Federal government grants $71.7 million to fight B.C.'s opioid crisis

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas-Taylor announced a new agreement with the B.C. government that would see her government commit $71.7 million to improve access to treatment to help battle the opioid crisis in B.C.

The province hardest hit by what health officials consider a national opioid crisis is receiving tens of millions of dollars to increase access to treatment for substance abuse.

The federal government is giving British Columbia $71.7 million as part of a bilateral agreement signed today.

The federal health minister, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, said the money was part of funding allocated in the 2018 federal budget.

Petitpas Taylor and B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy made the announcement at an opioid symposium in Toronto.

B.C. government launches lawsuit against opioid manufacturers to recoup overdose crisis costs

Earlier Thursday, the ministers participated in a panel with Bill Blair, the federal minister for organized crime reduction, Toronto Mayor John Tory and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

More than 3,800 people died from opioids in Canada in 2017, compared to 2,978 in 2016, according to the latest figures published by Health Canada.

WATCH: ‘Evidence is clear’ that overdose prevention sites save lives: B.C. minister of mental health and addictions

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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