The current opioid crisis is having a devastating impact in many communities. Last week, our government announced $10 million in urgent support to the Province of British Columbia to assist with its response to the overwhelming effects of the emergency in our province and communities.
Our government is committed to a comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate and evidence-based response to the crisis and will exhaust every possible avenue in addressing this crisis.
As part of that commitment, our government announced an additional $65 million over five years for national measures to respond to the opioid crisis and implement the government’s Opioid Action Plan. This funding could be used towards:
- increasing national lab testing capacity;
- developing and implementing a national public awareness campaign;
- increasing research on problematic substance use;
- expanding supports for First Nations and Inuit communities, such as access to naloxone kits;
- strengthening national data surveillance and monitoring; and,
- funding grants and contributions to address various issues that are unique to the opioid crisis.
Our government has already taken numerous steps to address the crisis, including making naloxone readily available, overturning the ban on the use of prescription heroin to treat the most severe cases of addiction, and introducing Bill C-37 to simplify and streamline the application process for supervised consumption site.
This funding is an important step toward addressing immediate and longer-term needs in protecting our community and ending this crisis.