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

29th anniversary of the missing Jack family

Tortured family begs tipper to come forward

Racism and hate still have no place in Fort St. James

Council highlights the communities ongoing efforts to combat hate

Fort St. James tourist attraction still going strong

“World Class Chicken Racing” remains popular

Boost to campsite locations for 2018 season

Whether you call British Columbia your home or you are entertaining out-of-province… Continue reading

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

Former CIA Director: Trump worked with Russians and now he’s desperate

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, John Brennan cites press reports and Trump’s own goading of Russia during the campaign to find Democrat Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.

Church sex scandal: Abuse victims want a full reckoning

Since the crisis exploded in Boston in 2002, dioceses around the country have dealt with similar revelations of widespread sexual abuse.

Baloney Meter: is flow of asylum seekers at Canada-U.S. border a ‘crisis’?

“I think any time you have a government that allows 30,000 people over the course of a short period of time to come into Canada illegally, the impact that that has, that is a crisis,” said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

B.C. RCMP say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled today

RCMP say they will enforce a court injunction today and remove Trans Mountain pipeline protesters who have been camped outside a Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Most Read