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Steveston car event marks 8th anniversary of toxic drug crisis

Drivers are asked to decorate their vehicles in purple for overdose awareness.
Curtis' Dream Car will be driven around Steveston for the Drive to Destigmatize event.

This weekend in Steveston, there’s an event aimed at dispelling stigmas and myths surrounding substance use.

Drive to Destigmatize will take place on April 14 when the public is encouraged to join Curtis' Dream Car in driving around Richmond to spread words of kindness, understanding and support to those struggling with substance-use disorders.

Eight years ago on April 14, the toxic drug crisis was declared as a public health emergency in B.C.

When Richmond city council put forward a motion in February for a safe consumption facility, many harsh words were spoken over fear of visible substance users in the community.

Trevor Tablotney, who is leading the event, described the words were "not only harmful and cruel but ignorant to the facts of what drug use looks like."

"This April 14th we are looking to show support to those who may have felt attacked, unheard or cruelly profiled by the things that were said in council (chambers) by protestors," said Tablotney on the Facebook event page.

"We need to take a second to step back and instead of viewing this as the individuals' problem and their fault. We need to think of our role in (this) crisis and how we contribute to the chaos by looking down on other people."

Purple is the colour for overdose awareness and attendees are encouraged to decorate their cars with this colour theme.

The purple Curtis' Dream car, a Mitsubishi 3000GT revamped in memory of Curtis Tablotney who passed away in December 2022 from a toxic drug overdose, will lead the drive throughout the city.

The route has yet to be announced, but they are looking for "key locations" around the city to pass through.

Attendees are asked to meet at 10:30 a.m. at the parking lot in Garry Point Park for a moment of silence, a chance for people to speak about the issues and to meet each other before the drive starts at noon.

The event is expected to end around 1:30 p.m. in Steveston.

Anyone interested in attending is asked to confirm by emailing [email protected].

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