Failure to mention opioid crisis in ministerial mandate letters sends wrong signal, advocates say

published on December 21, 2021 by Darren Major in CBC News

By not explicitly mentioning the opioid crisis in any ministerial mandate letters, advocates are concerned the government is signalling a lack of commitment to addressing the issue.

Since 2016, almost 25,000 people have died of apparent opioid toxicity deaths in Canada and experts anticipate fatalities will only continue to rise.

Carolyn Bennett was named minister of mental health and addictions in October, a new ministerial post, but her mandate letter, which outlines her priorities as directed by the prime minister, has no mention of the ongoing crisis.

Moms Stop The Harm co-founder Petra Shulz said reaction among her group to the omission ranged from “disappointment to anger.”

“We had some hope with this ministry,” she said. “Once again the real issues are being ignored.”…

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