B.C.’s parliament buildings will glow purple today (Aug. 31) in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, as part of a campaign by Moms Stop the Harm, an organization dedicated to advocating for the end of substance use related stigma, harm and death.
The buildings will light up on the same day a BC Coroners Service report announced over 1,000 people died in the first half of 2021 as a result of illicit drug toxicity in B.C.
“The release of today’s report from the BC Coroner’s Service shows just how devastating it’s been for our communities: over six months we have lost another 1,011 lives to the poisoned drug supply,” said Sheila Malcolmson, minister of mental health and addictions, in a media release.
“First Nations communities have been disproportionately impacted, and First Nations people are dying at 5.3 times the rate of other B.C. residents. I strongly feel the collective sorrow for everyone who is missing someone,” she continued.
BC Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre will also glow purple to commemorate the day, the release said.