Donald MacPherson, the Executive Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, is the recipient of the 2017 Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy for his work and influence in public health, human rights, and drug policy reform in Canada.
He will be presented with the Sterling Prize at an award ceremony held on Tuesday, October 10 at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at SFU's Vancouver campus. After the ceremony, MacPherson will give a lecture that outlines his award-winning work titled Heroin at Your Corner Store. Joining MacPherson will be respondents Karen Ward, artist and activist, and Adam Kahane, author, facilitator and the Director of Reos Partners. There will be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions and provide their thoughts.
The Sterling Prize was first awarded in 1993, and remains committed to recognizing work that provokes and contributes to the understanding of controversy, while presenting new ways of looking at the world and challenging complacency. The prize recognizes work across disciplines and departments, and is awarded annually by the Sterling Prize committee.
About Donald MacPherson
Donald MacPherson is currently the Executive Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to improve Canada’s drug policies, and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. The Coalition is a partner project of the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addictions at Simon Fraser University. Formerly Mr. MacPherson was North America’s first Drug Policy Coordinator at the City of Vancouver where he worked for 22 years. He is the author of Vancouver’s groundbreaking Four Pillars Drug Strategy, which called for new approaches to drug problems based on public health principles and the appropriate regulation of all psychoactive substances.
In 2007 he received the Kaiser Foundation National Award of Excellence in Public Policy in Canada. In 2009 he was awarded the Richard Dennis Drug Peace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform by the Drug Policy Alliance in the United States and the City of Vancouver was awarded the Canadian Urban Institutes Secure City Award for the Four Pillars Drug Strategy. In 2012 MacPherson was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his work in Drug Policy. He is a co-author of the books More Harm Than Good: Drug Policy in Canada, Fernwood Publishing, 2016 and Raise Shit: Social Action, Saving Lives, Fernwood Publishing, 2009