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Sheila Malcolmson has been announced as BC’s new minister of mental health and addictions following the newly reformed BC NDP party that was sworn in last week.

Malcolmson tweeted out saying she is honoured to be given this opportunity and has been hearing a lot from people in Nanaimo about mental health and addiction.

“Honoured to be appointed Minister of Mental Health and Addictions by Premier [John Horgan]. Nanaimo was hit early and hard by the overdose crisis; I’ve been learning from advocates and people with lived experience here. People are hurting,” Malcolmson said. “As COVID exploits every vulnerability, the pandemic has made everything about mental health and overdoses worse. I feel the weight of the responsibility the Premier has given me, and will draw on the wisdom of people on the front lines and in our communities all across BC.”

Malcolmson, who was first elected as the MLA for Nanaimo back in 2019, will succeed Judy Darcy, who has held the ministry position since it was first created in 2017.

Darcy congratulated her on Twitter, saying that Malcolmson will do “an amazing job.”

The new NDP cabinet will see some new and old faces as they focus on keeping people safe while fighting COVID-19.

Only three MLAs will be holding the same position they did in the previous NDP government.

Adrian Dix will be continuing as minister of health, Mike Farnworth will be staying on as minister of public safety, and George Heyman will continue as minister of environment and Translink.

Horgan appointed Jennifer Whiteside as the new minister of education, repositioning the previous minister of education, Rob Fleming, as minister of transportation and infrastructure.

The new cabinet, which includes 20 ministers and four ministers of state, will be represented evenly by male and female MLAs.

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