“Poverty, addiction and homelessness are human problems not criminal problems and won’t be solved with longer prison terms."
Libby Davies has long been a political leader advocating drug reform. Libby was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East in 1997. She was re-elected in November 2000, June 2004, January 2006, October 2008, and most recently in May 2011. She is deputy leader for the New Democratic Party. Libby is also the federal NDP spokesperson for health, and she served as the NDP House leader from 2003 to March 2011.
In 1982, Libby was elected to Vancouver City Council and served five consecutive terms. She became involved in every community issue; from protecting community services to developing affordable housing, fighting for parks and working for the elimination of poverty.
From 1994 to 1997, Libby worked with the Hospital Employees' Union serving in the role of ombudsperson for human rights, complaints investigator and coordinator of human resources.
Since being elected as a Member of Parliament, Libby has provided a strong voice for Vancouver East. She has consistently raised issues of concern to her constituents in Parliament, including: community safety; adequate childcare; and post-secondary education. Libby has also been a tireless advocate in Parliament for a national housing program, and has successfully forced federal governments to address this basic human right.
Libby has been an outspoken advocate for drug policy reforms to stop the criminalization of drug users and the harm caused by Canada's prohibitionist policies. In 2005, she wrote to Stephen Harper that “poverty, addiction and homelessness are human problems not criminal problems and won’t be solved with longer prison terms.” Libby has received numerous awards including the Capital Xtra's Community Achievement Award for Political Activist of the Year, the YMCA Peace Medal Award, the Vancouver and District Labour Council's Syd Thompson Award, and most recently, the Justice Gerald LeDain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law for her work on drug policy.