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VIDEO: B.C. mom running laps around ministry gets meeting with addictions minister

After running 14 marathons around ministry of health building, Jessica Michalofsky sees progress

A B.C. mother who ran the equivalent of 14 marathons to protest the lack of action on safe drug supply has secured a meeting with Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson.

If it were not for a blip of tendinitis in her foot, Jessica Michalofsky would still be running her daily marathon to raise awareness about toxic drug deaths.

Following the death of her son on Aug. 30, she began circling the Ministry of Health building in Victoria to protest the government’s lack of response to the toxic drug crisis in the province.

While she is benched for the time being, she said people have signed up to run in her place.

“It’s actually very heartwarming that people are coming out to support this – they want to see it continuing. We know that the only way to effect change here is to keep the pressure on.”

That pressure seems to be working as she was able to secure an appointment with Malcolmson on Nov. 3.

READ MORE: B.C. mom runs daily marathon in front of health ministry office after son dies of drug poisoning

While the support she has received from the community has boosted her hope, she said she wasn’t optimistic about how her meeting next Thursday will go.

“I believe that she is going to tell me that the government is doing great things and I don’t believe her,” Michalofsky said, adding the statistics don’t support the claim.

A report conducted by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control found 2,423 people died from illicit drug toxicity in British Columbia between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021.

Michalofsky would like to see the government do more to fund safe supply initiatives, educate the public and characterize the issue of toxic drug death as a public health issue.

For more information on her protest and events she is organizing, such as a rally on Nov. 4, visit her Facebook page, Marathon a Day for Safe Supply.

Hollie Ferguson

About the Author: Hollie Ferguson

Hollie moved to Victoria from Virginia in September 2022 with her partner Zachary and their two pups, Theodore and Bibi.
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