Fentanyl pills seized by police in Alberta. (RCMP)

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

The B.C. NDP government is following up on a long-standing promise to restrict ownership of pill presses, used by opioid traffickers to package their deadly drugs to look like pharmaceuticals.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth presented legislation Wednesday to require registration of automated pill presses, gel cap machines and pharmaceutical mixers.

Farnworth said federal legislation from 2016 only requires registration of pill-making equipment when it is imported to Canada, without limits on who can own the equipment.

The B.C. legislation requires sellers of the equipment to register and agree to a criminal record check.

“The reality is this, there are individuals out there who import these machines, who sell them here in British Columbia,” Farnworth said. “They know what they’re being used for, they know they’re being used to produce pills that kill people, and they’re getting away with it.”

RELATED: Ottawa eases restrictions on prescription heroin

Farnworth told the legislature the proposed Pill Press Related Equipment Control Act is “part of a suite of public safety initiatives we are looking at the address some of the issues of the opioid crisis, which resulted in 1,446 deaths in 2017.”

Victoria Police Chief Del Manak, president of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, said the legislation is an important step in reducing the sale of illicit drugs such as fentanyl in B.C. communities.

The province has also funded the establishment of an overdose emergency response centre, and increased funding to the B.C. Coroners Service drug death investigations team to deal with the workload and lab testing in overdose death cases.

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP issue arrest warrant for suspect in Sheraton hotel stabbing

Police say Malcolm Drydgen faces an aggravated assault charge, and it’s believed he’s in the Lower Mainland or Alberta

ELECTION QUESTIONS: Is Surrey safer than it was four years ago?

Who has the best plan to fight crime in Surrey? That’s for voters to decide on Oct.20

LETTER: We are looking to wrong source for public safety in Surrey

We really need to ask how we might defund police and properly fund community resources

Man wanted in connection with attack on taxi driver in Surrey

Assault happened Aug. 8 in the 13200-block of 105A Ave.

Cessford says Delta not ready for legal cannabis

Mayoral candidate and former police chief says public consultation is needed to make civic policies

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Man faces 8 charges after Vancouver carjacking, pepper-spray attacks

Jesse William Swain has been charged with assault with a weapon, robbery and dangerous driving

Sister of plane crash victim that went missing in B.C. starting support network

Tammy Neron wants to help families who are searching for missing people

‘Hello, 911? There’s a horse in my living room’

Sproat Lake firefighters called to ‘rescue’ quarter-horse from Alberni Valley house

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto player agrees to peace bond

UPDATED: Bill Cosby gets 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault

Judge also declared the disgraced comedian a ‘sexually violent predator’

Vancouver Whitecaps release head coach Carl Robinson

Assistant coach Martyn Pert and goalkeeper coach Stewart Kerr are also out

B.C. making progress on senior care staffing, Adrian Dix says

Minister aims to meet residential care provincial standard by 2021

More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

Call boxes and increased patrols are also among the $1M in the city’s security measures

Most Read