:50 p.m.

Chief Coroner, Office of the Chief Coroner, British Columbia Coroners Service

Lisa Lapointe

That's a good question and, of course, you want to take into account the folks who are working there and their health.

I haven't given this thought. I think I would want to think about this a little bit. Certainly low barrier treatment is what we need. The more barriers you put up for folks who are already struggling, the more challenging it will be to bring them into safe places. If it could be designed to protect the health of the workers there so they weren't exposed to the smoke, then yes, absolutely.

4:50 p.m.


Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Dr. Burgess, I want to talk to you about the Vancouver Native Health Society for a moment, and the barriers or challenges faced by indigenous people who live in the Downtown Eastside, for example, in accessing health and substance use services. There are a whole bunch of them, which you probably know way better than we do. What role could the federal and provincial governments play in addressing these challenges?

4:50 p.m.

Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health

Dr. Susan Burgess

One thing I've observed happily in our community is the flowering of first nations indigenous culture apart from health authorities. It has a place, and we support that within our clinics and so forth, but the actual community itself is finding its own power and voice. That has been, in my view, the most powerful path to healing for the majority of my indigenous patients. When they have access to someone who has the lived experience they've had.... For example, when they have to fill out sixties scoop forms, that is highly traumatizing, so who should be with them? Various people are with them, but who better to be with them than someone from their own culture? Recognizing, honouring, and supporting that approach within our health system is really amazing. It's the only thing that's making a difference, quite frankly.

4:55 p.m.


Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Thank you very much.

Do I have time for one more?

4:55 p.m.


The Acting Chair Liberal Doug Eyolfson

No, I'm afraid not.

I would like to thank all the witnesses for coming.

If I might add a personal observation, I appreciate first-hand many of the challenges you have. I spent 20 years as an emergency physician, much of it in the inner city of Winnipeg. I've seen much of what you've seen and I share your frustration at how difficult these problems are to deal with. I would like to thank you for all of the work you do and for coming today.

At this point, we're going to suspend for a couple of minutes while we go in camera for a discussion of a report. Thank you.

[Proceedings continue in camera]