Eby downplays Danielle Smith's concerns about diversion of B.C. safe-supply drugs

VANCOUVER — British Columbia Premier David Eby is downplaying concerns raised by his Alberta counterpart Danielle Smith about the diversion of safe supply opioids from B.C.

Eby says diversion from the system of prescribed safe supply to prevent overdoses is a "serious issue," but the vast majority of drugs in a B.C. police seizure cited by Smith were not from that program.

Prince George RCMP issued a news release Thursday saying thousands of prescription pills and other drugs have been seized in the past three months, and that organized crime groups have been redistributing safe supply and prescription drugs, "some of which are then moved out of British Columbia and resold."

Eby says medical professionals who administer safe supply to drug users "do everything possible to minimize the risk of diversion."

Smith issued a statement on Friday saying she was concerned that diverted safe supply drugs from B.C., including hydromorphone, may end up being trafficked to Alberta, and she cited the Prince George seizures.

She says she has requested an emergency meeting between the federal public safety and mental health and addiction ministers and her counterparts in B.C. to "stop the flow of these high−potency opioids to Alberta.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2024.

The Canadian Press