July 12th, 2021




NEW WESTMINSTER--The Board of Directors of BC Yukon Association for Drug War Survivors (BCYADWS) has conducted an internal organizational review and is taking steps to streamline the organization’s efficiency in the midst of the ongoing overdose crisis. 


“We are proud of the work that has been done by the BCYADWS since 2011,” said Board Chair Shawn Wood.  “BCYADWS has been able to contribute considerable resources and grants to drug user groups and has played a key role in linking these groups together in a cohesive manner.  At the same time, we know there is much more work to be done as overdose deaths continue to rise, and as such, we are reassessing the organization’s needs for the future.”


Among the changes, the Board is proud to confirm that Erica Thomson will continue in her position of Executive Director, with increased responsibility to lead the organization through the next stage of its development. Recent hire Jordan Westfall will be stepping into a new position, Director of Communications.


Contracts for two existing staff positions have been eliminated, which will help BCYADWS achieve better fiscal responsibility and ensure more funds can be focused on the projects and strategies that will better support the drug-using community.


“While we value all of the staff and contractors who have worked with us to build the organization, the Board is keenly aware that a granting organization must continuously review and consider executive salaries in balance with the needs of the community,” said Wood. “We appreciate the role that Ann Livingston and Chris Ewart have made in not only setting up a solid foundation for BCYADWS to grow upon, but many other organizations across the province and we wish them well in their future endeavours.”


The BC-Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors (BCYADWS) works for health, safety, and the empowerment of people who use illicit substances. Visit the website at bcyadws.ca.



Erica Thomson, Executive Director - 236-334-7115

Shawn Wood, Interim President- 250-991-6574 Woods8011@outlook.com