Backgrounder: Bilateral Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Northwest Territories under the Emergency Treatment Fund


January 2019

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

With the signing of the bilateral agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories under the Emergency Treatment Fund (ETF), the funding will be used to enhance treatment services for people seeking help for substance use disorders.

This agreement for a total of $766,171 ($500,000 from the Government of Canada and $266,171 from the Government of the Northwest Territories) will enable the territory to:

  • enhance access to opioid agonist therapy;
  • increase practitioner training and knowledge of opioid use disorder through specialized educational opportunities;
  • help identify strengths and gaps in treatment resources in communities and regional centres outside Yellowknife; and
  • hire additional health care staff in the Northwest Territories to respond to the need for treatment for opioid use disorder.

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 close 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 will be 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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