Statement by Rita Notarandrea, CEO, on the 2018 Federal Budget
Ottawa, February 28, 2018 — On behalf of the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), I commend the Government of Canada for its strategic investments to address substance use and addiction in the 2018 federal budget.
These investments include funds for much-needed research and public education to help Canadians at high risk, including youth, seniors, indigenous communities, people who experience gender-based violence and those involved in the criminal justice system. We have an opportunity through this investment to implement what we know works.
We commend the Government of Canada for its continued investments in public education and antistigma initiatives, and for the $10 million earmarked for CCSA-led research on cannabis use in Canada. We also commend the government for the matched funding for the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Today, one in 10 Canadians struggle with problematic substance use and addiction. Invasive, everchanging and deadly, the current opioid epidemic is the cause of heart-breaking tragedies for many Canadians as opioid-related deaths continue to rise.
Substance use and addiction have emerged as a national priority requiring essential investments in education and anti-stigma initiatives, system reform and access to quality prevention and treatment services. Substance use presents unique challenges and consequences that require expertise and evidence, the engagement of those with lived and living experience, and the understanding of where substance use presents unique challenges and where it intersects with mental health.
As the promulgation of federal cannabis legislation draws closer, it will be planned within a complex federal, provincial/territorial and municipal environment that must consider and address the full scope of impacts from manufacturing, distribution, marketing and pricing to driving safety and harm reduction.
From early public warnings to the analysis of ground-breaking data and seminal reports, CCSA’s 30-year history is one of national leadership and delivering results. We look forward to our continued national and international work, and to fostering new collaborations with provincial and territorial governments and indigenous communities as we build on the collective impact of working with over 3,000 partners — stakeholders, policy and decision makers, thought leaders and experts, people with lived and living experience — to shape how solutions are developed, shared and implemented.
We thank the Government of Canada for their continued trust in CCSA to deliver on these important initiatives to improve access and the quality of care for Canadians, and to achieve the needed results for Canada.
Rita Notarandrea, M.H.Sc., C.H.E.
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction