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Addiction Crisis: Coquitlam Mayor Pleads To Reopen Riverview After Funeral (Video)


Photo: Waferboard / Flickr

The mayor of Coquitlam, Richard Stewart, posted a heartfelt video to Facebook on Sunday pleading with the government to reopen Riverview Hospital.

Stewart had attended a funeral of a young man that lost his life due to addictions that were spurred by a mental health issue. He tearfully says, ““Another funeral. A young man who died of his mental illness and addictions. I got to offer condolences to a family that lost their young son, and I don’t want to do that again.”

While it has remained inoperative since 2012, Riverview Hospital was once one of the most important mental health facilities in the province. Indeed, since 1909, it was a premier location for many of the most crucial points in the care of patients. Trudeau made a campaign promise to reopen the hospital, and now the city is putting pressure on the newly elected NDP provincial government to do so.


Coquitlam commissioned its own report on Riverview in 2014, authored by UBC clinical pyschologist Dr. John Higenbottam, which Stewart argued shows Riverview could quickly be scaled up to help address B.C.’s opioid addiction crisis sooner than that.”reports Global News.

The link between mental illness and addiction has been repeatedly highlighted by a multitude of scientists, psychologists, social workers and more. Gabor Mate, a Hungarian-born Canadian physicist, wrote extensively about this issue while treating addiction in Vancouver’s downtown east side. His novel, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts, is an international bestseller.

There has also been a scam involving money laundering in BC Casinos that has been linked to the recent surge in fentanyl related deaths in the province.

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