Judy Darcy was appointed British Columbia’s first and Canada’s only Minister of Mental Health and Addictions in July 2017. She has committed her career to building strong and vibrant communities, and has earned a reputation as an effective and compassionate leader.
As a tireless advocate, she has spent much of her life working to improve health care, seniors’ care, education and child care for British Columbians. She is committed to bringing people together to find innovative solutions to the issues that affect families to improve their lives.
As Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, she has taken urgent action to combat the devastating overdose crisis that is affecting families and communities across the province, including increasing the number of overdose prevention and supervised consumption sites and access to naloxone, and expanding treatment and recovery options. She is also forging ahead with her work to create a seamless and coordinated mental health and addictions system in British Columbia, so people can get the help they need, when they need it.
Judy has served in the B.C. Legislature since she was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for New Westminster in May 2013. She served as the official opposition spokesperson for Health until her re-election in May 2017. During that time she championed many issues, including the initiative to establish a clinic for adult survivors of childhood cancer.
Judy also served as national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Canada’s largest union. She was the only woman to lead a national union for many years. Later, as secretary business manager for the Hospital Employees Union in B.C., she led negotiations that led to a historic settlement that established collective bargaining as charter protected rights for the first time for B.C. healthcare workers in 2008.
Born in Denmark, Judy’s family immigrated to Canada and shared many of the challenges that new Canadians face. She is married to human rights and labour lawyer Gary Caroline and has an adult son. She enjoys the Royal City Farmers’ Market, devouring good novels, hiking, kayaking, and watching the ever-changing activity and light on the Fraser River from her windows.