VICTORIA – Judy Darcy, New Democrat MLA for New Westminster, has issued the following statement regarding B.C.’s next provincial election.
“I am announcing today that I will not be seeking re-election in the next provincial election. Representing the people of New Westminster and serving as a minister in the John Horgan government has been the greatest honour of my lifetime.
“The trust that my constituents have placed in me has been truly humbling and I have spent every single day trying to do justice to that trust – throwing my heart and my soul into making our community and our province a better and more just place.
“I am proud to have been able to work with families, advocates, local elected officials and my cabinet colleagues to bring new safe schools, $20 million in child care investments, and a new Pattullo Bridge to New Westminster. We’ve worked together to create a rent bank to prevent homelessness, build affordable housing, and have bus routes restored. And major government investments in seniors care and the new Mental Health and Substance Use Centre at Royal Columbian Hospital will make such a difference in the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents.
“It has been an enormous privilege to serve in the John Horgan government as B.C.’s first and Canada’s only Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. Working with the small but mighty and dedicated team of public servants in our Ministry, we launched A Pathway to Hope, a roadmap for better mental health and addictions care in B.C.
“Today, we are breaking new ground in child and youth mental health and upstream prevention. We’re making mental health and substance use counselling more accessible so that access to care does not depend on the size of your bank account or where you live in B.C. And we have built historic partnerships with First Nations with major investments in treatment centres, land-based healing and community-driven wellness programs – designed and delivered by First Nations.
“The weight of two public health emergencies has presented challenges no one could have imagined. But I am very proud that we have been bold and innovative in our response. We are the only government in Canada to take action on all fronts at once – including doubling the number of youth treatment and recovery beds and providing access to safer prescription alternatives to the poisoned drug supply.
“To the thousands of front-line workers, peers and families who pour their blood, sweat and tears into saving lives and helping people find a pathway to hope, no words will ever do justice to the weight you carry and the debt of gratitude owed to you.
“I have been truly blessed to work with smart and skilful and truly compassionate staff in my constituency office and Minister’s Office and in the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. This is tough work and you have to care deeply to do it – and they have demonstrated every day that they do! An enormous heartfelt thank you.
“I will truly miss working with Premier John Horgan and my dear friends and caucus and cabinet colleagues who have accomplished so much in such a short time.
“I have spent over 50 years of my life as an advocate and activist and then a legislator, and I will always feel a restless sense that there is still so much more to do.
“But I am looking forward to spending more time with my husband Gary, the love of my life who has stood with me and supported me for 44 years, and my six-year-old grandson who fills my heart with joy. You’ll find me walking along the Fraser River, getting back into photography, hiking and paddling in the Gulf Islands…and yes, volunteering.
“And of course, I look forward to supporting my successor in New Westminster.”