There was a shocking revelation from BC Health Minister Adrian Dix on Friday.
“Last night I was made aware of serious allegations of racist and abhorrent practices in an emergency room or emergency rooms in BC. If confirmed, the conduct is beyond unacceptable,” Dix said.
The conduct is allegations of a racist game called “The Price is Right”. In the alleged game, hospital emergency room staff guess the blood alcohol level of patients, especially Indigenous patients.
“If true, it is intolerable, unacceptable, and racist,” Dix said.
There are reports of this taking place at multiple locations involving multiple staff members in the province.
Métis Nation BC CEO Daniel Fontaine said he heard about the alleged game from a healthcare worker.
He informed the government this week.
“If you are Métis and come into an emergency room, you are automatically assumed to be intoxicated,” Fontaine said.
“Then they take a blood test, and when they’ve done a blood test, they all play a game as to who can get to the closest level of the blood alcohol content in that Métis person,” Fontaine said.
Dix is appointing B.C.’s former Representative for Children and Youth, Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond, to investigate.
“The incident is disturbing, that has come forward. I’m glad they are conducting a full investigation,” Turpel Lafond said.
Turpel-Lafond says her powers are sweeping, including the ability to compel witnesses to testify.
“I have to see what the facts are. Clearly, if there is any workplace in British Columbia where people are playing games at the health or safety of Indigenous people, someone can only expect someone in those roles to face severe consequences.”
B.C. Premier John Horgan issued his own statement issued earlier Friday.
It said: “This will not be swept aside. We will not look the other way when racism is exposed. We will get a full account and changes will be made.”
There will be more information on the length of the investigation, and potentially the location where these incidents occurred, in the coming weeks, according to officials.