Dozens of community and Indigenous groups across Western Canada will share $20 million in federal funding to boost their drug awareness, treatment, rehabilitation and mental-health services.
Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett says 42 local drug-related programs across British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan will receive the federal funds to help people tackle drug-related issues.
The minister was in Squamish, B.C., where she visited two addiction treatment centres, including one for youth.
Bennett says drug addiction is a nationwide issue, with data showing 20 people dying every day because of the toxic drug and overdose crisis.
She says local organizations that have the trust and understanding of residents are best suited to offer addiction and mental health services.
Bennett says recent political criticism of a drug decriminalization program in B.C. worries her that some people may be deterred from getting needed help.