Bilateral Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan under the Emergency Treatment Fund


November 2018

The opioid crisis is an ongoing public health issue affecting individuals, families and communities across Canada. As part of its efforts to address this crisis, the Government of Canada is working with all provinces and territories to enhance access to treatment services for substance use disorders.

The bilateral agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan under the Emergency Treatment Fund (ETF) will provide funding to enhance treatment services for people who are seeking help for substance use disorders. This includes:

  • Recruit and train more health care professionals qualified to provide opioid substitution therapy (including nurse practitioners and physicians) and other non-prescribing professionals (such as counsellors, social workers and allied professionals);
  • Train health care providers to adjust treatment and care plans based on client needs and root causes of problematic substance use (for example, the impact of trauma on the lives of people with substance use disorders);
  • Increase access to treatment for people with opioid or crystal meth dependency by working with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and community-based organizations to expand the use of remote services (such as telehealth) where services are not locally available and support case managers to connect clients to the health and social services they need; and
  • Train providers in therapeutic approaches and evidence-based treatment options for patients who use crystal meth (for example, behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing and trauma informed practices).

Emergency Treatment Fund

Announced as part of the Budget 2018 funding to help address the opioid crisis, the Emergency Treatment Fund provides one-time emergency funding of $150 million for provinces and territories to improve access to evidence-based treatment services. This fund is cost-shared with provinces and territories and will bring the total investment in emergency treatment to $300 million once bilateral agreements are signed with all provinces and territories.

The federal government has allocated funding based on the severity of the opioid crisis in the province or territory and the size of the population in the jurisdiction. This ensures that provinces and territories most impacted by the crisis have enough support, and that other jurisdictions are able to prepare for possible future impacts. Federal funding is matched by the province or territory beyond the first $250,000 and the jurisdiction has up to five years to match the initial investment of money from the federal government.

As part of each bilateral agreement, an action plan is posted on the website. In addition, each province and territory will be asked to report at regular intervals to share the progress made to increase access to innovative and evidence-based treatment in their jurisdiction.

For more information on federal actions on the opioid crisis, please visit

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