MLA Olsen addresses systemic racism in British Columbia’s health care system

For immediate release


June 24, 2020


VICTORIA, B.C. – In response to the news of racist acts occurring in British Columbia emergency rooms, MLA Adam Olsen, interim leader of the B.C. Green Party and member of the Tsartlip First Nation, issued the following statement:


“I am well aware of the racism that exists in our healthcare system and I know it’s pervasive. It is devastating to hear about such blatant acts of racism, not just because the incidents themselves are abhorrent, but because it speaks to a work environment in which they were not only tolerated, but trivialized. Let’s be clear: nothing about this is a ‘game’ and I am deeply saddened to hear it referred to as such.


“I support the provincial investigation that has been initiated and have full confidence that Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is the right person to lead this work. I also have serious concerns about the quality of care being provided to Indigenous people in the interim.


“Now that the Saanich Peninsula Hospital has been publicly identified, it is troubling to think that someone in my riding might think twice before accessing the health care services they require for fear of being dismissed or ridiculed in their time of need.


“I have spoken at length with the Minister of Health and raised these concerns directly. I hope to meet again, along with the leadership of the Island Health Authority, to discuss how they will ensure the safety of Indigenous patients while we await the conclusion of the investigation.”


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Media contact JoJo Beattie Press Secretary B.C. Green Caucus +1 250-882-6187 | jojo.beattie@leg.bc.ca


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