Backgrounder: Bilateral Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island under the Emergency Treatment Fund


February 2019

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 increase access to treatment services for substance use disorders.

The bilateral agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island under the Emergency Treatment Fund will help reduce gaps in access to services and will build on existing treatment capacities.

This agreement-which totals nearly $1.1 million ($518,506 from the Government of Canada and $566,000 from the Government of Prince Edward Island)-will enable the province to:

  • increase client support networks by training people with lived and living experience to support peers who are receiving treatment for problematic opioid-related substance use;
  • enhance the province's Telehealth capacity by implementing a secure video connection between community outreach nurses and physicians located in central locations (e.g., Charlottetown and Summerside); and
  • enhance the province's opioid replacement therapy program by increasing access and focusing on a holistic and client-centred approach to treatment, including improved access to buprenorphine/naloxone.

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 approximately $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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