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

Development, taxes and 222 Corfield discussed at Parksville all candidates meeting

All candidates met on Oct. 11 to answer the public’s questions before the Oct. 20 election

Inspiring Qualicum Beach teacher suddenly passes away

English teacher and counsellor Carol Myhre remembered as ‘source of joy’: superintendent

Qualicum district students to develop experiments that could head into space

Youngsters compete to have designs reach International Space Station

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

Defence cautions against mob justice in Calgary child neglect trial

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark of Calgary have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death

Feds eyeing options to expedite pardons for minor pot convictions

Internal discussions have focused on an application-based process for speeding up pot pardons

Island pot smokers won’t be allowed to light up on the ski hill

Mount Washington maintains smoke-free policy in light of marijuana legalization

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to dominate North American marijuana industry

Cannabis producers claim the U.S. is “rapidly losing” its competitive advantage to Canada

Battle resumes over speculation tax on B.C. vacant homes

Opposition calls it ‘fake’ tax that is reducing housing supply

Around the BCHL: Merritt, Chilliwack and Coquitlam early-season surprises

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s going on in the league and throughout the junior A world.

Federal government tables bill to transform prisoner segregation

Administrative and disciplinary segregation will be eliminated by Ottawa

Most Read