Alberta is getting a $6 million boost from the federal government to tackle the opioid crisis.
The announcement from Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale was made Friday in Surrey, B.C.. – the province seeing the lions share of deaths due to overdoses.
The announcement came as part of a larger funding commitment of $327 million over the next five years to tackle gun violence and gang activity across the country. Where that money goes will be determined during a Criminal Guns and Gangs Summit in March.
“The fentanyl crisis is expanding, facilitated by organized crime groups,” the feds said in a statement. “The production, trafficking and sale of illicit drugs, such as fentanyl, are often the main cause of guns and gangs violence.”
Funding will be used to intercept illicit drugs and the equipment used to produce and traffic it, the government said.
Canada Services Border Agency personnel will now be allowed to open mail weighing 30 grams or less – giving agents an opportunity to detain or seize illicit substances such as fentanyl.
Those who own pill presses or encapsulators will be required to register the machinery with Health Canada, and officers at the border will have the authority to detain any unregistered pill presses or encapsulators.
Over the next five years $100 million will also be invested to support goals within the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy.
“By working together, we can make our communities safer through greater enforcement, collaboration and prevention,” Goodale said.