Budget 2017 Brings Additional Federal Funding to Fight the Opioid Crisis

SURREY, BC, April 10, 2017 /CNW/ - With its strong focus on innovation, skills, partnerships and fairness, Budget 2017 takes the next steps in securing a more prosperous future for all Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, was in Surrey, British Columbia to highlight additional federal support for the opioid crisis announced last month in Budget 2017, part of the Government's agenda to support Canadians at every stage of their lives, transform our neighbourhoods and communities, and give every Canadian a real and fair chance at success.

Minister Philpott highlighted $116 million in federal funding to help address the ongoing opioid crisis, $100 million of which will be invested over the next five years in national measures associated with the new Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy. This strategy, announced in December 2016, reinstates harm reduction as a core pillar of Canada's drug policy, and addresses various concerns related to the opioid crisis. This federal funding will be used to: 

  • fund community-based projects to reduce the harms associated with drug use, and to prevent and control infectious diseases that can result from the sharing of drug use equipment;
  • enhance national data surveillance and monitoring;
  • support research on problematic substance use;
  • enhance regulatory activities to manage the risks of opioids and reduce access to unnecessary opioids;
  • increase national lab testing capacity;
  • develop and implement a national public awareness campaign on problematic substance use; and
  • expand supports for First Nations and Inuit communities, such as access to naloxone kits and suboxone programs.

This funding builds on the $16 million previously announced to address  opioid-related public health emergencies in Alberta and British Columbia, as well as $570 million already earmarked over the next five years to support existing programs, such as Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program and the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse.

"We are facing a national public health crisis related to opioids, and our Government is committed to doing all that we can to help fight this ongoing crisis from every angle. I am pleased to confirm that Budget 2017 includes a total of $116 million in federal funding to support our comprehensive and collaborative response to the crisis, while we continue to work with our partners to find solutions that work for the many affected communities across our country."
The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

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SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Media may contact: Andrew MacKendrick, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Health, Andrew.MacKendrick@canada.ca, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Health Canada, 613-957-2983; Public Enquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866-225-0709

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