Mr. Ouellette, again, thank you very much for your extremely important question.
I don't know if you're aware of this, but before entering politics, I was a social worker by training, and I worked in front-line services. A large part of my work was with people with mental health and addiction problems. This makes it an issue that is close to my heart and a priority for me. I must tell you that I am happy to be part of a government that has made mental health a priority.
I assume that each of you, when you went door-to-door during the 2015 election campaign, probably heard several topics raised by our fellow citizens. For me, mental health was often a key element and people asked us for services. In 2017, I was very happy with our budget. We have made a historic investment in mental health of $5 billion over 10 years.
I am also pleased to be able to confirm to the committee that we have finally been able to complete the bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories. What was even more important than giving them money was that for one of the first times, all provinces and territories agreed on common indicators, which was really historic. We compiled a list of indicators for subsequent analysis to see where these investments went and the difference they made. This analysis begins this year. We have been collecting data for two years. I look forward to seeing the details.
On the issue of addiction, in your region and province, the methamphetamine crisis is obviously very real, but there are also other addiction issues. In the west and across Canada, the opioid issue is also a devastating one. We realize that there are many problems and that many people have lost their lives. Once again, this is a priority for our government. So we have made historic investments to ensure that provinces and territories are well equipped so that there are more resources on the ground to help people with addiction problems.
We have signed bilateral agreements, particularly in the area of addictions, with the provinces and territories. In addition to the health transfer, additional funds will be provided so that additional services can be provided. In addition, we have made regulatory changes to make it easier and more effective for people with substance abuse problems to use medication. We will continue to work with our partners in the field.
In addition to the federal government, provinces and territories, not-for-profit organizations play a key role. Let us not forget that. These people are the first on the ground and, I repeat, they are doing an exceptional job. It is very important to involve them in our interventions so that they too can offer services.