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Bonnie Henry talks public drug use with B.C. mayors and councillors

Public health officer speaking as the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference opens

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will be discussing drug decriminalization and public drug use in the opening session of the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in Vancouver.

More than 2,000 people are registered to attend the annual gathering of elected municipal leaders that concludes Friday with a speech by Premier David Eby.

The convention’s keynote speaker is John Herdman, former coach of the Canadian women’s and men’s national soccer teams.

UBCM president Jen Ford says the convention comes as communities tackle wildfires, housing woes, mental health and addictions, with some facing multiple emergencies.

She says municipal leaders are looking to the province to ease bureaucracy to access funds to make their communities safer from wildfires.

The B.C. government lifted the province’s state of emergency last week, saying cooler temperatures are reducing the risk of wildfires, which have burned a record area of almost 24,000 square kilometres.

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