Judy Darcy represented New Westminster in the BC Legislature from 2013 to 2020 and served as B.C.’s first and Canada’s only Minister of Mental Health and Addictions from 2017 to 2020.
Judy is a lifelong supporter of the arts and an advocate for artists living with mental health challenges and artists with disabilities, the importance of art and culture to the mental health and well-being of all British Columbians, and the therapeutic and healing nature of artistic creation and participation.
She is a lecturer, public speaker, story-teller, board member for the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC, award-winning photographer and student of creative writing.
Judy was born in Denmark to a mother active in the Danish Resistance and a Russian Jewish father who fought in WW2, survived a POW camp, and lost family members in the Holocaust. Her parents instilled in her a profound sense of social justice and a love of art and music.
Judy studied Humanities and Social Sciences at York University.
She served as National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees for 12 years, the only woman to lead a national union in Canada at the time. In 2003, she was recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Council of Canadians. Judy has worked tirelessly for equality and social change– from equal pay and reproductive rights for women to Indigenous partnership agreements in health care and Supreme Court victories on LGBTQ2S+ rights.
Judy is proud to have been part of a government that passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act. As Minister, she built partnerships with First Nations, Indigenous and Métis organizations to support Nation-based, community-driven and culturally-safe programs. Judy brings that same commitment to supporting the work of Indigenous and Black artists and People of Colour.
Her appointment as a member of Council was made on Dec 31, 2021, for a one year term.