Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to add to the discussion in support of this important bill. My comments today will highlight the work that is already being done in this area throughout our great country.
Under this strategy, our government has spent well over a half a billion dollars on drug prevention, treatment and enforcement. That is an outstanding sum of money and should highlight for members the importance our government places on addressing drug use and addiction in Canada.
The national anti-drug strategy provides a focused approach aimed at reducing the supply of and the demand for illicit drugs. It is addressing prescription drug abuse and the crimes associated with illicit drugs. To accomplish this, the national strategy has implemented three action plans, which are focused on prevention, treatment and enforcement.
Under the treatment action plan, the province of Quebec has received $11.8 million from 2011 to 2014, which has resulted in a number of positive outcomes. These outcomes include the establishment of new partnerships and formal agreements to support integrated rehabilitation services and continuity of post-rehabilitation services by developing agreements between addiction treatment centres and partners, such as hospitals and community organizations, as well as the establishment of a substance abuse and homelessness pilot project to implement concerted interventions by all concerned stakeholders in 12 health and social service regional authorities.
Another investment under the strategy's treatment action plan is the $7.68 million the government has provided to the province of British Columbia from 2009 to 2014. This has had funding for many positive outcomes, including improved medical student education by expanding a student's education in addiction medicine, from two hours a week to two weeks in rotations; the co-creation with aboriginal partners of the content and design of motivational dialogue workshops; and the creation of a community-based integrated health service for people with substance use and mental health concerns.
In addition, funding is also being provided to support priorities under the prevention action plan. For example, Klinic Community Health Centre in Winnipeg is being funded for $223,000, from 2014 to 2016, and is assisting youth 14 to 19 years of age at a higher risk for substance abuse. There are three main components: an illicit and prescription drug use prevention workshop for youth; a training program with an emphasis on drug prevention for peer support volunteers; and training to enhance the ability of Manitoba-based service providers to deliver prevention education to high-needs youth.
Another project supported by the prevention action plan is a project with the University of Victoria's Centre for Addictions Research. This centre will receive funding of $481,000, from 2014 to 2016, to enhance the ability of teachers to deliver effective drug education to our youth. To support professional development, the project will create and use online training modules as well as resources for face-to-face training such as lesson plans, learning activities and existing evidence-based drug prevention resources.
Our government also continues to work hard to prevent drug addiction and improve the accessibility, quality and effectiveness of treatment services for first nations, and Inuit youth and their families. To this end, in 2014 through 2015, $80.9 million is being provided to support a network of 44 treatment centres and community-based drug and alcohol prevention services in first nations and Inuit communities across Canada. Included in this funding are $12.1 million from the national anti-drug strategy to improve the quality, effectiveness and accessibility of addiction services for this population.
Investments have also improved access to community-based, client-centred, multidisciplinary mental wellness teams. These teams provide comprehensive addiction and mental health services to first nations and Inuit communities across Canada. They are owned, defined, and driven by the community and include aboriginal traditional, cultural, and mainstream clinical approaches to mental wellness services that span prevention to aftercare.
Investments made through the national strategy also helped to develop “Honouring our Strengths: A Renewed Framework to Address Substance Use Issues Among First Nation People in Canada”, which has been highly successful in strengthening the system of addiction services for first nationpeople.
The recovery and rehabilitation of people living with addictions is another critical element in addressing substance abuse. The Minister of Health participated in two national recovery round table discussions with physicians and leading addiction recovery specialists to discuss practical solutions to support Canadians in recovery.
People in recovery are dealing with many complex issues related to their addictions. Some of these issues may include untreated mental health problems, family problems, environmental factors, employment challenges, or legal problems related to addiction. This type of dialogue is vital in reducing barriers to accessing treatment so that the people battling addictions, and their families, can get the help they require.
We must not forget about research. The Government of Canada invested over $126 million in addiction research between 2006 and 2014 through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, or CIHR. It was part of its overall investment, approximately $4.5 million in funding, to support 28 research projects focused specifically on treatment systems for illicit drug use and overall treatment strategies for substance abuse and addiction. Strategy funding also supported the launch of the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse. This network will address relevant research questions related to substance misuse.
Research and investment in recovery and treatment services will continue to be a priority for the government in its effort to help people and communities in Canada suffering with the issue of drug addiction.
Substance abuse and addiction affect people of every race, age, economic status, and background. Effective treatment and recovery programs need to be multi-faceted to ensure that components such as physical health, culture, family, community, and mental health are all part of an integrated solution. The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of collaboration in this regard and continues to work closely with the provinces, territories, and key stakeholders to help individuals and families living with addictions.
We all have a role to play and contributions to make. Bill C-2, the respect for communities act, would expand on the Supreme Court's decision regarding Insite. It is another tool the federal government would use to better protect and maintain the health and safety of Canadians. The government's commitment to the protection and safety of Canadians is also reflected in its significant investment in prevention and treatment funding.
The proposed legislation acknowledges that street drugs have serious health effects and that organized crime profits from the use of illegal substances. It is only common sense that activities with illegal drugs would be permitted only once rigorous criteria had been addressed by an applicant seeking to open a supervised consumption site.
I urge all members to vote in favour of Bill C-2. Our communities depend on our support.