Zach Plett with his (from left) older sister Callie, mom Maggie and younger sister Cassie, taken at his grandfather’s 95th birthday party, just over a year before Zach died. (Contributed photo).

B.C.’s health, addictions ministers to announce changes to recovery-house rules

Safety, quality of care targeted; South Surrey parent whose son overdosed ‘curious’ about amendments

Changes aimed at improving conditions for people who rely on assisted living – including recovery homes – are imminent, provincial officials have pledged.

In a media event set for 10 a.m. today (Wednesday) at the Last Door Recovery Society in New Westminster, Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, are to announce “community care and assisted living changes that will increase the safety and quality of care for people in assisted living – including recovery homes – throughout B.C.”

South Surrey parent Maggie Plett – whose son, Zach, died of a fentanyl overdose last December in a recovery home she described as having “brutal” conditions – said early Wednesday she is “curious to hear what they have to say.”

Plett met with Darcy last month regarding her concerns with the Step by Step recovery home where 21-year-old Zach died, and told Peace Arch News after that meeting that she left feeling somewhat optimistic.

READ MORE: South Surrey mom optimistic changes ahead for recovery homes

While she wasn’t given specifics at the time – beyond that a list of 25 incidents that require immediate reporting by recovery-house operators was to be among the “more strict and regulated” rules announced – Plett said she felt the minister was “trying.”

“She genuinely cared and definitely was very receptive to everything I was saying,” Plett told PAN shortly after the meeting.

Zach was found face-down in a bed – which his mom saw later the same day was fitted with mouldy sheets – at the 9310 132 St. Step by Step location at around 4 p.m. on Dec. 15. His actual time of death was later pinpointed by the coroner at between 9 a.m. and noon.

The site was one of five in the city operating under the same name at that time, both licensed by the municipality and registered with the province’s Assisted Living Registry.

However, City of Surrey bylaw services manager Kim Marosevich confirmed last week that two of those five facilities, including the one where Zach died, were voluntarily closed by the operator – the first on July 19, and the second (at 13210 89 Ave.) on July 31. Their respective business licences were cancelled on the same days, Marosevich told PAN.

As of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, all five sites were still listed on the ALR.

Plett said Wednesday that “no one, from anywhere” contacted her about the closure of the Step by Step sites.

Told by Darcy in July that the ministry was aware of facilities that weren’t following existing rules, Plett said the province’s failure to pursue such complaints is “the reason why my son’s dead.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Clover Valley Beer Festival cancelled

Cloverdale beer fest falls victim to COVID-19

Surrey baseball association loses ‘a true giant’ in Bruce Lawson

Longtime volunteer ‘always gave his heart and soul to Surrey Canadian and the game of baseball’

Video tribute to KPU’s spring grad class also honours Andrew Petter, Bill Wright

‘We still want to celebrate our graduates, their achievements, and their resilience’

Surrey School District forecasts up to 30 per cent of students will return to class this week

Education Minister Rob Fleming said on June 1, about 60,000 B.C. children returned to school

South Surrey’s Darts Hill Garden Park to re-open – by appointment

City of Surrey-run garden will be open to visitors Thursday through Saturday

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read